ASHGABAT (TCA) — Provision of free electricity, gas, drinking water and table salt to the population of Turkmenistan will be abolished starting from 1 January 2019. The relevant resolution has been signed by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported with reference to the state information agency TDH.
According to the state information agency, the proposal to abolish the benefits was put forward by participants of the Halk Maslahaty (People’s Council), the supreme representative body of Turkmenistan.
The decision was made with a view of “further development of free market relations in Turkmenistan’s economy”. In his address to the Halk Maslahaty, the head of state had previously stated that “in the meantime the residents’ income have considerably increased and wide opportunities to earn a living have been created for each household”.
Energy-rich Turkmenistan has been experiencing an economic downturn caused by decreasing hard-currency revenues from the export of the country’s main export commodity — natural gas.
At the same time, speaking during a meeting of Halk Maslahaty on September 25, President Berdymuhamedov emphasized that the development of the oil and gas sphere was one of the key areas of the economic growth in the years of independence, State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported.
The President focused on the development of new industries that ensure the diversification of export potential as well as the multidirectional pipeline supply network as an objective of the energy strategy of Turkmenistan.
Large-scale investment projects implemented in recent years, in particular, the construction of the new gas pipelines to China and Iran, as well as the ongoing construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, can be considered as Turkmenistan’s contribution to the development of the international energy cooperation, the president said.