19 January 2018, Friday, 0:34

Leanid Zaika: Fuel price growth is how government care about person

Fuel prices should fall instead of rising due to cheap Russian oil.

Leanid Zaika, the head of the analytical centre Strategy, said it to charter97.org.

– Belneftekhim has announced a 5% increase in fuel prices. The company says it was done to “compensate for the negative effect of the fluctuations of the Belarusian ruble's exchange rate against foreign currencies”. Is it really so?

– These explanations are a good case for psychiatrists. It's always funny to read the authorities' arguments for rising prices. Fifty percent of fuel price is taxes. The Ministry of Finance said we have a budget surplus. It means the budget has more income than expenditures. If the budget receives enough taxes, why raise prices of excise goods – cigarettes, alcohol and fuel? Increasing fuel prices is nonsense.

– What about cheap Russian oil that is used to produce fuel?

– Being an associate professor and a dean in the Soviet times, I was able to buy four tonnes of petrol, or 4,000 litres, on my salary. Today, a professor at a Belarusian university can buy only 700 litres on his or her monthly salary. Belarus bought Russian oil at $420-460. The current price is perhaps slightly higher. Fuel prices do not fall due to cheap oil, but continue to grow. The government cares about a person in such a way, and we all know that person. We also should mention the duty for the right to use roads. So we can say that ordinary Belarusians are being robbed, taking into account house price per square metre, fuel prices and road taxes.