Belarusian government is planning to increase five times excise tax on alcohol and cigarettes in 2012, according to Interfax news agency’s source in the cabinet circles.
According to Inetrax’s informer, the reason behind such move is the inflation growth, which based on Belarusian government’s prognosis will amount to 40% this year.
Increase of excise tax is supposed to ensure that revenues stay at the current level. Another goal is to close the gap between excise tax in Belarus and Russia. The informer told Interfax that in Belarus there is “abnormal situation, because a bottle of vodka costs $2, beer is cheaper than ice cream, and a bottle of cheap wine costs less than a bottle of mineral water”. After the excise tax increase, prices in Belarus and Russia should be the same.
The change is excise tax is also a part of the Custom Union policy. Russia proposed that member countries equated their excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes with average European level.