Moscow. 28 January 2005. By the evening of 27 January, OAO "Omskenergo" restored power to all schools in the city of Omsk. The power had been disconnected because of the many months' arrears in payments for energy consumed by the Omsk City Administration.
The extreme measure resorted to by the Omsk energy company was due to systematic non-payments by the city administration for the electricity consumed by the organizations financed by the municipal budget. The total debt owed by the city administration was in excess of RUB500 million. Despite the fact that the management of OAO "Omskenergo" made numerous concessions to the city authorities by signing debt restructuring agreements, these agreements were not complied with by the city administration.
The lack of funds due to the non-payments puts in jeopardy the reliable operation of the Omsk energy system. Fuel suppliers demand that the energy company repay the debt, which is now in excess of RUB582 million. The fuel supplies at OAO "Omskenergo" will last for a mere 12 days.
As a result of the city officials being unable to ensure payment of the electricity consumed by schools, it was children who suffered from this critical situation. The bitter irony of the situation is that the city administration pays its "own" electricity bills in full, and even in advance, but they refuse to pay for the electricity consumed by the socially important facilities, although it is their direct responsibility.
In order to restore power to the Omsk schools, the management of OAO "Omskenergo" decided to reallocate the funds received from the city authorities as payment for the electricity consumed by the city administration and use them to cover the expenses of the socially important municipal consumers.
Today, 28 January, a meeting of the Working Group established in order to settle the problem of energy debts owed by the Omsk City Administration was held. An agreement was reached with the city authorities, that the Omsk City Administration will pay RUB50 million to OAO "Omskenergo" in the next few days. Another RUB50 million will be provided by the Omsk Region Administration as a budget commitment to the city administration. These funds will be used solely for the purpose of repayment of the debt owed by the city administration to the energy company.