According to the unbiased evaluation: who will pay for the free gasification of Russia
Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom, the government and regional authorities to find sources for free connection of Russians to gas. Complete gasification of the country should end in 6 years - from 2024 to 2030. But what do experts think about this? And who in the end will pay for the arrival of blue fuel in each house?
For details, please contact Yulia Arkhipova, an expert of the Russian Bar Association for Human Rights:
Almost half of the cases that our bar association accompanies in the courts are connected with fraud during gasification of settlements or with unjustifiably high prices for equipment and supply of pipes to the house. They turn to us when all the rapids are already upholstered, there is no gas or money, and there is not even any hope left to find out where everything went. It all starts with these letters:
“Our village of Zhukovo (Ramensky district, the nearest Moscow region) has been gasified, but there are three streets left that still are not, but according to the papers - everything is done. How to break through this bureaucracy and achieve the results?”
“My mother is 90 years old. The pipe is less than 150 meters away. She seeks all her conscious life to lay gas to the house. She wrote about it to everybody, even to the president. They promise to help, but only for half a million rubles! Where can the old woman get such money from?”
I can’t say that I am able to win all the courts and help everyone who applies. It’s easier when, as a result of judicial work and evidence gathering, you go out to specific deceiving firms or bring to the clean water the representatives of local authorities who have entered into an agreement with fraudsters and, roughly speaking, have made money at the expense of the residents. Then - yes, the courts take our side, satisfy the demands of citizens. But there are systemic errors, unresolved issues of gasification at the state level, promises at the highest level, not financially backed up - and then you can beat like a fish on ice and get a discouraging result:
"Lies about gasification, we promised another 25-30 years to gasify the villages. (Pskov region). Until now, 90% of the settlements are not gasified, some already have no villages, and those that remain are still existing account of summer residents. And if there was gas, the part of the villages would be alive”
The topic of gasification is a topic of social justice, and it is very politicized. People think this way: we are the largest gas country in the world, we have the largest reserves, we supply all of Europe, and we ourselves sit without gas. And if we want to connect, millions are demanding from us. How so?
Putin’s commission to gasify the country can be seen as evidence that the state has finally come to understand: gasification is not just a service, but a serious tool that either moves the country forward or hinders its development. But it can also be considered as the political move of the president, because thanks to gasification it is possible to make the life of the population significantly better. That is, you connect gas to a person in the house - and he immediately feels that it has become easier for him to live.
However, this does not remove the question: why gasification was not carried out earlier, for example, as part of national projects? We have a lot of things there: the rise of agriculture, the creation of an urban comfortable environment, digitalization, the salvation of the Volga River, etc. etc. But for some reason there was no place for gasification in national projects. Meanwhile, the price of the issue, which has already been calculated, is only 200 billion rubles - 1% of the total cost of all national projects, estimated at 28 trillion. rubles. In addition, the issue of gasification of the regions is not the first time. He was featured in all May presidential decrees. And if now he got up so tough, then someone could not cope? For some reason, the names of the perpetrators always remain behind the scenes. Well-known Igor Sechin has been appointed curator of gasification. He was tasked with coordinating the process and finding financial contact points between Gazprom and the Mishustin government.
How effective this alliance will be, we will understand when it becomes clear who will ultimately pay for free gas for the Russians and how much it will cost in reality.
In early March, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko rebuked the head of one of Gazprom’s structures for the low rate of gasification. She noted that the current system, in which the company builds inter-settlement gas pipelines in the region, and local authorities should bring the pipe to residential areas, does not work. Often the regions do not have money for this, as a result, residents have to pipe to their homes on their own. For people, this translates into huge costs".
We can quite concretize these "colossal expenses." In the villages of the Moscow region, they sometimes reach 4 million rubles. Such, allegedly, prices when you start to call the company and ask the price. But tariffs for this type of activity are not regulated either by the relevant ministry or by Gazprom: the chairman of the United Russia Duma faction Sergey Neverov drew attention to this. And we specifically requested information from several regions with a request to clarify what the price of connecting a house is made up of. In this amount, design documentation, construction and installation works, commissioning, registration of property rights and a huge list. The connection cost includes bringing the gas pipeline only to the land plot or to the basement of the house, and then work inside the house, which requires a separate agreement with a specialized organization, and their cost is generally not regulated in any way. On average, equipment and final wiring inside a house ranges from 270 thousand to 297 thousand rubles. And also an inspector, the conclusion of firefighters, an inset into fireplaces and stoves, broken walls, and then after a year the requirements change and it turns out that the wall can no longer be broken, but it's done, you have already been untwisted and the original 300 thousand have doubled...
This is very expensive, especially for rural residents, but it is noteworthy that even now, when Putin ordered gas to be provided to the population for free, the issue of preferential connection inside the house as well as the purchase of a boiler at the expense of the state is not worth them. No “freebies” are foreseen for pensioners, people with disabilities and many children - all for their own, unless, of course, someone has them. It is not necessary to count on the needy for regional budgets. All for connecting the gas was easier, but when it says: “And who will pay?” - silence comes.
In April, the head of the Ministry of Energy, Alexander Novak, proposed solving the problem of the so-called last mile by completely shifting the construction of the entire gas distribution network to Gazprom, without the participation of the regions. However, according to the minister, some additional 200 billion rubles will have to be found somewhere. per year, instead of the current 60.
Putin instructed to find sources for free connection of Russians to gas by October 1, 2020. Once again: free gas connection.
Excuse me, excuse me, but what about those who already got involved in the struggle for blue fuel five to ten years ago, who invested in the gas pipeline and are now “fighting off” the cost of connecting the first houses, etc.? There were a lot of such connection options, most often they were used in SNT, ONT, DNP and other all kinds of country cooperatives.
For example, DNP in the city of Domodedovo, has acquired a gas pipeline. Few participated in gasification, the rest waited for the main gas to finally run through the pipes. After waiting, they held a general meeting, at which they decided - everyone who joins will pay 350,000 rubles each, to offset those who were the first to decide on the construction and took care of all the costs. After the cost of gasification is divided into all, the residents will transfer the gas pipeline to Mosoblgaz for balance, so that the gas issue is not a stumbling block. Unfortunately, a precedent has happened. The previous chairman of the DNP promised that everyone who will be for her will receive gas for free, the meeting is not a decree for her. Litigation began. First, one statement, then another, then the next - everyone asks to connect gas to them for free.
The courts, however, do not give up: the general meeting decided - be kind, do it. But those who want to get gas for free are not decreasing.
Hence the fair question: what will happen to the NPP now, if those who laid the gas pipeline at their own expense and expected that part of the costs would be reimbursed to them, can they count on compensation and, most importantly, compensation from whom? States? Local authorities? District administration? The people who invested millions in the construction work are fools, and those who expected weather from the sea will simply take advantage of the work done?
Another example is the SNT Matveevka in Domodedovo, where the gas issue has not only split people into two camps, led to enmity, has become a cause for lawsuits, but also continues to torment people for more than 5 years. The bottom line is simple - the residents made a common decision, they also selected a contractor from neighboring Kashira together, collected money, signed contracts, put gas in the house. Only now, the contractor has for many years been supposed to pass the gas pipeline and supply gas to the houses, but continues to pretend that the locals have to pay something else - here’s a bribe, there’s an overpriced price, well, because one of the contractors needs a new car, another has repairs in the house - one must enter the position. The village quarreled, there is no gas. Mosoblagaz says directly - from the side of SNT there are no problems, SNT passed everything on time, everything did according to
requirements, but the contractor does not give the documentation that is needed at the last stage, and even he himself was a debtor to the gas structure. True, no one is in a hurry to deprive a dishonest contractor of a license - the state has freed itself from control of the most important national economic sector and prefers not to delve into “selfish” issues.
Now it’s the matter of arbitration, because the people want to return the money, since the terms of the agreement were not fulfilled - instead of several months, gas has been waiting for more than five years.
Another example is SNT in the north of the Moscow Region, which for 10 years has been coordinating a piece of a gas pipeline that runs along the border with a military unit. Oh, these agreements, they are deeply embedded in the liver of summer residents. 10 years, and things are still there - they do not give either for rent or for use - for nothing. The money was paid, too, but the blue light curls on the stove from a gas cylinder carefully hidden in a locker - be kind, refuel it yourself.
Gasification participants are perplexed - they spent money and did not receive gas, and those who didn’t lead with their ears - now, then, will they connect for free? Or is it just promises that are known to wait three years? Why did these questions remain outside the presidential mandate?
However, if the Ministry of Finance and Gazprom do not dare to gasify the country at their own expense, then you can go the other way, for example, by raising gas prices for large enterprises and private consumers. Experts predict such a course of events. National Energy Security Fund of the country, and numerous clients of the Russian Bar Association:
“If they said for free, it will cost two to three times more expensive. They won’t lose their profit when they don’t”
“This free gasification smacks of ambush. It’s just that in the future Gazprom and the government will make up for the financial losses from the Nord Stream at the expense of ordinary citizens”
Our position is this: in a situation where the price of Russian gas on foreign markets is lower than inside the country, rising prices for consumers will become an explosive decision, and the president’s proposal for free gasification in practice may turn out to be just populism for the next political moment. People need this least of all, and the country does not have time to discuss a painful topic for another five to ten years. So, you need to find money here and now. Let me remind you: the price of gasification is 200 billion rubles - 1% of the cost of national projects, most of which would also do well to give gas in order to get them out of a fainting state.