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Kazakhstan ranked 36th by petrol prices affordability

24 march 2013, 18:20
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©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
An average Kazakhstan citizen can buy only 793 liters of petrol for his monthly salary, compared to Qatar where the average salary is enough to buy 8 times more fuel, Japan (2 times) and Russia (1.5 times), Tengrinews.kz reports citing the analysis of petrol prices affordability in different countries made by KazPotrebNadzor.

According to the study, Qatar number one in the rating. An average citizen of this country can buy around 6,500 liters of petrol for his salary. The second place belongs to the United States where an average salary is enough to buy 3,586 liters of petrol despite of the high petrol prices ($0.91 per liter). It is followed by Bahrain (3,275 liters) thanks to the low petrol prices ($0.28 per liter).

Kazakhstan is ranked 36th, while Russia is 12th in the list. Tajikistan has the least affordable petrol prices: one liter of petrol costs $1.35. A citizen of this country can buy only 168 liters of petrol for the monthly salary.

Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Ministry has several times called to make petrol prices in Kazakhstan and Russia equal. Meanwhile, KazPotrebNadzor believes that the Ministry is not considering the petrol affordability factor. An average Russian citizen can use his monthly salary to purchase 1,168 liters of AI-95 petrol, while a Kazakhstan citizen with an average salary can buy only 793 liters.

The source states that growth of fuel prices in Kazakhstan will undoubtedly cause a hike in prices of all types of goods and services, as fuel prices are a component in almost every cost.

KazPotrebNadzor suggests to make the annual transport tax part of petrol and diesel fuel prices. In the other words, fuel will be more expensive but car owners will no longer have to pay the annual transport tax. It is offered to apply both the high fuel price and the tax only to the insignificant part of the owners of cars with engine capacity over 4 liters that do significant harm to the environment. In their case the tax will be considered an ecological duty or a luxury tax.

KazPotrebNadzor believes that such measure would solve many existing problems: allow to increase petrol prices without any real effect on the Kazakhstan citizens’ wallets or a significant growth of prices of other goods and services; introduce a direct dependence of transport tax from the frequency of the car use (the more you drive, the more fuel you consume, thus, the more you pay); significantly lower the load on local tax departments; make it impossible to evade the transport tax by registering cars to privileged persons (to elderly people, for example) and make it impossible to delay payment of transport tax or flinch from its payment.

According to the researchers, domestic fuel consumption in Kazakhstan is a little over 8 million tons. A little over 25 billion tenge ($167 million) of transport taxes were collected from the population in 2012. Thus, to collect this amount by including the transport tax into the petrol price, the latter has to be raise by approximately 3-3.5 tenge ($0.02-0.023).

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