bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 25.11.2017 | Name days: Kadrija, Kate, Katrīna, Trīne

Haim Kogan: fuel excise tax increase will hit the country’s economy

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Fuel excise tax must not be increased, such action would hit the entire country’s economy, said Lukoil Baltija R Deputy Chairman Haim Kogan in an interview to the business news portal BNN.

Lukoil Baltija R Deputy Chairman Haim Kogan

He also reveals Lukoil is considering options to take part in a tender for fuel reserves storage and that the company is not participating in negotiations on Mažeiķu nafta refinery acquisition. He says Lukoil has already paid 50 million lats in taxes this year.

Winter is coming and they say it is going to be both cold and severe due to increased heating tariffs. What can fuel traders expect?

It is difficult to forecast, but we are ready for winter. Arctic diesel is already here and as soon as the temperature at nights drops below zero, we will start selling it at Lukoil gas stations. I do not think this winter will bring surprises to the fuel market. I should note, though, that I am sure only about Lukoil, I will not judge about other fuel traders. We are ready for winter.

Harsh economic circumstances have taught Latvians to save. What about Latvian fuel traders?

I must say tendencies suggest something else, if we compare Lukoil fuel sales volumes of this September and the last year’s, they have increased by 20%. The fact that people buy more means they have more money than a year ago. Diesel consumption has grown the most, though. People have started to operate trucks, construction works have resumed as well. I believe this signals economic growth, transit increases and there is more cargo transported.

Latvian bio fuel producers propose introducing 5% instead of 7% bio blend into fuel, how do you evaluate this proposal?

I do not think this will happen in near future. We will see. It is clear rapeseed oil producers are lobbying their interests, as there is no considerable demand for their production, but I do not consider this additional 2% will help them. The rest of the Europe does not buy rapeseed oil as much as before either.

Considering the fact there are cars whose documentation sets bio blend into fuel cannot exceed 5%, will the additional 2% harm the vehicles?

I know that the latest Volkswagen cars are taken off the guarantee if they use fuel of even 2% bio blend. But otherwise cars do not feel this 5% considerably, especially cars equipped with gasoline engines. If the blend is increased to 7%, I would not suggest pouring it into new cars. I think people should be given choice, they cannot be pressed to pour fuel of 7% bio blend only. They have to be offered also fuel without blends, even though it is more expensive. They have to have options after all.

A tender on fuel reserves storage has been announced in Latvia, is Lukoil interested to take part and why?

We are still considering this. The funds attributed to the storage are not big. Participation in the tender can take place only if we are convinced it will bring profit. The very process is not simple, the state finances only the storage, the fuel has to be purchased and transported until the storage site ourselves. We are interested only if it is profitable.

One of the main Latvian fuel sources – Mažeiķu nafta – has suffered serious losses, its owner PKN Orlen is searching for buyers of the refinery, Poland invites Lithuania to involve in the company’s recovery. What future do you see for the company?

Currently Mažeiķu nafta is facing considerable difficulties. The margin is negative not only for Mažeiķi, but for all refineries. Mažeiķi is an old refinery, almost all if it will have to be modernized. They still have problems with oil transit ways, oil is supplied only with tank ships, which is expensive and creates unnecessary costs. The closed oil pipe from Russia is damaged, maybe this is the reason why they are seeking for a prosperous Russian company, so that it could fix the pipe ensuring oil supply. As far as I am concerned Poles ask an excessive sum of money for the refinery – 3 million. Such price is not even near the current value of the refinery. Lukoil is not participating in negotiations on Mažeiķi refinery acquisition.

If PKN Orlen does not succeed in selling the refinery or finding investors in near two to three years, could it be shut down?

If there are some collisions in the refinery – for sure. Otherwise I do not consider clever to manage a refinery suffering losses all the time. If I am not mistaken, Poland owns the refinery. Why should Lithuania invest its money? If it is 100% Poland’s property, their government should solve the problem themselves. It is not that Lithuania does not have any problems at all, they do not have spare money; moreover they have to build a nuclear plant. I do not believe they will invest tax payers’ money in Mažeiķi refinery, although it is the biggest tax payer in Lithuania.

What are the most urgent tasks the new government should accomplish concerning the Latvian fuel market?

I do not think significant changes are necessary. Fuel market secures great tax income, for example, Lukoil has already paid 50 million lats in taxes this year; it is clear that also other fuel traders pay a lot in taxes. Why should a hen laying golden eggs be subject to considerable changes? If the government plans reviewing taxes, they should by no means touch the fuel excise tax. Such action would hit the whole country’s economy, because along with fuel price increase, prices of other consumption products would go up as well. I assert the excise tax should remain flat. The state should not forget the most important thing –  people; people undergoing difficult times, pensioners, large families and people with disabilities should be their first concern. This is what the state should think about, not the fuel market changes, because those who can afford pouring fuel in their cars – are more or less financially stable.


Leave a reply

Saeima member proposes finally arresting Aivars Lembergs

During debates regarding proposals for the next year’s budget, Saeima member Artuss Kaimiņš from KPV LV political party suggested finally putting Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is currently suspended from his many posts.

Svarenieks: there could be a deficit of certain vegetables in spring

Cold and damp weather that has negatively affected the vegetable harvest in Latvia, will also affect the vegetable processing sector in spring because of a deficit of certain vegetables, says vegetable and fruit processing company Kronis board member Aivars Svarenieks.

Social protection expenditure in Latvia up 4.2%

In 2016, social protection expenditure in Latvia accounted for EUR 3.7 million and, compared to 2015, it has grown by EUR 151 million or 4.2 %.

Latvian parties took part in sports games organized by scandalous Russian politician

On Lāčplēsis Day, 11 November, certain members of the Saeima from Harmony party and Union of Greens and Farmers participated in sports games organized by Jaunā līga association supported by the Russian parliament. The initiator of those games is Dmitry Svistsev, a member of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party led by scandalous Russian State Duma politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Latvijas Avīze writes.

Famous Lithuanian film director suffers backlash amid sexual misconduct accusations

Although the list of powerful Lithuanian men accused of sexual misconduct is nowhere to match the similar compilation in the United States, where many women have busted an army of entertainment industry big-names, politicians and other public life celebs, however, the wave of woman revelations of men’s unwanted sexual advancement has reached Lithuania, too.

LEC: it is important to ensure efficient investing of state budget finances

It is important that the state budget for 2018 helps reach goals detailed in the National Development Plan, not look for excuses why something was not achieved, says Latvian Employers’ Confederation.

Latvian barometer: Zemgale’s residents are the proudest of living in Latvia

With Latvia’s centenary coming up, Baltic International Bank organized Latvian barometer to determine Latvian residents’ opinions on festivities associated with this event, as well as Latvia’s accomplishments and factors the country should improve.

Ašeradens: the state budget should contribute to changes in national economy

The state budget should contribute to changes in Latvia’s national economy. This is why it is necessary to ensure that Economy Ministry recognizes efforts to increase productivity of the national economy, export growth, attraction of investments, innovations and business environment development as priorities in the process for the formation of the next three-year state budget, says Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Belgian waffle factory fire closes schools in Brussels

A large fire has destroyed a waffle factory in Brussels, making a cloud of black smoke over a part of the European Union's unofficial capital.

Facebook to inform users, who liked secretly Russian-made political pages

The popular social network has undertaken in the U.S. to notify its users if they have given a thumb-up to Facebook pages, which around the time of the last U.S. presidential election have been set up by foreign actors with the aim of spreading propaganda.

Officials: a safe Europe is important for Latvia

Latvia is interested in a safe and strong Europe. Security is one of the most important priorities. Looking at modern-day challenges and technological development, cyber-security’s role only keeps increasing, said chairperson of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Čigāne after a meeting.

Weather to remain volatile in Latvia; air temperature to drop again next week

No major changes are expected for weather in Latvia in the coming days. Friday, 24 November, will be cloudy and rainy. Air temperature will range within +2° C… +7° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Pūce: RS is fortunate that «good uncle» Ušakovs gives as much money as needed

«Rīgas satiksme is a jar with an empty bottom in which Riga’s taxpayer money is put in from one end and the money put in it falls out of the other end and is used in different fraud schemes like nano-water, and the useless hydrogen-powered transport project – enormous and financially unreasonable projects....

Saeima approves next year’s budget; more funding for health and defence

On Thursday, 23 November, the Saeima approved Latvia’s budget for 2018. Next year’s budget revenue is planned at EUR 8.75 billion, whereas expenditures are planned at EUR 8.95 billion. The largest increase of funding is planned for healthcare. Latvia’s defence budget is set to reach 2% of GDP

Ķuzis: 94% of sex crimes against children are committed by people they know

Approximately half of sex crimes committed against minors take place on the internet, said Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis at a press-conference on protection of children against sexual violence.

European Parliament approves use of EU Solidarity Fund’s advance payments

European Parliament’s Budget Committee has approved MEP Inese Vaidere’s submitted report on the use of advance payments from the EU Solidarity Fund in 2018, as reported by European People’s Party group Latvian press and communication advisor Ģirts Salmgriezis.

Authorities unmask illegal trade of products made from protected animals

Nature Protection Office and State Police have stepped up their efforts to increase control over trade of products made from endangered and protected species in the past month. Authorities have already confiscated different goods made from animals protected in Latvia and the world.

Swedbank survey: youngsters want stability; belief in Latvian labour market grows

Stability and income predictability are two of the most important values for Latvian youngsters when planning their future jobs. According to a survey performed by Swedbank, 53% of youngsters would gladly start working in an existing company.

Myanmar and Bangladesh to sigh refugee return agreement

In South-Eastern Asia, Myanmar plans to sign an agreement with neighbouring Bangladesh on the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who have fled to the latter, while rights organisations point to atrocities committed by Myanmar's military.

Polish shipbuilder accused of bribing Port of Tallinn management

A senior executive of Remontowa Shipbuilding, a Polish shipbuilding company, is facing accusations of handing large bribes to former senior figures Port of Tallinn, the Estonian state-owned port operator.

Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed head of Saeima’s National Security Committee

Unity member Inese Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed as the new head of Saeima’s National Security Committee, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Expert: real estate transaction volume this year may reach 100 million euros

The volume of commercial real estate transactions in Baltic States may exceed EUR 1 billion. Latvia, meanwhile, remains behind its neighbouring countries because the volume of transactions in the country may reach EUR 100 million, says CEO of Colliers International Deniss Kairāns.

Finnish medication prescriptions to be valid in Estonia

In Estonia, Finland's digital prescriptions of medications will be valid from summer 2018 and vice versa – from around mid-2019.

Talks commence on restoring ferry traffic between Ventspils and Saaremaa

On Wednesday, 22 November, a delegation from Saaremaa municipality arrived at Vetnspils Freeport to discuss with representatives of Ventspils municipality and freeport the proposal to restore ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Ventspils.

Family of killed Maltese journalist take police to court

The family of the killed Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has sued police believing that it does not perform an impartial investigation.

Most read

Most commented

Newest comments