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Turkmenistan Braces for More Cost of Living Increases

Life is getting dearer in Turkmenistan.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov last week instructed a deputy prime minister in charge of the domestic energy industry to begin the process of installing gas meters in people’s homes.

Speaking at a government meeting on April 28, Berdymukhamedov cast the measure as a energy-saving provision.

To judge by earlier statements, however, the move appears more likely intended to slash government expenditures and gradually wean the population off the current generous system of subsidies. Turkmen households at the moment receive 600 cubic meters of household gas free of charge every year, as well free electricity and water.

Berdymukhamedov has previously argued that scrapping such handouts would enable Turkmenistan make a transition toward a market-based system.

In April 2016, he said that although all-encompassing benefits had proven vital in the early years of independence, they had now outlived their usefulness.

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Turkmenistan Braces for More Cost of Living Increases

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