Prices have surged for funeral services offered by Ritual, the government agency with a monopoly on Moscow cremations and burial services, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.
Funeral costs will now be subject to seasonal fluctuations, with the winter burials of adults being the priciest at 10,880 rubles ($201) each, Kommersant reported, citing a new price list that took effect at the start of this month. Previously, the cost was 9,070 rubles year-round.
The cost of burying teens between the ages of 14 and 16 soared from 100 rubles to 1,200 at the start of June, Kommersant reported. Previously, the cost had been 100 rubles for all minors, up to the age of 16.
Cremations, which used to range between 150 rubles (for children and teens) to 3,400 rubles for adults, now range between 900 and 4,300 rubles.
Ritual is currently about 450 million rubles (about $8.3 million) in debt, according to the report. A city official denied, however, that Ritual's price hikes are likely associated with this debt. “The debt is manageable. It consists of the obvious expenses of the organization, typical of all enterprises,” Moscow's Department of Trade and Services told Kommersant.
According to the newspaper, Ritual holds a monopoly on the funeral business in the Russian capital, with players across the market ordering services through it.