As Alexei Kudrin, Russia's Minister of Finance said today at a meeting of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in our country, tax burden can not decrease faster than by 1% of GDP annually. 'The government has obligations to fulfill, which can not be done, if taxes decrease any faster', he said. Yet the lowering of tax burden and the simplification of the tax system remain among the government's first priorities, Mr. Kudrin concluded. According to the Ministry of Finance, over the past three years, tax burden decreased from between 32% and 34% to 30.7%.
The minister said that most taxes, at this time, came from the spheres of labour and consumption. He emphasised the necessity of increasing the shares of resource and capital taxes. He drew the attention of his listeners to that sales tax would be eliminated and added value tax reduced by between 15% and 17%, beginning 2004.