Bri­vais vil­nis: nearly all fish pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing losses

Baltic News Network - - News -

Cur­rently nearly all fish pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies in Latvia are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ma­jor or mi­nor losses, says Bri­vais vil­nis chair­man Arnols Babris.

He says that con­sid­er­ing the pro­hi­bi­tion to carry prod­ucts to Cus­toms Union mem­ber states, Lat­vian fish pro­cess­ing in­dus­try has an enor­mous amount of un­used and un­loaded pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity. There is also price-dump­ing to con­sider, be­cause in the fight for mar­kets, pro­duc­ers of­fer their goods below self-cost. «I doubt there is any­one work­ing with prof­its. The ques­tion is how many of those pro­duc­ers will be able to con­tinue work­ing in the fu­ture. Losses, large or small, are present for ev­ery­one,» says the com­pany’s chair­man.

Babris says that Lat­vian and Es­to­nian fish pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies are un­able to ex­port prod­ucts to Rus­sia, Be­larus, Kaza­khstan or Kyr­gyzs­tan. Sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine still has not im­proved – res­i­dents’ pur­chas­ing power in this coun­try re­mains low. «Peo­ple [in Ukraine] keep leav­ing, there are no jobs and the po­lit­i­cal mess con­tin­ues. I see no rea­son for any im­prove­ments there in the fore­see­able fu­ture,» he says.

The chair­man of Bri­vais vil­nis also wel­comed Fi­nance Min­istry’s readi­ness to sup­port fish pro­ces­sors by post­pon­ing tax pay­ments. The prob­lem is that tax pay­ments can be post­poned by all mem­bers of the in­dus­try, which they do. It would be more rea­son­able from an eco­nomic, gov­ern­ment and prac­ti­cal per­spec­tive to post­pone tax pay­ments only for com­pa­nies worth sav­ing.

Babris al­lowed that tax dis­counts should be tied to pre­vi­ous tax pay­ment cul­ture to sup­port hon­est busi­ness­men that pay taxes.

«It is not hard to cre­ate four col­umns of in­for­ma­tion about each com­pany in the in­dus­try based on the fol­low­ing prin­ci­ples – paid taxes per em­ployee, per pro­duc­tion unit, per one euro turnover and goods or ser­vice price. Based on this in­for­ma­tion alone it will be pos­si­ble to tell who the tax non-pay­ing leader is in the in­dus­try, as well as ask the State Rev­enue Ser­vice a sim­ple ques­tion – why is this com­pany still afloat,» said Babris. He adds that be­cause of over­pro­duc­tion, half the in­dus­try is not un­der load. At least 40% of the in­dus­try’s dis­hon­est prod­ucts can be stopped this way with­out re­duc­ing pro­duc­tion vol­umes, but rather us­ing taxes.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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