The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina sent an initiative for the temporary abolition of VAT for the supply of natural gas in order to soften the impact on citizens’ pockets. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gas prices have risen by almost 60 percent. Some politicians believe that the Federal Government’s move is part of the pre-election campaign, and that the current convocation of the state parliament will not discuss it.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina requested from the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina to suspend the payment of VAT for natural gas deliveries for half a year. As the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fadil Novalićmc, points out, the goal is to mitigate the consequences of rising prices of this energy product on consumers.
“We sent a request above to get rid of VAT, as users of VAT funds, it does not represent any income for us, we can get rid of it, so that the citizens of Sarajevo, Visoko and some businessmen get that creditworthiness,” Novalic said.
We tried to get the opinion of parliamentarians from the ruling coalition about this initiative, but they unofficially told us that they do not want to comment until it is officially referred to the procedure. The opposition is clear – subsidies would have a greater effect.
“First, it will not reach the Parliament in this convocation, I am convinced, but if the Government of the Federation had the intention of making things easier for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then it would have been much easier for them to say that they will subsidize that amount and that they will pay that 17 percent,” Sasa Magazinovic MP.
Prime Minister of Republika Srpska Radovan Viskovic claims that the initiative is part of the pre-election campaign.
“Republika Srpska, at this moment, thanks to the obstructions from Sarajevo, consumes 10 times less amount of the same gas used by the Federation. Now that they have seen that they need to do something pre-election in federal Sarajevo, they appear with such an initiative. Therefore, slowly, I will to talk,” says Viskovic.
Pre-election trick or not, the truth is that in comparison to the end of last year, citizens are paying 60 percent more in gas prices.
The Management Board of the Indirect Taxation Administration (ITA) BiH says that they have not received the initiative of the FBIH Government and that at this moment it is ungrateful to talk about the deadlines and the time in which it can be considered. Insiders say that it is impossible to predict the further movement of gas prices, because the prices of this energy product, as well as oil derivatives, are conditioned by the geopolitical situation.