Prices at gas stations crawling up is not the first month. Mark in 40 rubles per liter, they have already stepped across the country, now the average price of a liter of AI-95 is about 42 rubles. The increase is close to 10 percent, ahead of the official inflation rate, although for some reason they don’t want to admit it to the financial departments. However, the threat that, following fuel prices, all other prices will go up, becomes more real.
No one is surprised that the rise in fuel prices in Russia is traditionally explained to us by the increase in world oil prices. As you know, for the first time since 2014, they have overstepped the psychological threshold in 80 dollars per barrel. Not everyone, by the way, understands why, with a strengthening ruble, we definitely have to get into the load and rising prices for gasoline.
At the federal level, the head of the antimonopoly service, Igor Artemyev, most clearly formulated the problem. According to him, the rise in oil prices may lead to higher gasoline prices above inflation. But Artemyev has not gone further than this. But he immediately called the reduction in excise taxes an absolutely necessary measure.
According to him, the situation can be corrected, for example, by introducing a system of "floating" excise taxes. Such a system, according to the head of the FAS, is good precisely for its flexibility, when, after oil prices on the world market reach a certain level, the collection can be reduced already twice a year. Domestic fuel prices will stabilize due to this measure, Mr. Artemyev noted, adding that the agency entrusted to him has already sent this proposal to the Ministry of Finance.
At the same time, the Ministry of Finance still prefers to count mostly. As they say, debit with credit. Thus, according to the head of the financial department and first vice-premier Anton Siluanov, the Russian treasury will lose on the reduction of 140 excise taxes in billions of rubles.
Apparently, the official speaks of losses only in 2018 year. It’s difficult to judge whether it’s a lot or a little, because the budget is just rubber, and when I really wanted to, it was sequestered by spending, and now, when there is a real prospect of a surplus, they are cutting back on income.
Anton Siluanov did not say that he considers this step to be wrong, although it is his department that is great at cutting wings. But only he is not entitled to say a strict "no" to any request of deputies or federal departments. No, not about financial support, but at least about the timely fulfillment of budget commitments.
After all, as we had with it, it remains so: if something from the Ministry of Finance is given, then by all means at the last moment, when instead of normal subsidizing and crediting, we are talking about pushing the funds. Do not have time to spend - wait for the next fiscal year, a drastic reduction. And in means, and, as a result, in inquiries and prospects. This practice in Russia, especially in the outback, alas, is still the norm. Except, of course, for such significant projects as the Crimean Bridge or the World Football Championship.
The speed of the decision with excise taxes is explicable, and everyone, even people who have spent more than a few months, and years in the Duma offices, understand that not only people, but also many enterprises that have high transportation costs will benefit from gasoline prices. In addition, by stopping the rise in gasoline prices, you can pause, and with the best scenario, inflation as a whole can be completely nullified.
However, the vice-premier didn’t just count up his 140 billions in losses from new excises along with losses from VAT. And at the same time, he really seriously complained only that losses and regions would suffer. That, according to his testimony, is our reality, that is, the existing system of distributing the same VAT and excise revenues between the center and the regions.
In this regard, Siluanov tried to please precisely the regions: “along with the proposal to reduce excise taxes, a proposal will be submitted to the Budget Code to change the proportions of excise tax payments between the Federation and the subjects so that the regions will not suffer”.
But it is possible that, following positive measures, with the suggestion of the same Ministry of Finance, a measure may follow, which can simply kill all this positive. As soon as we talked about the need to reduce gasoline excise taxes in order to avoid uncontrolled growth, rumors about fuel supply quotas went not only for sowing or northern deliveries, but also for a number of other projects and tasks that are not amenable to any accounting and control. The reason is quite predictable shortage of cheapening fuel in a number of the very regions for the welfare of which Anton Siluanov is so worried.
It seems that the lion’s share of gasoline, be it expensive or cheap, someone upstairs, it is possible that in the Ministry of Finance will soon be completely Soviet-style “to paint” on its own. By ministries and departments, by companies and state corporations. I do not even want to write about the potential for corruption and the possible consequences of such a measure.
Nevertheless, it is already known from open sources that the excise tax per ton of gasoline is reduced by 3700 rubles, and per ton of diesel fuel - by 2700 rubles. To recalculate per liters, it would seem easier than ever. And it seems that we are talking about a fall in prices immediately, not on a penny, but in rubles. But believe in this, I'm sorry, with difficulty.
Rather, you will believe that numerous gas stations will start to close immediately in the country due to the fuel shortage. And it will be explained to us, among other things, by the fact that, they say, prices are falling and demand is growing. And it is growing at a frantic pace, as if motorists are pouring not liters of 30-40 at a time into tanks, but a ton or even two.