Speaking about the two sides, one should already feel some inconvenience. Are there still those two sides? Do the desires and goals of both sides contradict each other? Don’t the authorities and people (in fact, probably the entire Armenian people) together have one single objective: in this case, to set low prices for electricity consumption?
There’s no doubt that the authorities should be blamed for the price of electricity which is higher than in the neighboring countries. But the fact that the authorities can easily agree on the tariff increase, and then all with the same ease announce, “well, let’s conduct an audit”, only deepens the distrust toward them. However, the audit is not a bad idea. I think that people should elect representatives from the initiative group and cooperate with the authorities. After all, if you select the right questions for the audit and choose the right auditors (experts), you can get a conclusion that, in my opinion, will disclose all the problems in the industry related to finances and economy, management and corruption component.
These questions I would put in the following sequence:
1. What should be the price per kW/h of electricity in Armenia, taking into account the average prices in the region (by comparing the rates in neighboring countries) and the resources of Armenia (meaning existing and potential energy resources)?
2. What has done “INTER RAO”, the owner of the «Electric Networks of Armenia», during its performance to achieve this price (performance assessment, feasibility of the business)?
And in the conclusion can be indicated the following issues: 1. Concluded agreements with contractors without economic feasibility;
2. Attracting loans, clearly not beneficial or inappropriate;
3.Settling and paying obviously high wages;
4. Inaction or insufficient action to close the account receivable debts;
5. Unreasonable costs or squandering; 6. Misuse of funds;
7. Misuse of real estate and other assets;
8. Hiding income through various mechanism schemes;
9. Unjustified enrichment of the company’s management and the ultimate beneficiary; 10. And finally, how much money the government has not received because of the non-paid taxes.
If the conclusion will contain the answers to these questions, I am confident that a solution will be clear: to recommend the decrease of tariffs for electricity, comparable to rates in the region as a whole. And in this case (by the way, another argument to conduct the audit) can be raised the question of reduction of existing tariffs.
And let’s not forget also that there’s a need to develop a mechanism and criteria for the selection of the auditor. And, first of all, such criteria must be the high reputation and independence of auditors, who value their reputation not in $ 1 million.
Of course, the result of the audit is likely to absolutely exclude the price increase.
It was possible not to spend money and time for this procedure, but the government is going to compensate the revenues of “INTER RAO” already under the new tariff. Of course, it would be possible, but the time is lost, and this is government’s fault again.
There’s just a single exit in this situation — the conduct of an audit, the results of which will give justification for actions on both sides. After all, for the one side it’s never too late to go back on streets, if the authorities do not use their chance to find solutions to the electricity problem. After all, one must understand that the next time there will be standing much more dissatisfied people.