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Utility firms to merge; Lázár to take charge

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The government plans to roll the state-owned electricity, gas and district-heating companies into a single, non-profit holding company, origo.hu reported yesterday. The head of the Prime Minister’s Office, a position currently held by János Lázár, will exercise ownership rights and regulatory powers over the utility company.

The government has tasked a working group with preparing the merger. The justice, development, and interior ministers as well as the president of the Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulation Office (MEKH) will participate in the working group, which must submit a proposal for the necessary legal changes by Sept. 15, according to a decree, origo.hu said. The government set up the working group to prepare for non-profit public services through an earlier resolution published on August 15. According to that decree, the government seeks to ensure cheap and sustainable public utility services.

This is the latest stage in government streamlining of the utilities sector. Recently, the state-owned energy company MVM bought a minority stake in gas distributor Főgáz from German utilities company RWE.


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