In accordance with the proposal, beginning on January 1, 2023 most households in Armenia will start paying nearly 209 drams (53 cents) per cubic meter of water, including sewerage costs, instead of the current tariff of 200 drams.
Water tariffs were already raised in Armenia by 20 drams at the beginning of the year.
In substantiating its bid submitted in August, Veolia Djur cited a high inflation in Armenia during the first half of the year.
The company’s bid called for a 9-dram rise for water tariffs for all categories of consumers, including socially vulnerable groups.
The Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) said on Tuesday that as a result of its monitoring and calculations it had decided to propose a rise by 8,42 drams, but leave the tariff of 180 drams per cubic meter unchanged for socially vulnerable groups.
The PSRC is due to make a formal decision on the new water tariff on November 29.
Later today, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures said that regardless of the decision to be made by the PSRC, if necessary, the government will “neutralize the tariff rise” for all groups of consumers through providing a corresponding subsidy.
The French company managed the water and sewerage network of Yerevan for 10 years since 2006 before taking over the national network in 2017 for a period of 15 years.
The company committed to reduce water losses, which, according to the PSRC, amounted to about 80 percent five years ago and now amount to about 70 percent.
Veolia Djur also undertook to invest at least 37.5 billion drams (nearly $95 million according to the current exchange rate) in the overhaul of the system.
Despite managing to phase out Soviet-era water rationing in most of Yerevan, the company has heard criticism in Armenia over the lack of 24-hour water supply in many areas as well as frequent emergency cutoffs.
Before the 2018 parliamentary elections Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pledged that there would be no rise in water tariffs in Armenia until 2024.
After last year’s water tariff rise by 11 percent Pashinian said that it was a necessary step to avoid a potentially much bigger increase in three years’ time.