The Government Reduced Tariffs on Public Utilities for Religious Organizations
KYIV — The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on February 24, 2010, accepted a decision, in accordance to which tariffs on centralized heating and the supply of hot and cold water for religious organizations are set at the same level as that for the population. The Minister of Housing and Communal Utilities of Ukraine Oleksiy Kucherenko reported this to the journalists after the session of the cabinet, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom (IRS).
In accordance with the accepted decision, the text of which was obtained by the IRS, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made an alteration to Decree № 955 from 10.07.2006, “About the claim of the Order of forming tariffs on production, transportation, and supply of thermal energy and services of centralized heating and supply of hot water” and to Decree № 959 from 12.07.2006, “About the setting of the Order of forming tariffs on services in centralized water supply and water drainage.”
The changes provide that the “bodies of authorities, which are able to set (to coordinate) tariffs, can define additional categories of users” in the case of receiving certain terms of profitability. At the same time, both of the noted decrees of the Cabinet of Ministers now include that “Religious organizations pay for the given services at tariffs set for the population.” "Thus, the prices for heat and water supply for religious organizations will be the same as that for the population, that means minimal," underlined Oleksiy Kucherenko.
As reported by IRS before, in the opinion of the State Committee of Nationalities and Religions, introducing these changes to the decrees of the Cabinet “corresponds to the general policy of the state in relation to religious organizations, which pay for electric energy and gas at the same prices as the population.”
In July 2009 during a meeting with the members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko assured that the government would make a logical solution to the question of granting for public utilities for religious organizations the same prices as those set for the population. This process the Cabinet of Ministers began in September of last year with the acceptance of the decision about establishing for religious organizations tariffs on natural gas on the minimum differentiated prices, which are foreseen for the population.