Tax evasion reaches nearly half the grain transactions market, finds a report of the Competition Council (CC), quoted by the Romania Libera daily. According to the same source, the market of meat products comes second. Meanwhile, the organizations of law-abiding companies in the sector accuse the political implications of the evasion. A CC report made public at the end of last year finds out that, in the wheat trade alone, “the transactions that did not make the subject of taxation, for which neither VAT, nor other form of tax has been paid, account for 40 pc of the Romanian market.” “This results in significant losses to the state budget and creates a competition disadvantage to lawful (market) participants,” reads the document. The data unveiled by the Competition watchdog are confirmed by Daniela Giurca, general director in the Agriculture Ministry. “The highest degree of evasion is in the grain sector, followed by meat distribution. This is deals a strong blow to the budget,” Giurca said, without giving concrete figures. The president of the Rompan Milling and Bakery Union, Aurel Popescu explained that, according to a research made by agricultural experts, the grain market amounts to EUR 1 bln a year, with no tax being paid for 50 pc of transactions, “and the percentage reaches 60 pc in the meat industry.” In his turn, Sorin Minea, the president of the Romanian Meat Association, explained that “underground” transactions in the meat industry are reaching EUR 4 bln a year.