“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) will formally raise the prices of electricity in Armenia at a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday. The paper says that the tariffs will rise for a third time in two years. It accuses the PSRC of failing to examine the efficiency of the operations of the Armenian power distribution network during the month-long consideration of a price rise requested by the Russian-owned company. Armenians will thus continue to pay for the massive losses incurred by the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA), it says.
“Zhoghovurd” likewise accuses the ENA of “robbing Armenian consumers.” “Is Serzh Sarkisian prepared to commit himself to preventing the massive robbery of Armenia’s population and manufacturers?” the paper asks. It says Sarkisian and other senior officials must make clear who will be held accountable if it turns out next year that the higher tariffs have not cut the ENA’s debts totaling an estimated $250 million.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” argues that Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian himself has acknowledged that much of those debts are the result of fraud and mismanagement. The paper points out that law-enforcement authorities are in no mood to investigate those abuses and, if necessary, press criminal charges against ENA executives.
“Zhamanak” reports that parliament deputies from the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) traded accusations and even insults on Tuesday during parliament debates on a Dashnaktsutyun-backed draft amendments to an Armenian law on referendums. The paper expects to see more such wrangling among opposition forces, saying that “Armenia is entering a pre-election period.” It claims that the opposition forces realize that they cannot take away votes from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and can increase their presence in the National Assembly only at each other’s expense.