Andrei Spînu: I renounced natural gas subsidies

Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, said that he renounced the natural gas subsidies provided by the state. He is skeptical that many citizens will follow his example as he realizes that most of the people can pay the bills with difficulty. The official said he is waiting for the Nation al Agency for Energy Regulation’s decision concerning the new gas rates, while a rise in rates will help to make the payments to Gazrpom for February on time, IPN reports.

Andrei Spînu said that he received the gas bill for December and asked Moldovagaz to no longer include the state subsidies in his bill.

“I wasn’t shocked as I expected a higher bill. The sum was of 6,200 lei. The bill for December came with subsidy. Moldovagaz informed about that module for renouncing the subsidy and I renounced the subsidies, including for last November and December, and I expect the bill for the next month to include the recalculated amounts. In my application, I asked to apply the measure retroactively. I do not expect many people to renounce the subsidy as I see that many people cannot afford to pay the full amount. But the request to create such a module came from more persons and this right exists. We cannot say that there will be 30, 100 or 1,000 persons who will renounce the subsidies,” Andrei Spînu stated in the talk show “Black Box” on TV8 channel.

The official said Moldovagaz’s request to raise the natural gas rate to 15.59 lei is to be examined by NAER, which will take a final decision. As the purchase price of gas grew, the gas rate should be raised or the monthly payments to Gazporm could not be made by the February 20 deadline and Moldova risks being threated with a halt in gas supplies again.

“For February, we expect the price to be of US$550-570 per 1,000 cubic meters. This energy crisis is not the Republic of Moldova’s crisis. It is a crisis that affects us and we cannot control it. The formula for setting the purchase price of gas according to the oil quotations on stock exchanges is an old one,” said Andrei Spînu, noting this was the best formula of those proposed by the Russian side.

Currently, the natural gas rate is 11.08 lei, with VAT included. Moldovagaz requested NAER to increase the rate to 15.59 lei, with VAT included. The new rates are to take effect on January 1, 2022.  

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