Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Russia may cut energy export tax
15 February 2008 - Upstream OnLine - Russian presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev today called for a reduction of duties on energy exports to allow oil companies to invest in new facilities and placed more emphasis on the importance of the rouble for the industry. The First Deputy Prime Minister, who is almost certain to succeed his mentor Vladimir Putin next month, was speaking at an economic forum in Siberia where he called for tax reform to support economic growth and pledged to reduce duties on energy exports. Energy exporters will in turn need to pledge to switch to the rouble in their dealings to help it become one of the world’s top currencies. “Today the global economy is going through uneasy times. People are reviewing the roles of key reserve currencies. And we must take advantage of it.The rouble will de facto become one of the regional reserve currencies,” Reuters quoted Mededev as saying. He said the government should review its tax system and cut the burden in some areas to ensure that the economy, which last year grew by 8.1%, can continue to grow. “Our tax system must be competitive with tax systems of other countries. The state should collect as much tax as needed to ensure that society functions effectively and our national businesses do not flee abroad, the economy doesn’t fail,” he said.