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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mikhail Blinkin: the toll for trucks is serious structural reform

“Ultimately, people are protesting not because of those 1.5 cents per mile, and exit from the “gray” area,” – said the Director of the Institute of transport HSE Mikhail Blinkin, commenting on another truckers ‘ strike. It also explains why the introduction of fees for trucks, there is no discrimination and economic nonsense.

Friday seaside truckers held a protest against the introduction of tolls trucks on roads of Federal importance. The rally was held without violations, have informed RIA “news” the representative of regional UMVD.

“If I’m taking conditional 10 tons of expensive product, then the 1.5 rubles per kilometer will increase the cost of the final product on the shelf on a dime”

Drivers of trucks gathered on the side of the road near the village of Cypress, then the trucks drove around the city. The event was attended by more than 100 drivers of trucks, said the representative of the regional Union of transport carriers. Earlier protests were held in other regions of the country.

Recall that the system of collecting fees for damage to roads of Federal importance with trucks weighing more than 12 tonnes was introduced from 15 November 2015. And it was not a surprise to anyone. The law the state Duma adopted in 2011, and all industry participants can prepare. Meanwhile the initial rate of 3.73 rubles per kilometer reduced: until 29 February 2016 the fee will be 1.53 rubles per kilometer, since 1 March 2016 to end 2018 3.06 rubles per kilometer. According to the Ministry of transport, for the first two weeks of the system “Platon” to the Federal road Fund received 681 million rubles.

What is the main purpose of the introduction of the “Plato” and what is the real cause of discontent truckers new tax, in an interview with the newspaper look told the Director of the Institute of transport HSE Mikhail Blinkin.

OPINION: How do you evaluate the introduction of new fees for heavy trucks? Pay whether drivers in other countries, such taxes?

Mikhail Blinkin: “This is a standard and absolutely correct practice” (photo: Grigory Sysoev/RIA Novosti)

Mikhail Blinkin: the Collection of payments from trucks is a common practice in the world, existing in fifty countries. Extensive experience, for example Germany, even Belarus has such a system. There is no discrimination among carriers or economic nonsense. This is absolutely standard and correct practice, which is not based on any political or commercial considerations, and engineering physics.

Heavy trucks cause enormous damage to the road surface. It proved all sorts of published studies that were conducted in America, Germany and in many countries.

The destructive impact of the car on the roadbed is proportional to the fourth power of axle load. On the car axle load – the half-ton and heavy truck of five tons. The difference of the axial load in ten times. And the damaging effects is 10 to the fourth power, that is, 10 000. It is pure physics. All these data, I’m talking about are confirmed by various experiments and studies conducted in different countries of the world. Therefore, I believe that the introduction of fees for trucks is a wise and proper measure.

LOOK: truck Drivers complain that this additional fiscal burden that will eventually lead to higher prices for goods almost on 520%. However, for example, economist Nikita Krichevsky was considered that, in the journey of a 20-ton KAMAZ from Makhachkala to Moscow, loaded with tomatoes wholesale price of 50 rubles per kilogram, the carrier will have to pay 2.7 thousand rubles. This will lead to the wholesale cost of a kilogram of tomatoes is only 0.27%, or 13.5 cents. Even if the back of the truck go empty, the increase of wholesale prices for tomato will be still a little – 0,54%, or 27 cents.

M. B.: If I’m taking conditional 10 tons of expensive goods it could be a simple food set for network supermarket from chocolate to cereal, then these 1.5 rubles per kilometer do increase the cost of the final product on the shelf for just pennies. But if I carry heavy, but cheap goods, such as concrete pig, it is only natural that these concrete pig seriously expensive. It turns out that to carry cheap goods by road unprofitable. Good or bad?

From the point of view of the national economy is good, because they carry cheap goods over long distances on roads is considered to be unreasonable even in those countries where the roads much more than we do. In Germany, for example, goods of this sort to carry on the Rhine, in America – the Mississippi, that is, river transport or by railway.

Therefore, the fee for trucks is not only a reasonable economic compensation for the destruction of the roadway. Actually this is a serious structural reform, which is so necessary for Russia when our road of poverty. As soon as we increase the cost of transport by road, we have some classes of freight away from roads. Switching of business from highways to inland water transport must occur in the process of adaptation to new conditions.

LOOK: truck Drivers are also unhappy with the technical problems that have arisen when running the system “Platon”.

M. B.: implementation it’s not very good. It’s true. This is a huge computer system, and in the early days there was a lot of technical problems, now them became much less. The company-concessionaire of the complex was entrusted to the administration of the payment. Prepared if they fully interact with the clients? No, not prepared. This is a clear shortcoming of the concessionaire.

For example, on the issue of prepaid or postpaid. If I own 500 trucks, then my working capital may be sufficient to prepay route, but if I’m the owner of one truck, my working capital is enough for diesel fuel and for lunch the driver, and I have no money. This is a very difficult and low-margin business. This should have been considered, but not taken into account.

Or, for example, I received an SMS that we need to change the route, the customer has changed the point of delivery from one warehouse to another, and the car already on the road, and I have already paid for the route. So, I’m on a new route to re-pay? When to me will return money for the first route? But if I have no money for all these operations?

Now everything is correct and finalized in the fire mode with the participation of high government officials. I hope to correct. But all this had to be done in advance, not after the fact. It was necessary to break a lot of things on a normal level the negotiation. After four years it was preparing.

OPINION: it Is believed that the main reason of discontent of the truckers are not in anticipation of rising commodity prices, these costs are in any case passed on to buyers, and that “Plato” covers the opportunity to work in the informal sector. Is that so?

M. B.: Yes, a significant part of the carriers living in the “gray” area. It is clear that as soon as the tax appears all the information about my route and the mileage, I immediately “light up” your business. It is not a crime, it is honest men who barely interrupted.

If you follow strictly all of our vast Tax code, it is difficult for business to survive. It is a sad fact. On the one hand, of course, you have to pay taxes, but for small business the transition to the “bright” zone means that they will not be able to make ends meet. Here, probably, it is necessary to spend serious work on the Tax code.

It’s hard to say how this is a major problem because economic analysis I have no data. Who knows the amount of “gray” market? My opinion is based on interviews with carriers with whom I communicate. Ultimately, the people are protesting not because of those 1.5 cents per mile, and exit from the “gray” area.


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