How introduction of new tariffs for housing and communal services affected the people of Turkmenistan?

How introduction of new tariffs for housing and communal services affected the people of Turkmenistan?

Sapar Muradov

… A young man at the cashier office gives his pay-book and takes out his wallet:

– I want to pay for the water used in January. How much I have pay?

The cashier looks at the pay-book where the water consumption for the first month of 2019 is written down:

– You have to pay three manats.

The visitor breaths out with relief and gives out the money. For the first time, he makes payment for water used, and there is still no habit of doing such payments.

It applies to thousands of Turkmen people. New tariffs for water has been introduced in Turkmenistan from January 2019. Since the first years of independence of Turkmenistan, the population of the country was provided with water free of charge. In early February, it was time for first payment for water PROVISION.

Water is free of charge. It can be as a rain that drips down from the sky, or it can flow in rivers, or can be in lakes, and it is free everywhere. We pay not for water, but for its provision, which means the water disinfection, maintenance of the operation of water pipelines, searching of a new water deposits, etc. Before getting into our taps, drinking water “overgrows” with the work of hundreds of people who are paid by the state to make it available to everyone in the country,” Ahmed Uvdiyev, Head of the State Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, comments.

“Even the whole sum of payments for water provision that comes from consumers of the country is “a drop in the ocean” compared to the cost of work related to organizing the provision of clean drinking water to the entire population, because tariffs are preferential,” the official underlines. “Firstly, the new tariffs are introduced to create of a user culture, caring attitude to natural resources. It is no secret that over the decades of free use of water, electricity, and natural gas, many householders have had, to put it mildly, not very responsible attitude towards the expenditure of these resources. Therefore, the payment of housing and communal services in our country, which itself does not have any significance for the state budget, is a preventive measure and is aimed at educating citizens’ conscious attitude to the consumption of all these components of the sustainable development of the planet. So, in fact, with the introduction of new tariffs for housing and communal services for the people of Turkmenistan, from financial point of view, a little has changed. It is more about changes in the minds, in patterns of user behavior, which should have more rationality and environmental responsibility to future generations.”