DUSHANBE, January 26, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Russia has not yet responded to Tajikistan’s request for lifting the export duty on light oil, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Saidrahmon Nazriyev, remarked at a news conference in Dushanbe on January 26.

“We have fulfilled all our obligations and submitted them all necessary documents and are now waiting for special decree by the Russian government on lifting the export duty on light oil for Tajikistan,” the deputy minister said.

We will recall that Russia on May 1, 2010 introduced the export duty on light oil for Tajikistan at the rate of 203.7 U.S. dollars per one ton and on June 1, 2010, the export duty was raised to 209.1 U.S. dollars.  Introduction of the export duty on light oil has resulted in gasoline prices rising in Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had been receiving Russian fuel duty free since 1995, in keeping with protocols to the government-to-government agreements on the establishment of a free trade zone within the CIS area.  Russian customs, however, started collecting a duty on oil products exported to Kyrgyzstan on April 1 and to Tajikistan on May 1.

According to Nazriyev, Tajikistan last year imported 193,000 tons of diesel fuel for US$130 million and 335,000 tons of gasoline for US$233 million.  Compared to 2009, the prices of diesel fuel and gasoline last year rose 40 ad 46 percent respectively, he said, noting that Tajikistan’ annual requirements in light oil are 630,000 tons.

“Rise in gasoline prices led to a 13 percent increase in the price of basic food products in Tajikistan last year,” the deputy minister added.