The ban on the import of Ukrainian grain, which the caretaker cabinet requested from the European Commission, has caused damage to the treasury in the amount of 146 million leva from unpaid VAT. This was stated by the Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev at a briefing.

“By the end of the year, we expect the damages to be 40 million leva per month, if the trend continues. With this ill-considered decision, the caretaker cabinet deprived the treasury of revenues and made the entire Bulgarian people pay for more expensive bread, more expensive flour, oil, and hence higher prices for dairy and meat products. And all this to protect a sector that last year generated a profit of 2.5 billion leva. The sensible policy is that if there are producers who would really be put at a disadvantage and lose out, there should be targeted aid for those producers. But to free up imports to generate revenue in the treasury and eat cheaper food. This is the responsible decision in favor of all Bulgarian citizens”

Vassilev outlined the main financial and economic aspects of the debate for and against imports of Ukrainian grain.

“Revenues from grain production last year, when Ukrainian imports were allowed, are 9.976 billion leva. The profit on which taxes are paid for the grain production sector is 2.507 billion leva. For 2021, revenues are 7.965 billion leva, and the profit 1.862 billion leva. The sector is the main beneficiary of a subsidy in line with the exemption of fuels from excise duty. This is 100 million leva of unpaid excise tax in the treasury of the sector. The subsidy to all agricultural users is 1.6 billion leva BGN for 2021 and 1.96 billion leva in 2022.”