YEREVAN (ARKA) — The Armenian government has selected Deloitte & Touche company to find out whether a decision by Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to allow Armenia’s national power distribution company to raise electricity price was economically justified or resulted from alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Deputy prime minister Vache Gabrielian said the government had invited the best five international companies to take part in a tender that was announced for choosing a company to conduct the audit of the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA). He said two firms – McKinsey and Deloitte & Touche responded. Deloitte & Touche was chosen because of offering the lower price for the service.

According to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian, the results of the audit will provide answers to many questions which interest both the government and the public at large.

The accord to commission the audit of the company was reached on June 26 during Armenian president Serzh Sarkisian’s meeting in Yerevan with Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov, the Russian co-chairman of the joint Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.  The next day Sarkisian said the government will keep electricity prices unchanged for consumers by subsidizing their increased cost at least until the release of findings of the audit.

Earlier Serzh Sarkisian said the audit will find out whether the price hike approved by state regulators was economically justified or resulted from alleged corruption and mismanagement in the ENA.

The Public Services Regulatory Commission’s decision on June 17 to increase the electricity price for consumers by 6.93 drams (16.7%) sparked a vigorous public backlash forcing Armenian citizens to take to streets in a protest against the increase.

 

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