Kazakhstan may declare moratorium on tariffs increase by year-end.

By bne IntelliNews April 17, 2014

The Kazakh government can declare moratorium on raising tariffs by natural monopolies until the end of 2014, Kairat Kelimbetov head of National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) has stated.

After devaluation of national currency by nearly 20% in early February, the government decided to raise social benefits of the population by increasing wages in public sector by 10% and demanding export-oriented companies to do the same. At the same time, the inflation goal of 6-8% remained unchanged. Thus, the authorities are presently looking for leverages that would enable them to curb inflation. One of them is a moratorium on natural monopolies rates which is currently valid until May 1. Prolongation of the moratorium would be a step to curb inflation pressure in long-run.

The government is also monitoring prices for basic foodstuffs. The NBK and the local executive bodies apply a ‘manual approach’ to the issue, Kelimbetov has added. He also revealed that the NBK is monitoring situation with Russian currency RUR and inflation in Russia (the biggest source of imports for Kazakhstan). Kazakhstan has no custom border with Russia as both countries are members of the Customs Union. Thus, the NBK is afraid of importing inflation from the northern neighbor.

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