Gazprom introduces new domestic market rules
A Ministry of Economy regulation lifted restrictions (used as a regulatory instrument) on the maximum level of gas prices for businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Free gas pricing came into effect on April 18, 2012.
The impact of the new regulation will be limited, due to the fact that administrative price regulation is preserved on gas sales to gas suppliers - members of Beltopgas, as well as to large and “preferred” consumers. Nevertheless, the very fact that Gazprom managed to lobby the abolition of pricing restrictions, though still for a limited number of companies, is very significant.
Therefore Gazprom continues wringing the best economic conditions for itself, while the government unprecedentedly meets its wishes: consumers make gas payments in foreign currency, extra charges increased, and, now free pricing of gas to consumers outside the Beltopgas system has been introduced.
A Ministry of Economy regulation of January 20, 2012 No 9 has set preferential gas price for nitrogen fertilizers producers at $ 218.24 per thousand cubic meters. Beltransgaz sells gas at $ 275.87 per thousand cubic meters (excluding VAT) to all other business entities.
Beltopgas organizations will sell gas at $ 275.87 per thousand cubic meters to enterprises and entrepreneurs, which consumed less than 500 million cubic meters of natural gas in 2011. Legal entities and entrepreneurs, consuming natural gas above the limits set for the replacement of natural gas with oil fuel and other local fuels, will pay $ 375.18 per thousand cubic meters. In 2012 Belarus imports gas at $ 165 per thousand cubic meters.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.