Uzbek state-owned companies Uzbekenergo and Uztransgaz have announced that tariffs for electricity and gas in the country will be raised by 8% starting from April 1, according to statements by both companies from March 16. Tariffs will be raised to UZS226 per cubic metre of gas and UZS182 per kWh of electricity.
The companies attributed the increase in tariffs to “the rising prices of fuel and energy resources”. The 8% increases in tariffs for utilities are likely indicative of the actual annual rate of inflation in the country, which has been officially reported at 5.6%, which raises doubts about the government’s figures. Indicators of a much higher inflation rate can also be observed in official increases in other government-set prices and wages. In December, the Uzbek Finance Ministry and State Tax Committee issued a resolution to increase the wholesale and retail prices of alcoholic beverages by 14-28% starting from January 1, 2016, reflecting the state of inflation in the country. Independent press and economic reports see local inflation rates run between 20% and 30% a year.
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