The government approved during yesterday’s meeting the emergency ordinance concerning the reimbursement to transporters of EUR 0.04 from the EUR 0.07 fuel excise, Premier Victor Ponta announced, asking the Finance Ministry and the National Fiscal Administration Agency (ANAF) to come up with a transparent procedure in this sense. The Premier added that the Agriculture Ministry has adopted measures so that in the case of the diesel oil used in the agriculture sector the effect of the extra excise will be “zero.”
The reimbursement to transporters of a part of the extra fuel excise starting on April 1 will generate a shortfall of collected revenues of RON 353 M this year, in line with government’s estimates. Through this year’s budget, which included the revenues forecast from the fuel excise, the government estimated that it would obtain a total of RON 22.8 bn from excises, 15 percent less than last year.
The railroad transporters’ representatives state that they were not consulted about the extra fuel excise of EUR 0.07, and the decision to partially reimburse the tax solely to road transporters is discriminatory and it affects competition on the transportation market. “Likewise, overtures are being made for the reimbursement of RON 1.8 per liter from the value of the excise (as announced by the Agriculture Minister) for the diesel oil used in agriculture. The transportation of freight by railroad has a major impact in the national economy because it is considered a strategic mode of transportation and its permanent marginalization and the lack of financing for the railroad can have unsuspected effects,” a communique issued by the Association of Romanian Railroad Transporters (ATFER) reads.
The association points out that the introduction of the extra fuel excise will significantly affect the prices “of everything that means transportation,” seriously affecting competitiveness in the domain.
“The obvious discrimination between railroad transportation and auto transportation is amplified by the levying of the road toll, which since 2005 has been introduced in the excise for the diesel oil used by railroad transporters’ locomotives. Indirectly, through the payment of this excise, the railroad transportation system has helped build and modernize national highways and roads that are used by its main competitor – auto transportation,” the aforementioned source states.
ATFER representatives point out that railroad transporters were not invited to the meetings held by political decision makers and the representatives of transporters, meetings which focused on lowering the negative impact of this tax. According to the Association, in some European Union countries this tax is reimbursed to or is not levied on railroad transporters, and in the states that encourage environmentally-friendly transportation extra taxes are levied on auto vehicle traffic.
Basescu sends Parliament letter requesting fuel excise is rejected
President Traian Basescu sent on Wednesday a letter to Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea requesting the defeat of the provisions in Government Emergency Ordinance 111/2013 that refer to a new excise duty on fuels, the Presidential Administration informs. He urged the members of Parliament to put the interest of Romanians above the interest of local ‘barons’.
He showed that on Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies decided to send back to the Budget Committee the draft law approving Emergency Government Ordinance no. 111/2013 regulating some fiscal measures and modifying some normative acts, claiming that this fact will lead to a delay in finalising the legislative procedure of this piece of legislation. Basescu mentioned that the introduction of a rise in the fuel duty has major negative impacts both on the population and the business environment, as its effects will be felt in the entire economic chain, through a decrease in consumption, a decrease in the profitability of companies and implicitly a decrease Government’s revenue.
Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea said yesterday that the President has no constitutional prerogatives to demand imperatively that an MP should vote one way or another, after Traian Basescu sent him the letter. He added that he disagrees with the rejection of the ordinance on increasing the excise duty on fuel, because it was discussed with the International Monetary Fund. ‘The President is doing a political game, he is in election campaign, I do not mind that Mr. President is campaigning but increasing the excise duty is a source for the building of motorways,’ said the Chamber’s Speaker. Zgonea explained that the ordinance was sent on Tuesday by the plenum to the Budget Committee but it will be voted on in a week.
Likewise, President Basescu stated before leaving for the EU-Africa Summit that after he returns from Brussels he will hold talks with the IMF about the government’s “erroneous fiscal-budgetary policy” which has failed to generate budget revenues through the 35 new taxes. According to President Basescu, it has been proven that the 35 taxes introduced by the Ponta Government have not generated the expected revenues that were planned in the state budget.