The Gazprom gas holding suggests allocating RUR188bn (about $5.90bn) for investment programs in 2003, Gazprom's materials prepared for tomorrow's government meeting, say. This meeting will be devoted to the discussion of a draft of the investment program for the Russian gas industry for 2003 and Gazprom's financial plan for 2003. In its turn, the Russian Economy Ministry considers it possible to allot RUR180bn (about $5.65bn).
Additionally, Gazprom suggests an increase in gas tariffs by 37 percent, while the Federal Energy Commission recommends a 34.4-percent increase and the Economy Ministry - a 20-percent increase. Gazprom's materials state that long-term liabilities demand supporting annual gas production at 530 billion cubic meters. Currently, Russia's gas giant produces 510 to 520 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
In 2003, a number of gas pipelines is to be financed. The Economy Ministry believes that Gazprom executes their construction inefficiently; it is 20 percent more expensive than it should be.