RICH COUNTRIES TO HELP POOR THROUGH FARM SUBSIDIES TAXED, CALLS RUSSIAN FINANCE MINISTER

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3 (RIA Novosti) - Developed countries are to levy taxes on their agricultural subsidies so as to help the poorer countries, Alexei Kudrin, Russia's Finance Minister, said to a G8 finance-ministerial conference in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

"As debates were on, I called to tax farm subsidies, which are now coming as the highest barrier to the poorer countries' farm produce access to global markets," he said to Russian newsmen afterwards.

"To reduce those subsidies will be the best way to help developing countries. You are getting allocations? Pay taxes, then. Likewise, you pay the smaller taxes the more your allocations are cut. Though I advanced that initiative unofficially, by way of debate, I think it will bring fruit if developed on."

Farmers of the USA and many better-off European countries are entitled to government subsidies to keep up competitive. The developed countries are paying annual lump subsidies exceeding $300 billion, as against 60 billion official development aid.

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