Medvedev approves road map for public oversight of monopolies
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved a plan to create and develop mechanisms for public oversight over the activities of natural monopolies with input from consumers, along with the relevant road map, the government press service said.
The goal of the document is to involve consumers in monitoring the development and implementation of monopolies' investment programs, take into account their views when making decisions on setting tariffs, and to improve the quality of information provided by companies.
The measures included in the road map are supposed to be carried out in 2013-2014.
Billionaire Oleg Deripaska, whose aluminum company UC Rusal is a major consumer of electricity and transportation services, called for the introduction of public monitoring of the investment programs of monopolies at a meeting President Vladimir Putin held with business leaders on May 23. Putin supported this proposal.
"I am not prepared to say now in what form, but I fully agree with this idea and ask the government to think about this. All of our big companies must make these investment projects transparent, not only the business community but every citizen has the right to know where and on what conditions a given infrastructure monopoly is investing funds," Putin said at the time.
Putin issued instructions to the government following this meeting specify that a mechanism for public monitoring of the developing and implementation of the investment programs of natural monopolies should be created by September 1. The instructions specify that the consumers of monopoly services should be involved in monitoring.