The average tax burden on revenues of Russian companies will drop from 45 or 55 per cent as of now to 35 or 40 per cent in 2002, Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Economy Minister, announced at a conference of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs today. The conference was devoted to tax reforms in Russia. Dvorkovich noted that this reduction would be possible due to lower income taxes, lower taxes imposed on salaries and a reduction in the profit tax rate. The official stressed that, in the future, a reduction in the tax burden may reach another 5 per cent due to a possible reduction in the VAT and the cancellation of some taxes. The Deputy Economy Minister stressed that this reduction in the tax burden will become an important factor for a lot of Russian companies and they would be able to pay salaries officially without "gray" schemes. In addition, this will allow Russian companies to become honest with the state and demand some services in response from the state, for example, security measures and court defense.