The Ministry of Finance did not support the bill banning discounts on...

The Ministry of Finance did not support the bill banning discounts on alcohol

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Photo: Elena Nagornykh / TASS

The Finance Ministry has prepared a negative review on the submitted to the Duma a bill banning discounts on alcohol. The initiative aimed at the prevention of “alcoholism population”, have previously supported the Ministry of industry and trade and the CPS

The Finance Ministry has opposed to the state Duma bill banning discounts on alcohol, according to the letter signed by Deputy Minister Ilya Trunina (have RBC). The document was prepared in response to the appeal “Support of Russia”, which in mid-March, asked Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin, who oversees the alcohol industry, not to support a ban of discounts on alcohol.

“Currently, the Ministry of Finance of Russia has prepared a draft negative feedback on the bill, which, after interagency coordination will be forwarded to the government of the Russian Federation”, — stated in the Ministry’s letter.

A bill to ban the promotion of alcohol sales through discounts and free distribution of product February 10, 2017 was made to the state Duma a group of deputies of the LDPR. In their opinion, reasonable prices on liquor provoke “alcoholism population”. The initiative was supported by Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov and the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova. “Promotion should be treated like any other advertising campaign, and should be prohibited”, — said Popov, commenting on the proposal to remove alcohol from stores stock (quoted by “RIA Novosti”).

In a letter to Khloponin, the President of “OPORA Russia” Alexander Kalinin claimed that the prohibition of discounts will not reduce the affordability of alcohol, because this factor “is affected by the excise policy and the establishment of the government’s minimum retail prices of the individual types of alcoholic beverages, below which the sale is prohibited, even with the discounts.” Thus, according to Kalinina, the measure will lead to growth of consumption of illegal products, and will adversely affect the sales of drinks with a small shelf life — the “live” beer, cider, Poire and Mead.

Respondents informed RBC market participants also opposed the bill. In particular, the Director of legal Affairs and corporate relations of JSC “sun InBev” oraz Durdyev argued that the main function of the promotion actions — “to reduce runoff when overproduction”. And promotions allow consumers to make a choice in favor of a particular brand, but “does not contribute to increasing the size of purchases”.

To implement the proposal of deputies would be needed in each case to determine whether or not a shop gives discount or we are talking about a regular change, says a member of the Presidium “Support of Russia” Alexei nebol’sin. Given that in Russia there are 220 thousand retail outlets selling alcohol to fulfill this impossible, he concluded.