The business community has urgently requested from the Government of Kosovo the abolition of excise duty on oil for a certain period in order to reduce the price of oil in the Kosovo market. They also required to remove VAT on essential products.
Regarding this, the Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers, Hekuran Murati said that the calls for reduction of the oil excise tax are calls for increasing the profit of traders. According to him, the reduction of VAT or excise in situations when the country is facing inflation, is not necessarily reflected in the reduction of the price to the consumer.
In addition to the request for the abolition of excise duty and reduction of VAT on food products, the President of the Chamber of Doing Busines in Kosovo, Skënder Krasniqi emphasizes that the current fuel prices up to 1.90 euros, are aggravating the lives of citizens and businesses.
“Our request has been and is that the Government of Kosovo urgently removes the excise tax on oil for a while in order to reduce the price of oil, because with this current price, businesses and citizens are suffering a lot. This is affecting the growth of other products due to the turnover and the need that businesses have for oil. This is directly affecting the deterioration of business, but also the deterioration of the situation of citizens. Because the citizens, but also the businesses are unable to face this great crisis”, he emphasizes.
In Murati’s reaction on social networks, it is said that the increase in the price of oil comes as a result of the increase in the price of supply from imports, which is out of their control, but also due to the increase in profit margins by oil traders, especially now when the arrival of the diaspora is expected.
“Therefore, we are working on a decision that sets a ceiling price and maximum profit margin, because in such exceptional situations, it is necessary for the Government to intervene in the market to stabilize prices, which is provided by applicable law. While the calls of the opposition for the Government to reduce VAT or excise on oil or other products, do not serve the interest of citizens. On the contrary, such an action would only increase the profits of traders on the one hand, and limit the state’s ability to support families in need on the other. The reduction of VAT or excise in inflation situations, is not necessarily reflected in the reduction of the price to the consumer “, writes Murati.
The head of the CDBK has also demanded the complete abolition of VAT on essential products and lower this rate to 5 percent for food products.
“Even for this we have asked (for food products) because it is a strange thing what is happening in our government, because despite all this serious situation for rising import prices, rising price of the cost of production of products, the government of Kosovo is not reacting to the situation. We have continuously demanded much greater reaction and support for the businesses, but also for citizens. And the urgent requirement is that the VAT on food from 18 to be decreased to 5 percent and the VAT on essential products to be completely removed for a certain time, for three or 6 months, because the great unemployment is evident in Kosovo. The increase in the prices of electricity, food and oil have greatly endangered the families, the citizens, but also the businesses, because the consumption of the citizens has decreased”, he says.
Krasniqi says that the lack of response from the government so far on excise and VAT is nonsense.
“It is nonsense (the government) is not giving any clarifications, maybe it is a desire of the government to increase the state budget. We are not against the increase of the budget, but the increase of the budget should happen with the increase of production, also with the increase of employment, as well as with the increase of the welfare of the citizens, so not at the expense of the citizens and businesses of Kosovo”, he says .
Krasniqi also says that the government’s pride in increasing revenues and the level of exports does not stand, because the increase in revenues from Customs and TAK are as a result of rising prices and not the increase of domestic production.
During the day, the opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo, has requested from the Government to reflect regarding the increase in fuel prices.
The chairman of LDK, Lumir Abdixhiku wrote that today is 100 days from their first proposal for reduction of excise duty on fuel and reduction of VAT on essential products. According to him, this proposal has been rejected and is being rejected by the arrogant power of Kurti.
” The price of oil this morning marks a new record of 1.90 euros per liter; while headline inflation has reached 13%. In this unprecedented crisis, inaction is a crime. Today, we submit to the Assembly the request for parliamentary debate and our resolution with the same request as 100 days ago. If we acted in time, our unbearableness would be easier, if we don’t act today, tomorow will be even worse”, he wrote.
Whereas, at the request of the LDK PG, a parliamentary debate will be held on June 23 and recommendations will be proposed to mitigate the price increase.
“In order to support Kosovar citizens and families in overcoming the rising prices, LDK asks the Assembly of Kosovo to vote on the following recommendations: To reduce the excise tax and VAT rate for fuel, for three months, with the possibility of continuing measure for another three months, depending on developments in international markets. To expand the list of necessary products with a reduced VAT rate for three months, with the possibility of extending the measure for another three months, depending on developments in international markets “, it is said in the request of LDK.
The abolition of VAT and excise has also been requested by AAK and passenger carriers.
On the other hand, the Association of Oilmen did not give a statement today for KosovaPress regarding the high fuel prices.