Although, reducing excise on fuel is not something that the IMF delegation, that is currently in Serbia, sees as a priority, as James Roaf, the head of the mission, confirmed yesterday, the Serbian government is seriously considering reducing these state incursions, without compromising budget stability.
Finance Minister, Sinisa Mali confirmed this yesterday at a press conference, explaining that “the government is considering a possible reduction of fuel excise in order to find the best solution for drivers, and not in response to street protests and demands”.
“The government will talk to the Prime Minister to find the best solution that would meet the needs of our citizens”, Mali said.
Roaf added that the IMF would rather for Serbian government to reduce income and profit tax, thus avoiding to give his explicit support the proposal to reduce fuel excise. However, in November 2015, Roaf was quoted as saying that “now is a good time to increase fuel excise due to the decline in global crude oil prices.” When a Serbian journalist reminded Roaf of this statement, he commented by saying that he “must be growing old” because he “can’t remember ever saying that”.
The proposal that the Association of Petroleum Companies submitted to the Government says that the government could reduce excise on petrol by 1.64 dinars per litre, 2.07 dinars on diesel, and only 0.11 dinars on natural gas, without jeopardizing the state budget. This is how much the state has actually raised value added tax since the beginning of the year, due to the hire basis for its calculation, says Tomislav Mićovic, secretary general of the Association.
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