in the USSR, state-planned prices, according to which communications enterprises provide services to various consumers for the delivery of letters, telegrams, and packages and the placing of long-distance telephone calls. Several communications enterprises usually participate in the delivery of messages. Therefore, the income received by individual enterprises according to established tariffs expresses in monetary terms the production costs of all the participating enterprises.
Communications tariffs are established and differentiated on the basis of the principles of socialist pricing. The economic basis of communications tariffs is the cost of the communications services. Regardless of the type of consumer—whether the general population or enterprises engaged in material production —communications tariffs include two elements: prime cost and profit. At the same time, tariffs fulfill the function of retail prices with regard to the general population, and they act as wholesale prices with regard to consumers in sectors of the national economy.
The current system of communications tariffs for all branches of communications (postal, telegraph, and other communications) includes more than 300 rates. In the differentiation of tariffs, various factors affecting the prime cost of various types of communication are taken into account; such factors include distance, duration, speed, and the weight of packages. There are also reduced communications tariffs, for example, for long-distance telephone calls at particular times of day and for congratulatory telegrams submitted in advance.
Communications tariffs are established by the Ministry of Communications of the USSR and are approved by the State Committee on Prices of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Aggregates that take into account the significant differentiation of communications tariffs are used in income planning. They represent the average income rate, that is, the average income from one transmission or delivery.
REFERENCESFinansy predpriiatii i otraslei khoziaistva, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1973.
Ekonomika sviazi, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.
O. S. SRAPIONOV