Sunday, January 19, 2014

Turkmen to Pay for Gas

Turkmenistan is going to start charging its citizens for their use of natural gas:
Turkmenistan's president said Saturday his government will begin installing gas meters in households, ending the unlimited supply of free gas to citizens in the energy-rich Central Asian nation.
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said during a televised address the government hoped the meters would encourage people to consume energy more efficiently, but neither he nor the country's state-owned gas company gave a timeframe or a reason behind the policy change. The government also didn't immediately reveal how much it will charge for gas.
The move comes in the wake of signs that Berdymukhamedov's authoritarian government sees the subsidized domestic energy market as too heavy an economic burden, and is making profitable energy exports a bigger priority.
The nation is estimated to have the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, and gas, electricity and water have been supplied free to households since 1993. In 2006, the same year Berdymukhamedov became president, the country's rubber stamp parliament voted to extend the free energy policy until 2030.

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