Ukrainian Households Face Another Price Hike For Natural Gas In April On Demand By IMF

KIEV, Ukraine -- A senior Ukrainian official says that the nation's households are facing another painful hike in natural gas prices next year as a result of demands by the International Monetary Fund.

Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tigipko said Wednesday that the natural gas price will rise by 50 percent next April.

Ukraine already has increased domestic gas price by 50 percent earlier this month on the IMF's request.

Raising domestic prices for gas was a key IMF condition for last month's approval of a $15 billion loan over 2 1/2 years to help the Ukrainian economy battered by the global financial crisis.

The higher domestic gas prices are intended to encourage energy saving and help raise economic efficiency.

Source: AP