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    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY FOR DIFFERENTIATED INCREASE IN TAX RATE ON MINERALS EXTRACTION

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    MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade stands for differentiating the tax on the extraction of minerals with increasing the tax rate.

    "We believe that differentiation is necessary in increasing this tax," deputy minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on Friday. His argument was that in increasing this tax "the profitableness in a number of companies will drop to a very low mark." Arkady Dvorkovich said, however, that the ministry had not yet prepared concrete proposals on differentiating the tax. At the same time he noted that the ministry's experts propose to take into consideration two facts: a geographical one and the degree of the exhaustion of a deposit. Arkady Dvorkovich believes that the latter figure is most preferable, because "the exhaustion coefficient is much more easily administrated." In his opinion, in increasing this tax rate and the oil customs, "the total increase in the tax load on the oil sector will amount to no more than 3 billion dollars." At the same time the deputy minister underscored that these were not the final figures.

    The ministry plans to complete all calculations till February 9 and submit them to the government by February 12.

    Since February 26, the Cabinet of Ministers plans to consider the question of increasing the tax load on the oil and gas sector.

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