Before October 1, 2002 the Russian government will consider a new draft ofthe Code of Deposits, Senior Deputy Minister of Natural Resources VitalyKaraganov said at a press conference today. The Senior Deputy Minister wasquoted as saying the ministry will introduce the draft of the Code ofDeposits to the government on September 30, 2002. He pointed out the newversion of the Code of Deposits had been developed by the ministry incooperation with other interested agencies and would be considered by thegovernment before October 1, 2002, according to the decree of the RussianPresident. According to Karaganov, it is necessary to adopt "a congregatebill that will let us unite all documents regulating the usage of deposits"and at the same time, to abolish the laws that were adopted in thetransitional period. The major concept of the new version of the Code of Deposits is the stateownership of deposits. One of the principal issues highlighted in the newversion is the distribution of power between the federal center andregional authorities. The bill establishes an administrative right fordeposits through issuing licenses. Additionally, there are benefits relatedto obtaining licenses for deposit exploration for the companies thatcarried out reconnaissance on particular fields at their own risk. Theright for reconnaissance will from now on be implemented on a tender basis..