TASHKENT- Uzbekistan will allow local companies to buy electric power and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the open market rather than from state-owned monopolies amid domestic energy shortages, the Central Asian nation's government said on Monday.
Uzbekistan exports natural gas, mostly to China, but it has experienced shortages this winter, prompting cuts to export shipments and discontent among households who struggled to keep themselves warm.
Under a draft presidential decree published on Monday, a state monopoly on supplies of power and LPG to local businesses will be abolished this year, to be replaced by a competitive market in which companies will be able to import those resources.
The move could be a boon to power companies and LPG suppliers in neighbouring countries such as Kazakhstan.
(Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Jason Neely) ((email@example.com; +7 727 2508 500; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))