Special tax on revenues from liberalization of energy price, in effect in Jan 2013

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The Government will adopt in January 2013 a special tax on the revenues of those who exploit natural gas and produce power, revenues derived from the liberalization of the energy price, said secretary of state in the Ministry of Finance Liviu Voinea.

He explained that a liberalization of prices for gas and power will pose problems to vulnerable consumers and the Government, with the IMF agreement, will implement a special tax only for extraction and production, not to be levied on the distributors, but on the power producers.

„Such special tax on extra revenues does not lead to higher prices but compensates the price increase. The money collected from those companies which might get revenues for which they did not do any new investments, did not make any extra efforts, but only benefit from the higher prices, from liberalization,” said Voinea.

He added that a large chuck of that extra revenue, the percentage being still negotiated, „will be large in size and will return to the budget for direct subsidies for the vulnerable consumers.”

According to the Eurostat definition, quoted by Voinea, the vulnerable consumer of energy is the one who cannot afford a minimum thermal comfort permanently. The secretary of state with the Ministry of Finance claims that their percentage in Romania was more than 30 percent a couple of years ago, according to Eurostat calculations.

„We will see how many are there at the end of this year. They must be identified individually and the extra money collected from these companies will be directed to the vulnerable consumers,” said Voinea.

He stressed that the Romanian state will levy this tax following consultations with companies which were briefed about the principles behind this tax and which are in agreement with the IMF and the European Commission and the technical assistance of the World Bank who sends us a group of fiscal experts to conclude the calculation formula for this tax.

Liviu Voinea claims that the law for this tax will pass this autumn and the reference price will be historic, „so as not to motivate companies to increase prices before this tax comes into force.”

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