First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said that against the backdrop of a pandemic in 2020, Russian metallurgical companies increased their revenues “several times”, including due to higher prices in the domestic market. According to him, the companies must return about 100 billion rubles to the budget. For this, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, it is better to raise the MET than to introduce an export duty.
“We figured that the metallurgists (the state, the budget) – excuse me for this word – were crushed in terms of state investments and state defense orders for about 100 billion rubles,” Mr. Belousov told RBC.
He noted that the companies should return this money to the budget in the form of tax, recalling that the president also spoke about this during his message, but then the exact amount of excess profits was not named. According to Mr. Belousov, metallurgists “of course understand” that these incomes need to be returned. “We have a free market, but the state has every opportunity to establish taxes in such a way that what they received can be taken from them. I think we will do this, ”he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister believes that such methods of fighting high domestic prices as export duties and a damper can harm the competition of metallurgists in foreign markets. In his opinion, it is better not to introduce an export duty, but to raise the MET (tax on the extraction of minerals).
Against the background of the Deputy Prime Minister’s statements, the shares of metallurgical companies are decreasing by 1-6%. Thus, the shares of Severstal dropped 5.1% at the Moscow Exchange, and Norilsk Nickel – 2.6%.
In April, the FAS initiated proceedings against Severstal, Magnitogorsk and Novolipetsk metallurgical plants due to monopoly high prices for hot-rolled steel. After that, the government instructed the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Reserve Agency to work out proposals for market regulation of prices for metal products. Lawyers interviewed by Kommersant believe that it will be difficult for the FAS to prove the guilt of Russian metallurgists.
More details about the accusation of FAS – in the material of “Kommersant” “FAS was released”.