A sale of gas debt collectors: what will happen to ordinary Ukrainians

Продажа газовых долгов коллекторам: что ждет простых украинцев

The Parliament proposed to give at the mercy of the debts of distribution companies (oblgases). Experts called the lobbying initiative, pointing out that attempts to cash a financial dispute between “Naftogaz” and regional gas companies. It is possible that after regional gas collectors start knocking on the doors of ordinary consumers.

In the Parliament registered the draft law No. 9500, through which it will be possible to sell on an electronic platform the debts of the regional gas companies and hassatou before “Naftogaz” and, most importantly, consumers, indebted for the consumed “blue fuel”.

The basis of the changes is the Law “On the stabilization of the financial state of Naftogaz”, which was adopted early in 2015.

The author of the bill, people’s Deputy Tetyana Chornovil, known more for his expressive public actions, in the explanatory note to the document reports the huge debt of distribution companies to “Naftogaz”.

Experts suggest that the authorship of the law in this case nominally, but the real initiators should look for in the offices of the Russian gas monopoly.

“Technically, this bill is consistent with applicable law. But the fact that he is openly lobbying in nature. And this proposal can stand as “Naftogaz” and the subjects that are close to the faction “people’s front”, who lobbied for the appointment of Andriy Kobolyev the Chairman of Board of “Naftogaz”, – says the co-chair of the energy strategies Foundation Dmytro Marunych.

He also reminded that this is not the first attempt to sell the debts of the regional gas companies. In 2014 “Naftogaz of Ukraine” legislatively initiated the legalization of such trades, in which it was possible to obtain the right claim discount up to 70% . But the initiative subsequently failed.

If we talk about the current debt of the regional gas companies, according to “Naftogaz”, it is, no more and no less than about 18.5 billion hryvnia.

Where did this debt? I must say that “Naftogaz” and regional gas distribution companies have different views on the problem of the imbalance (the negative difference between the amount of gas admitted to the network and selected from the participants of commercial accounting). The main reason for off-balance sheet activities are CTV that is constantly slow with the payment. These unpaid unbalance of assessed fines and penalties by paper manipulation is credited with distribution companies. The gas companies themselves don’t recognize more than half of the total debt, accusing Naftogaz in an attempt to impose the scheme.

“We are dealing with a scheme of “Naftogaz”, in which there is an artificial buildup of debt by using accrual of fines and penalties to bring the gas companies to bankruptcy. If we assume that these debts will be resold at a large discount, then the company buys these debts, can then claim ownership of the regional gas companies”, – explains Dmitry Marunich.

In General, the situation around the draft law No. 9500 experts associated with the next round of confrontation between Naftogaz and regional gas companies, which mostly control the company of businessman Dmitry Firtash (up to 70% of the market for gas distribution).

Today “Naftogaz” wants to discredit the gas, to the distribution network were under his influence, the member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute for energy research Yuri Korolchuk.

For example, it is sufficient to remember the recent attack of a company on the regional gas companies in connection huge additional charges in the gas bills of Ukrainians. Although there is not so simple.

With regard to bill No. 9500 in the context of ordinary consumers, the experts admit that the collectors start knocking on the doors of the Ukrainians. But such a scenario is unlikely, despite the fact that the population owes for gas already 26.4 billion hryvnia.

“The fact that we are talking about the debts of “Naftogaz”. To consumers, potential collectors have yet to reach. Moreover, nothing prevents them to do it. The fact that this bill did not pass earlier when it was initiated, Naftogaz, says that the current document is a little chance”, – said Dmitry Marunych.

Political analyst Kirill Molchanov also believes the fate of the bill.

“I think that it will not be adopted by Parliament, as in the room just not enough votes”, – he said.