A few days ago on the web a screenshot of the information board allegedly one of the Crimean gas stations flashed. Above the numbers with gas prices is a postscript: "The price is for 0,9 liters." True, it's a Photoshop fake, one can only guess. But users already rushed with a comment - "Lived!"
There is no government for fraudsters yet
A similar practice has long been found in grocery stores, where packaging of 900 grams instead of kilograms has already become the norm. Therefore, this case is very similar to the truth. Moreover, the screenshot was taken from the Vesti program of the state Russian channel.
He recalled today when the media gully spread the advice of Dmitry Gelemurzin, executive director of the Goldman Group holding, on how to monitor the refueling of your car in order to identify gas shortages.
It is unlikely that anyone will take the expert’s advice, because without instrumental control (“by eye”) it’s not at all easy to prove the fact of fraud by a gas station operator. Another thing is that even such experts as the top manager of the Goldman Group holding recognize consumer fraud at gas stations.
Although this is an open secret. Back in November, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the results of the inspection of gas stations in the Central Federal District. “When measuring the loading of 10 liters with an exemplary measuring device,” TASS reports, “with a norm of not more than 25 ml, the actual filling was from 50 to 90 ml.”
The same picture was revealed when using a 50-liter measuring device. Here, with a norm of 125 ml, underfilling was about 200-300 ml. Violations were detected at two thirds of all gas stations inspected by specialists of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The verification did not give much effect. Because negotiable fines for such underfilling of fuel (50-100 thousand rubles) are compensated for a couple of hours of gas station operation. According to the results of its inspections, the Ministry of Industry and Trade entered the government with the initiative to toughen the punishment of gas stations for underfilling fuel.
In the proposed bill, “the penalty for underfilling of fuel will amount to 1% of the proceeds of gas stations for the previous year, but not less than 500 thousand rubles. If the violation is committed again, it will grow to 3%, but not less than 2 million rubles. ”
However, the bill has not yet been given a move. It is expected that the proposals of the Ministry of Industry and Trade will be included in the new Code of Administrative Violations (CAO), which is due to enter into force on January 1, 2021.
Low-quality fuel began to be poured into cars less often
Meanwhile, fines for falsified and low-quality fuel are relatively effective. They began to be used in January 2018, and already in the first year more than 50 million rubles were recovered from violators. Last year, an approximate amount of fines (47 million) was issued only for the first three quarters.
“The average collection amount is 580 thousand rubles,” Rosstandart reports, “the maximum fine is more than 2 million rubles.”
True, there is one "hitch." So far, only 18 million rubles of the accrued 47 have been able to recover from the violators. The remaining amount remains on the accounts of refuellers who challenge fines at the authorities.
Nevertheless, Rosstandart notes the effect of the introduction of new measures: "The total share of falsified and low-quality fuel has decreased, the fuel market is being cleared of unscrupulous participants." Last year (for three quarters) violations were found only at 81 gas stations. Two fines were issued for repeated violations (one of them was paid). In addition to a monetary penalty, gas stations may be suspended for 90 days. This holds back the most zealous refuellers who dilute the fuel for our vehicles.
It should be noted that Russian consumers are still more concerned about the cost of gasoline. This non-transparent cocktail of taxes, excise taxes, costs of oil companies and their own profits is not widely understood. But it’s obvious to everyone: when in 2014 oil prices fell down, the price tags at Russian gas stations did not even budge. Immediately there were gurus from the economy who explained: "So the dollar jumped." Then the dollar went down, and a liter of gasoline - up. There were other gurus who said something from the series: "Sanction pressure makes itself felt, gasoline cannot but respond." It turns out that the "gas secret" is revealed: no matter what happens in the country and the world, gas prices will rise, and there will always be those who "explain" the reason.
As a result, they announce that the government "in manual mode" begins to control. This was the case in 2018. In June, the Federal State Statistics Service reported: the price of gasoline has already decreased in 24 regions - by half a percent percentage. Today decreased by 0,5%, tomorrow increased by 5% ...
However, soon gas stations and the oil business as a whole won back this decline. Consumers accepted high gas prices as inevitable evil and quietly resigned. But the tankers thought this was not enough. Rising gas prices do not cover their appetites. Now they are also cheating with fuel underfilling. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the government decided to restore order at the gas station. They promise to do it in 2021. We will wait again ...