A new draft Law on Excise Duties in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is being prepared. Amendments to the draft Law on Excise Duties seek to meet the directives of the European Union (EU), according to which new excise products such as electricity, solid fuels, gas, and heating oil will need to be defined. It was researched whether this will affect electricity prices and which categories of the population?
As economic experts warn, the Pre-Draft Law on Excise Duties in BiH plans to introduce new excise products, such as electricity, which will directly affect entrepreneurs.
“The downside of the Pre-Draft is that the introduction of electricity as an excise good, actually only for the economy, most of the economy, and not for a certain part of economic entities, however, this will be an exceptional blow to the BiH economy in terms of a further increase in electricity prices,” said Admir Cavalic, an economic analyst.
This will not apply to natural persons, but represents a direct blow to businessmen, told Cavalic, which will also indirectly affect households, since the growth of production costs will lead to a higher price of products and an increase in the cost of living. An additional problem, as entrepreneurs say, is that it is not known whether the collected excise funds will be directed in a dedicated way through the new law.
“So far, all excises in BiH have been made in order to fill budget holes or to return loans taken by the state. Considering that the state is planning 3.5 billion marks of loans this year and in 2022, new sources are needed from which they will be able to return it, ” stated Ejub Kucuk, ”Voice of small businesses.”
The Indirect Taxation Authority of BiH (UNOBiH) says that it will only work with experts from Austria and Croatia in September on the draft of the new Law on Excise Duties so that it would be harmonized with the criteria of the EU.
“Only after the drafting of the Law on Excise Duties, it will start the procedure of adoption first through the Steering Board of the UNOBiH Administration, then the Council of Ministers of BiH, and the Parliament of BiH. In the adoption process, the ruling political structure will determine which excise products are and what excise rates will be in the new excise law, ” said Ratko Kovacevic, head of the UNOBiH Communications Department.
Entrepreneurial associations warn that if the new Law on Excise Duties does not offer a clear purpose for where these funds will be spent, then, as they say, its only goal is to take as much money as possible from businessmen and citizens’ pockets, to continue maintaining a huge and inefficient state apparatus, BHRT reports.