PM Ponta: We’re not sitting idle but the state can’t say “we control fuel prices” either.
Referring to fuel prices, Premier Victor Ponta stated yesterday in Iasi that the authorities “won’t sit idle” because the “necessary instruments” for intervening exist, but the state cannot say “that’s it, we control prices” either, Mediafax informs. “A dialogue with the producers is necessary, as well as fiscal measures that would keep these prices within a normal and controllable limit. I don’t want us to create panic. Fuel became a bit cheaper last week. I heard, and I asked for a report, that prices might grow in the following period, but there are external factors too. The important thing is we’re not just sitting and watching,” PM Ponta added. He also stated that fuel prices vary depending on the exchange rate and that the fuel market registered certain turmoil. “I see that it calmed down now and that’s very good. The turmoil is caused not by what is going on in Romania but about what is going on at European level. The RON/EUR exchange rate was not the only one affected, the exchange rates between the EUR and many other regional currencies were affected,” the Premier added during a press conference. Next year the government will hike the excise tax on diesel oil and cigarettes, a move that will lead to price hikes. The hikes will continue in the following years too, at least in the case of tobacco, a government document shows.According to the timetable already prepared by the government, the excise tax on diesel oil will grow from EUR 374/ton to EUR 391/ton on January 1, 2013. The overall excise tax on cigarettes will grow from EUR 79.19 to EUR 81.78/1,000 cigarettes in July 2013, and will reach EUR 86.96/1,000 cigarettes in July 2015. The excise tax on cigarettes will be hiked this July too, from EUR 76.6 to EUR 79.19/1,000 cigarettes.Former Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu announced at the end of last year that in 2013 Romania has to bring its excise tax on diesel oil to the EU’s minimum level. According to the National Statistic Institute’s (INS) data, the price of tobacco and cigarettes grew by 6.5 per cent last year. In what concerns gasoline, a 55-country Bloomberg survey reveals that Romania is among the states that have the highest gasoline price when compared to purchasing power, being 7th in the world when it comes to the share that the cost of a gallon of gasoline has in daily average income.