The law No.3508 got support from 301 Ukrainian MPs. In the follow-up vote 267 of them also said ‘yes’ to shorter markup phase for its second reading.
The policy adresses the pressing issue of amassed debts for gas consumption, its redistribution and transporting fees.
Yevhen Pyvovarov, ‘Servant of the People’ MP who was behind this legislative initiative, says it will help to ease the debt burdern ahead of the upcoming heating season.
‘For now, households’ debts on gas bills stand at 27 billion hryvnas wiht local gas and heat suppliers currently owing Naftogaz 47 billion hryvnas in fees and 8 billions in penalties. This law will help settle the financial commitments,’ said Pyvovarov.
The law proposes to
- clear penalties on late fees and debts that came after May 1,2020
- allow local heat operators 5 years’ term for restructuring of the incurred debts
- ban penalties by local heat suppliers for households running debts on gas bills
The policy offers to allocate budget funds to settle such debts, introduce debt relief schemes, and write off debt penalties and late fees’ dues.
The law has drawn criticism from the MPs over the norm that proposes ‘to write off debts of regional gas distributors’ – most of which are allegedly owned by the notorious oligarch Dmytro Firtash.