The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of health of the Russian Federation United in solving a single problem. So, on September 16, 2020, the government approved an increase in excise taxes on tobacco. Earlier, tobacco producers made an appeal for a less sharp increase in the excise tax, which, in their opinion, will not give growth to the market for illegal products and, by replenishing the Treasury, will preserve the health of Russians.
However, the Ministry of Finance kept the rate of 20%, which provided an increase in the price of 1 pack of cigarettes by an average of 20 rubles. Let's figure out who will win and who will lose from such innovations?! The main goal of the bill is to keep afloat social obligations to the country's citizens. After the pandemic, the budget needs additional injections and this measure, according to the Minister of Finance A. G. Siluanov, will bring about 70 billion rubles to the Treasury.
At the same time, those who are "on the other side of the barricades" have the opposite opinion. So, Vasily Gruzdev (JTI "Russia", producers of Camel, Winston and Glamour), predicts an outflow of buyers in the price range-70-90 rubles per pack, and only illegal tobacco production can offer such prices. It is supported by Andrey Loskutov, President of The Russian cigar market. His position is fair - people will not stop buying cigarettes, but the share of counterfeit goods will increase significantly. "Our assumptions are that, having received money due to a five-fold increase in the excise burden on tobacco, the state will lose more than it will receive. Because the level of counterfeit and illegal tobacco products is already 15%. And, according to our forecasts, this will at least double. In this case, every third bundle in Russia will go past the budget, " Loskutov said.
And how did the Ministry of health accept this news? Back in August, when the President signed amendments to the anti - Smoking legislation, this was the first and important step towards changes. Now vapes, hookahs, e-cigarettes and other similar products are equated to regular cigarettes. Chief physician of the Ministry of health of Russia Oksana Drapkina considers the anti - Smoking law of the Russian Federation one of the toughest in the world-a ban on advertising of these products and Smoking in all public places, restrictions on display at points of sale and a ban on sales to minors. At the same time, the anti-Smoking company has a lot to grow in protecting the health of citizens. And world experience and who recommendations suggest that tax measures are the most effective helpers in this fight.
After a series of actions taken by the Russian government in the past, tobacco production according to Rosstat steadily declined from 2014 to 2017. The only exception was 2018, with an increase of 4%. Last year, as a result of a sample survey of citizens, Rosstat indicated an indicator of 22.5% of Russians who smoke daily, while 5.4% of this group indicated their strong dependence on tobacco Smoking.
Thus, 30 million smokers in Russia will soon feel the changes adopted. Will they smoke less?!-unlikely. But the feeling that the state is trying to solve a number of economic problems at the expense of one category of citizens remains.