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    FINANCE MINISTRY TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS ON THE TAX REFORM AFTER THE APPOINTMENT OF PRIME MINISTER

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Finance Ministry is ready to submit its proposals on the tax reform to the State Duma (lower parliamentary house) as soon as the prime minister is appointed, said acting Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin at the government conference with the president. According to him, the proposals should be geared to the expense and revenue parts of the budget.

    On February 19, Kudrin told journalists that the block of draft laws on completing the tax reform would be submitted to the government in three or four weeks. "We are making calculations not only for 2005 now but also for the middle and longer term, until 2010-2012, which is why we are making additional estimates in accordance with all variants, which will take time," he said.

    The acting vice-premier pointed out that the government would receive the entire block of draft laws on completing the reform, including proposals to change the taxation regime in the oil and gas industry, reduce the rate of the single social tax and improve the administering of the value added tax.

    Speaking about the possible sum of superprofit deductions in the oil and gas industry, Kudrin said that the figure would be determined later. He stressed that the Finance Ministry is working to make "the industry feel comfortable and preserve its investment possibilities." He also said that reports on the possible considerable increase of the tax burden on the population were not true. "Press reports have nothing to do with our proposals; the burden will not be increased to the rumored degree," Kudrin assured.

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