Govt abolishes two duties to cut diesel prices along motorways

Ljubljana – The government adopted Thursday two regulations to temporarily abolish two environmental duties on diesel at service stations on the motorway network, where prices are fully liberalised. The measure to lower the price of diesel to help hauliers will take effect on Friday, while retailers are expected to adjust their margins in a few days.

The measure is designed to cut the price of diesel along motorways – where it has topped EUR 2 a litre since liberalisation kicked in on Tuesday – to the level outside motorways, currently at EUR 1.848.

The measure will last no more than a month or two, Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said after the government session.

In this period, the state will not collect the duty for energy efficiency nor the duty to support high-efficiency co-generation and renewable electricity production.

The government previously renounced the two duties and another on CO2 emissions outside motorways, where margins are capped and a new pricing model kicked in on Tuesday.

To push the prices further down, the government now expects fuel retailers to lower their margins along the motorways as soon as today’s measure kicks in.

Realistically, the minister expects this to take a day or two.

Kumer is happy that oil prices on global markets have decreased significantly over the past few days, which gives hope that fuel prices could eventually fall.

He also said that the fuel retailers assured the government they had replenished stocks to normal levels after there were serious fuel shortages on Sunday and at the start of the week around the country, chiefly outside the motorway network.

Asked why the government acted to reduce only the price of diesel, he said it was higher than that of petrol because diesel was more harmful to the environment but it was also more important for businesses and could have a greater impact on inflation. The government also wanted to keep as many green duties imposed on petrol as possible.

The government now intends to take measures for public passenger transport as of 1 July, but Kumer said that talks were still ongoing.

Measures for farmers and the food sector are also expected to be taken, to be followed by measures to fight rising prices of natural gas and electricity.

Kumer confirmed that the government was considering price regulation for households, vulnerable groups and small and medium-sized companies.

“We can’t return prices to the level before they started rising steeply, but we can at least limit them to a level bearable for the population,” he said.