Tatarstan left without federal subsidies for social gasification
Nevertheless, the republic will raise compensation to beneficiaries for connecting to the service to 100 thousand rubles
Russia has allocated additional funds for the social gasification programme — more than 2,3 billion rubles will be allocated for subsidies to veterans, low-income families, and other recipients of benefits. Fifty-four regions will receive funds, but Tatarstan is not among them. However, as Realnoe Vremya found out, Tatarstan beneficiaries will not remain without support. In the near future, the government of the republic will introduce a regional payment of 100 thousand rubles — the same amount will be received by residents of subsidised subjects under federal subsidies from Moscow.
On the other side of the “lucky ones”
Tatarstan did not get into the new federal campaign to subsidise beneficiaries as part of a new tranche of funds under the social gasification of housing programme, which starts across the country soon. For the first time this year, the Russian government allocates 2,3 billion rubles from the federal budget to pay subsidies to recipients of benefits in different regions of the country. This decision was announced by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in early February. The amount of the subsidy will amount to 100 thousand rubles. This amount is intended for the purchase of gas equipment and carrying out contract work inside the house, so bringing gas directly into the house will cost free.
However, not everyone was allowed to share the “gas” tranche, but only 54 of the 89 subjects of the country. Tatarstan found itself on the other side of the “lucky ones”. This means that beneficiaries living in the republic will not have the opportunity to claim a federal payment of 100 thousand rubles.
Information about this was confirmed to Realnoe Vremya in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan (the first regional subsidies passed through them in 2022). The representatives of the department explained this by that there is no need for “gas” subsidies from beneficiaries in the republic. According to representatives of the ministry, last year there were few people willing to connect to gas, and this year there is no queue at all:
“With the start of the social gasification programme in the country in 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Tatarstan adopted Resolution No. 137 of 13 February, 2022, on providing support to those in need of gas supply inside the house. The amount of the subsidy was set at 80 thousand rubles. It was paid from the republican budget. But we did not have so many willing beneficiaries," the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan told Realnoe Vremya.
Without queues: 521 beneficiaries received compensation
“But all those who applied received assistance in full," assured the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan. “Moreover, their monthly incomes were not taken into account — it was enough just to submit an application with a package of documents confirming the ownership of an individual house. Surely all veterans of the Great Patriotic War living in the villages of the republic have already received a subsidy and brought gas into their houses.”
Indeed, Tatarstan beneficiaries did not show much interest in the programme or, as they say, the district councils did not come to “take by storm”. According to the Tatarstan State Committee on Tariffs, 521 beneficiaries, or 0,5% of the total number connected to gas last year, took advantage of this opportunity.
However, there is silence concerning important condition for the provision of the “gas” subsidy. As Realnoe Vremya has already told, Tatarstan beneficiaries could receive 80 thousand rubles not before the start of gas supply, but three months after the completion of work. That is, the family must first pay for the work at its own expense, and then submit documents for reimbursement of expenses incurred. According to representatives of rural municipalities, not all beneficiaries were confident of a refund, so they did not dare to risk family capital.
In total, in the first year of Putin's social gasification programme, 11,4 thousand Tatarstan families took part in it, with a potential demand from 18 thousand households, it follows from the report of the Tatarstan State Committee on Tariffs. Budget expenditures for providing needy beneficiaries last year amounted to 28 million rubles. At the same time, the total cost of the programme amounted to 2,6 billion rubles, reported head of the Tariff Group Alexander Grunichev this January.
A budget rule: help for the poor
However, the true reason for the “cutting off” of Tatarstan lies in something else. As the Ministry of Energy of Russia explained to Realnoe Vremya, only subsidised regions were included in the subsidy programme, which annually receive transfers to equalise budget security. And Tatarstan belongs to the donor regions, so its residents a priori cannot qualify for federal subsidies. The list of subsidised entities is formed by the Ministry of Finance, with its submission the document formed the basis of the decision of the Ministry of Energy. The Federation is sending additional resources of 2,3 billion to assist the regions in need in order to expand the coverage of those connected to gas among the low-income throughout the country.
“The total number of applications for free supply of gas pipelines to the sites is approaching 1 million," said Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin after a government meeting. “Thanks to the work carried out, gas has already come to the homes of hundreds of thousands of families. However, so far it has not been available to everyone due to the rather high cost of the necessary equipment and its connection to gas distribution networks. At the instruction of the head of the state, some categories of citizens will receive additional support. First of all — participants of the Great Patriotic War, veterans of military operations; low-income families and large families.”
According to him, it is important that people know about the possibility of receiving such assistance and “do not face excessive bureaucracy when making payments”.
Who makes money on gasification
The remaining donor regions are preparing to introduce their own subsidies. According to Realnoe Vremya, Prime Minister of Tatarstan Aleksey Pesoshin is signing a draft resolution extending the mechanism of subsidising beneficiaries when laying a gas outlet inside the house. This year, the government of the Republic of Tatarstan is preparing to raise the payment from 80 to 100 thousand rubles, focusing on the federal rate, sources say.
However, the main disagreements around the implementation of the social gasification programme in Tatarstan have not yet been resolved. Their essence boils down to obliging the operator of the programme Gazprom Transgaz Kazan to perform the entire scope of work at a single tariff, and not to impose the services of commercial contractors on residents at free prices, experts say. The government of the republic believes that it is necessary to develop a simple algorithm for concluding an agreement with Gazprom contractors.
As Realnoe Vremya has already told, in January, the head of the Tatarstan State Committee on Tariffs, Alexander Grunichev, admitted that the residents of the republic are scared off by “the rather high cost of connecting inside the land plot”. He proposed to set “the rates uniform throughout the republic”. According to him, the base rate may amount to 31 thousand rubles (excluding project work) when carrying out work on an area of 9 square metres, and taking into account the project — 61 thousand rubles.
Gazprom Transgaz Kazan PLC does not agree with this proposal. As a result, out of 11,4 thousand houses connected to gas distribution networks, the operator itself carried out work to bring gas to 6 thousand houses, the head of the tariff department noted. This means that every second family has paid for gas supply to commercial contractors whose tariffs are higher than those of the programme operator.
It turns out that private traders deftly make money on the programme, which does not suit the regulator. After all, the programme is funded by payments from industrial consumers, who additionally pay a 35% special surcharge to the gas transportation tariff. For example, last year 1,2 billion rubles were allocated for gasification at the expense of a special surcharge (out of the total amount of the 2,6 billion programme), and this year — 1,9 billion rubles (out of 3 billion rubles). Besides, the regulator insists on connecting gas to the house, and not near the house. How the dispute will be resolved this year will be known after the release of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Interestingly, it is precisely this principle — to bring “gas into the house” — that the federal authorities laid down when subsidising beneficiaries. As explained in the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, the federal subsidy of 100 thousand rubles will be immediately transferred to the operator of the programme in the region, and the beneficiary will have to wait for its arrival. They will not receive live money — only “blue fuel” in the house.