Source Pravda.Ru

Gross domestic product should not be increased by higher taxes

The gross domestic product in Russia should not be increased by a sharp rise in tariffs for natural monopolies' services. Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade Andrei Sharonov expressed this opinion at a press conference on Tuesday, when giving comments on the task set by the Russian President to increase the GDP volume by two times by the end of the decade.

According to Mr Sharonov, a significant annual growth of electric energy and gas tariffs will continue till 2006.

Mr. Sharonov pointed out that a key task in this context would be to conduct structural reforms, which would allow avoiding the situation when monopolies were the only ones to benefit from the tariff growth. The Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade also stressed that for this purpose such monopolies as the Russian joint stock companies, Russia and Gazprom, must undergo structural reforms.

"These two processes must be parallel: tariff growth will cover the growth of expenses, while maximal involvement of monopolies to the competitive environment will give real impetuses for lower tariffs and expenses in the future,' Sharonov concluded.