The Russian Tax Ministry supports the introduction of licensing of wholesale tobacco trade, Russian Deputy Tax Minister Boris Korol told a news conference on Friday.
He stated that the recent abolition of this type of licensing had made the tobacco trade "almost uncontrollable". In this context "order should be established" by introducing "tougher tobacco realisation conditions", the deputy minister believes. "The tobacco industry is quite specific and must be controlled by the state," Korol stressed.
According to Korol, in the second half of 2003 the Tax Ministry intends to prepare corresponding proposals and introduce them to the Russian government.
Besides, the Deputy Minister said that the Ministry jointly with the Russian Health Ministry intended to develop measures legally restricting the production of tobacco products "with low safety parameters" /in other words, containing a lot of nicotine and harmful pitch/." Korol stated that in general the tobacco industry was one of the few industries in the Russian economy that tend to develop, expand production and increase tax returns in the budget. "The situation on the tobacco market is quite stable, though requires measures to regulate certain issues," the deputy minister pointed out.