Belarus increasing oil transit tariffs may lead to lower revenues from pipelines
According to the Antimonopoly Ministry’s regulation No 30 of September 28, 2016, as of October 8th, 2016, Belarus increased oil transit tariffs by 50%. Such tariffs are regulated by intergovernmental agreements. Belarus has increased the tariffs not so much due to the devaluation but due to the need to step up her positions in oil and gas talks with Russia. Belarus may revoke the increase if a compromise with Russia is achieved. Meanwhile, Russia may partially redirect oil transit through own ports in the coming years, which means that pipelines’ revenues would shrink and the pressure on Belarus would increase in terms of exporting Belarusian oil products through Russian ports. If Belarus manages to preserve high tariffs until 2016, her additional revenues could total USD 20 million. That said, Kazakhstan and some Russian mining companies might stop transporting oil through Belarus, which, in turn, could lead to proceeds falling by at least USD 50 million a year.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.