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    CONFISCATION OF EXCESS PROFIT TO BRING $3 BLN

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    MOSCOW, February 10, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Gradova/ - The Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry believes that confiscation of excess profits from the raw materials sector may bring up to $3 billion, deputy minister Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists on Tuesday.

    According to him, an increase of the severance tax rate and oil export duties may bring over $3 billion, but simultaneously the income tax will be reduced.

    "In this case, net additional profit will not exceed $3 billion," he said.

    In the next few days the ministry will clearly define its stand on the issue, and on Wednesday it will hold consultations with oil industry representatives, Dvorkovich added.

    As it was reported earlier, the government intends to consider changes to oil export duties and severance tax at its session on February 26th.

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