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BUSINESS SHORTS

Ministry: Regulator to remain independent

THE ECONOMY Ministry says that its draft amendment to the Act on the Regulation of Network Industries aims to create more room for public control of the ÚRSO regulatory office.

Ministry spokesman Branislav Zvara said that the amendment does not intend to take away the regulator's independence, but merely to give the public greater insight into how it sets energy prices.

"If it follows the rules, it has no reason to fear," Zvara said.

According to the amendment, the ÚRSO's will be required to submit proposed changes in energy, heating, natural gas, and water prices to the ministry, together with the data that it used in setting the prices. However, Zvara said that ministry's stance will not be binding on the ÚRSO, which will still have exclusive authority to set prices.

Zvara said that the amendment had copied regulatory legislation used in 11 EU countries, and that a similar law was in effect in the Czech Republic.

The revision should take effect as of the beginning of next year.

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