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NARYN, Kyrgyzstan -- Dozens of people joined a rally by the nongovernmental organization Birimdik (Unity) in the Kyrgyz city of Naryn on November 13 to protest the government's decision to increase the price of utilities as of January 1, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov announced in parliament on November 12 that electricity and heating prices will be 15 times more expensive by the end of 2010.

Kyrgyz citizens currently pay 0.71 soms per kilowatt-hour for electricity (45 soms/$1).

Usenov explained to parliament that the tariffs should be increased according to the government's plan or the country could face an "industrial catastrophe."

Average monthly salary in Kyrgyzstan is roughly $40-$50.
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