VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government on Thursday did not support a proposal by a group of MPs to apply the same electricity and gas tariffs to religious communities as to household consumers.
The government's opinion on the proposed draft amendments to the Law on Electricity and the Law on Natural Gas will now be submitted to the parliament.
The amendments would allow charging religious communities and associations purchasing electricity for the needs of their members and religious facilities the same electricity and gas tariffs as household consumers.
The initiators say the aim is to reduce electricity and gas costs for religious communities and associations, which are not eligible for any electricity tariff concessions under the existing law.
The Energy Ministry says, however, that the proposed amendments are broad and vague in their application, and the needs of religious communities and associations are not clearly defined.
The government is already subsidizing electricity prices for businesses and other non-household consumers, covering half of the price above 24 euro cents per kilowatt-hour in October through December and above 28 cents in January through March.
The ministry also says that religious communities and associations cannot be treated the same as natural persons, that is, household consumers who purchase gas for personal, family or household use.