The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources is developing a bill on paymentsfor negative influence on the environment, Deputy Natural ResourcesMinister Maxim Yakovlenko said at a press conference today. He was quotedas saying from the moment the Supreme Court of Russia cancelled theenvironmental tax, the losses of the federal budget have totaled RUR8bn(around $253.9m). The specified bill envisages an increase in basic ratesof payments depending on the kind of wastes and the status of theterritory, which is damaged. Yakovlenko pointed out the expected volume ofpayments would amount to around RUR30bn (around $952m) a year if there areno benefits. As stimulating measures, the Ministry is considering thepossibility of granting benefits to companies taking measures aimed atenvironmental protection. As the Natural Resources Ministry pointed out,this bill is supported by the Finance Ministry and the Tax Ministry ofRussia. This bill is expected to be introduced into the State Duma forconsideration this fall after is passes the corresponding discussingprocedures in the Russian government..