Economy • 20 December, 2018

Under the draft law “On Natural Monopolies” role of consumer protection societies to be strengthened — Zhumangarin

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Draft law “On Natural Monopolies” has been adopted Dec. 20 in the Senate of Parliament. The Vice Minister of National Economy Serik Zhumangarin spoke about the key tasks and innovations of the bill at the press conference in the press center of the Government.

The Head of State in his Address “Growing Welfare of Kazakh Citizens: Increase in Incomes and Quality of Life,” as well as at a meeting of the Security Council of Nov. 7, 2018, instructed to enhance the transparency of tariff setting.

Zhumangarin noted that, according to the norms of the draft law, from Jan. 1, 2019, monopolists will only submit applications for tariff approval in electronic form. The corresponding database named “E-monopolist” has been developed. Full access for everyone wishing to see it will be provided. Now the application of natural monopoly can be observed on the site in the public domain.

At the same time, for the first time, an external technical audit of the execution of the investment program of monopolists was introduced.

In addition, public monitoring of the implementation of investment programs will be conducted. The infrastructure facilities will be visited by representatives of the authorized body, public associations for the protection of consumer rights, Atameken NCE, the media.

Monopolists will be obliged to post quarterly information in the media on the implementation of investment programs with photo and video materials attached. There will also be a transition of monopolists from annual to semi-annual public reports to consumers on the implementation of tariff estimates and measures of investment programs.

One of the important amendments is the strengthening of the role of consumer protection societies. The societies will be presented with serious qualification requirements: work experience, the presence of qualified lawyers and economists in the staff.

Also, the new law provides for akimats to hold public hearings when approving the norms for the use of public services for consumers who do not have metering devices.

“In addition, the law introduces a very important body — the Public Council on Tariff Policy, which will include parliamentarians, businessmen, public organizations who have the right to hear investment programs, tariff estimates of natural monopolies. This will be a large public body so that various public organizations present their position,” Zhumangarin concluded.

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