The House of Commons has approved in an accelerated mode a set of government proposals aimed at limiting the rise in fuel prices in the first reading. The changes are intended to help companies and citizens. The Senate will now take up the draft for consideration.
The amendment to the law mainly provides for the abolition of the obligation to add bio-components to fuel and significantly limits the range of vehicles subject to road tax. It reduces taxes for employees who use low-emission company vehicles for private purposes.
The motion was supported by 144 MPs present from all parties in the House. The government said that the House should pass the bill at first reading, and the opposition parties let this happen.
Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) said earlier that abolishing the mandatory blending of bio-components into diesel would lower the price of CZK 1.50 to 2 per liter. In addition, the government has proposed reducing excise duty on petrol and diesel by CZK 1.50 per liter, which the House of Commons approved on Tuesday.
By abolishing compulsory blending, the government hopes, among other things, that fuel suppliers will be relieved of the administrative burden of reporting that they are complying with the obligation. “We are abolishing the obligation, leaving the option,” Minister Stanjura described. He stressed that the government is not banning blending but leaving it up to businesses to decide how to behave.
Criticism of the opposition
Alena Schillerová, chairwoman of the ANO club, wondered why the government would not submit a separate amendment to the law that would abolish compulsory adulteration. Stanjura replied that the government had proposed the amendments in one draft because it was a comprehensive response to rising fuel prices. He added that it was not unusual for the government to adopt wide measures.
Former deputy environment minister and ANO deputy Berenika Peštová wondered why, while the government was abolishing the compulsory blending of biosolids, it was maintaining the obligation for suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six percent annually. Stanjura said suppliers have other options to reduce emissions, such as natural gas or propane-butane.