THE HAITIAN STATE CAN NOT CONTINUE TO LOSE PETROLEUM REVENUES
(Haiti Libre) -
After January 12, 2010, the Government of Haiti, had established special tax measures, designed to cushion the effects of fuel prices on the people, consisting of not passing on to the consumers, the increase in oil prices, and absorb the living costs; in other words, subsidizing part of the customer's bill.
Measures that have cost more than $200 million to the Government [from 10 March 2010 to March 10, 2012]. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2011-2012, the bill already stands at nearly $55 million [loss of petroleum revenues].
"At a time where the risk of a price surge of a barrel of crude oil remaining high on the international market, the adoption of measures which will correct this situation is desirable, to the extent that maintaining the status quo could be detrimental to the revenue objectives set as part of the proposed 2011-2012 budget," highlights the Ministry of Economy.
André Lemercier Georges, the Minister of Economy and Finance, has indicated that the government can not continue to subsidize fuel, and it would be desirable to consider motivating people to change their consumption habits, by adopting responsible behaviors to cope with the increase in oil prices.
The Minister could start by taking action against the use of all the big 4X4 vehicles, large consumers of fuel; for example, by imposing a special surtax variable, which would penalize them, and vice versa would apply to a lesser extent to the low-consumption vehicles. Similarly, the application of this tax should apply without delay on all imported vehicles (new or second hand).
If it is true that Haiti can no longer continue indefinitely to subsidize fuel costs, it would be desirable that this measure be gradual given the fragility of the Haitian economy.