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Romania's government plans an additional tax in 2013 on gas and power companies, which are enjoying higher profits as a result of the country's energy market deregulation, a draft law showed on Monday, newswires reported.
According to a draft ordinance published by the Ministry of Finance, the government proposes the introduction of a new tax levied on the gas and power distributors, including local units of Czech CEZ, Italy's Enel and Germany's E.ON, as well aqs local firms Transelectrica (TEL), Transgaz (TGN) and the private and state owned distributors from Fondul Proprietateas (FP) portfolio.
Despite the governments acknowledgement that these activities are regulated, starting from February 1, 2013 a new tax on monopolistic activities in the gas and power sector would be applied until December 31, 2014. The new tax would be deductible for income tax purposes. The tax will be RON 0.45 /MWh for the gas and power transported to the distribution system and RON 1.7 /MWh for quantity transported solely through the national transportation system. For distributors, the tax will be RON 1.25 / MWh for the gas and power distributed.
"It is not clear at the moment whether the tax would be pass-through, meaning recognized in the regulated revenues and forward in tariffs, or not. We rather believe the latter would apply, which would dent significantly the operating profit of the operators," says RBI.
RBI says under that scenario, in the case of Transgaz, the volumetric component of the tariff stands at 7.5 RON/MWh and assuming a 50/50 split between quantities transported to the distribution network and those transported only through the transport network, the tax would carve roughly RON 120 mn from Transgaz EBIT in 2013. In the case of Transelectrica, the current transportation tariff amounts to 21.16 RON/MWh and assuming the same 50/50 split between volumes transported to the distribution network and those transported only through the transport network the tax would cut some RON 50 mn from Transelectrica EBIT in 2013.
The tax revenue on gas firms will subsidise households that are expected to be hurt by rising charges as the European Union's second-poorest state liberalises energy prices, an ongoing process lasting until 2017 for the electricity sector and 2018 for gas, as well as for investment projects.
The government has estimated the tax will bring an additional 554 million lei ($169.49 million) to state coffers overall.
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