Council of Ministers considering introducing import tax
11:21, — Economics
The suggestion to introduce another tax for entrepreneurs has already been submitted to the Council of Ministers.
In addition to the state car tax, introduced at the beginning of 2014 for improving roads, another payment may be introduced in Belarus. The purpose of its introduction is solving housing and communal industry’s problems.
The respective suggestion has already been submitted to the Council of Ministers by the chairman of the permanent commission on economic policies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Viktar Valushytski, Ezhednevnik reports.
Considering the fact that the suggestion on the solution of the housing and communal services industry’s problems goes in line with Lukashenka’s demand to put the industry in order, the conclusion offers itself on the coordinated character of different branches of power. Apart from that, the absolute majority of the so called initiative of the public elects, are generated as a rule by completely different institutions in Belarus. This is a commonly known fact. That is exactly why Belarusian business has already started raising the alarm as to the initiative of introduction of the new tax.
Viktar Valushytski spoke with an official suggestion to introduce a municipal sales tax on all imported goods sold in Belarus. The document, submitted to the Council of Ministers, reads that Belarusian parliament members are driven by exclusively noble aims: lower the cost price of goods, produced by Belarusian enterprises, and correspondingly increasing the competitiveness of the goods made in Belarus, as well as the necessity of gradual abandonment of cross-subsidy practice in housing and communal services industry. In this regard the MP suggests to discuss the possibility of introducing a municipal tax on goods produced outside the Customs Union.
The suggestion does not mention the amount of the new tax, but even if the minimal rate is taken for calculations, the outcome is impressive. According to the National Statistics Committee, imports of goods from outside the Customs Union to Belarus account for over 18 billion dollars a year. If even the minimal rate of 5% is introduced, it amounts to 900 million dollars a year. It is barely the matter of such a minimal rate, since at its expense Viktar Valushytski suggests not only to solve the problem of subsidies to the housing and communal services industry, but also to make Belarusian products more competitive compared to the imported, for which 5% is definitely not enough.
The right of introducing the tax and defining its rate is suggested to be given to municipal authorities, which will also define how the funds should be better used in line with the stated purposes.
The permanent commission on economic policies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus impersonated by Viktar Valushytski suggests to use the funds, obtained by the means of the new tax, for covering the housing and communal services subsidies of each specific region that collects the tax. “Thus, these funds could become a source for relieving the cross-subsidy burden for industrial enterprises and putting it on the sales of products from third countries”, - the MP concludes.
As the taxpayers of the new fee Valushytski sees retailers, including individual entrepreneurs. The introduction of the tax, in the opinion of the commission’s chairman, will allow for reducing the deficit of the balance of payment’s current account due to the increased competitiveness of goods made in Belarus as compared to the imported. The budget’s subsidy burden should also go down, as well as the burden of industrial enterprises in terms of cross-subsidies to the housing and communal services industry. This will increase industrial outputs in the country.
Considering the lowered cost price of such goods, the share of their sales, in the MP’s opinion, should increase in total retail sales volume, while all Belarusian goods by far ignored by customers would be able to successfully compete even with their Chinese counterparts.
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