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Tariffs of "Russian Post" can be freezed

Freezing of tariffs in 2014 proposed by the Government for the subjects of natural monopolies may affect not only the energy and railway workers, but also communicators - particularly "Rostelecom" and "Russian Post". According to calculations by the Federal Tariff Service (FTS), the proposed measures to stimulate the economy will lead to an increase of losses of "Post", reducing its economic stability, putting at risk of non-payment of loans, as well as will  slow down the growth of postmen wages. For the "Rostelecom" denial of indexation will be less critical.

On September 6  the Head of the Federal Tariff Service Sergei Novikov sent the estimates the variant of the socio-economic development of Russia in 2014 and the planning period of 2015 and 2016 to Ministry of Economic Development, the freezing of tariffs next year. The document was prepared in accordance with the request of Dmitry Medvedev on September 4, which was addressed not only to the relevant ministries and departments, but also to "Gazprom" and the Russian Railways, and "Rossetti."

Meanwhile, according to the letter of Mr. Novikov, FTS conducted an analysis of the effects of freezing tariffs and monopolies in the telecommunications industry - "Rostelecom" and "Mail of Russia". These measures will be considered at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

FTS regulates rates for one of the "Russian Post" services by sending domestic written correspondence (post cards, letters, packages, etc.). In 2012 this service has brought a loss to the company for 2.58 billion rubles. This year, the tariff of "Post" on the shipment of such correspondence has grown by 9.2%, whereas it has requested an increase rate of 13.8%.

However, the loss of FSUE from providing this service still remains and according to FTS and FSUE, due to lower shipment volumes of letters in 2013 is estimated will reach up to 2.8 billion rubles. Total operating loss of FSUE is expected to reach 6.1 billion rubles. If you do not index the postal tariffs in 2014, the loss of this service may grow up to 4.6 billion rubles., the entire enterprise - to 8.3 billion rubles., as is said in the letter of FTS  head.

Freezing rate for "Russian Post" will reduce the economic stability of FSUE, the absence of a source of funds needed to upgrade the fleet, replacing postal vans, implementation of modern IT-systems, reconstruction of post offices and capital construction, points Sergei Novikov. Furthermore, it may lead to the risk of non-payment of loans.

On December 31, 2012 the amount of loans of FSUE was 22 billion rubles. Finally, the rejection of indexation for "Post" adversely affect the growth of wages of about 350 thousand employees. In 2012, the average pay there was 15.3 thousand rubles per month, or 58% of the average wage. Without indexation in 2014 it will increase to 18 thousand rubles., But it will be only 54.4% of the national average. The press service of "Russian Post" refused to comment yesterday.

"Rostelecom" has three services with regulated tariffs, the two of them unprofitable. Freezing rates for service connection for on-air terrestrial broadcasting will result in a loss of 723 million rubles in 2014. If you do not index the tariff for the transfer of local telegrams, then in 2014 it will amount to a loss of 980 million rubles. As a result of "Rostelecom" will offset these costs through non-regulated services, said Sergei Novikov.

The services of local and intra-communication in 2013 with the 5.4 per cent growth rate, "Rostelecom" has to get 10.7 billion rubles. Freezing rate will lead to a decrease in revenues of 2.4 billion rubles, says the head of the Federal Tariff Service. To compensate for the lost income the company has long been developing broadband services, pay-TV services and cloud-based technology, the share of which in total revenue year-on-year increases, assured the press service of "Rostelecom".

In the event of a decision to freeze rates in communication a federal law would be required, adds the head of the Federal Tariff Service. Arguments of the service were taken into account by Minister Alexei Ulyukaev in his concluding letter sent last week to Dmitry Medvedev, the "Ъ" source said, in the Ministry of Economic Development. The press service of the Ministry claim that "nulling indexation of regulated tariffs in the telecom market is not expected".  A final decision has not been made, objects the source of "Ъ" in the government.