27 Aug 2009 14:53

Putin suggests paying all natural resources tax into federal budget from 2010

MOSCOW. Aug 27 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested paying all natural resource extraction tax (NRET) into the federal budget starting next year as one way of increasing revenue.

Putin said at today's government session that a number of decisions passed by the government, including those on amendments to the Budget Code and Law on the Central Bank, could boost federal revenue by 144.4 billion rubles in 2010.

"It is being proposed that, starting next year, all revenue from natural resource extraction tax, the tax on hydrocarbons, will be paid into the federal budget," Putin said.

The federal budget currently received 95% of the returns from this tax, and regional budgets get 5%.

"This decision - on the payment of all NRET into the federal budget - will bring at least 46 billion rubles into the budget as early as 2010. Of course we should compensate the regions for the lost revenue," Putin said.

The transition must be smooth and painless, he said. "The relevant subsidies will be available to balance budgets," he said.

The size of those subsidies will depend on the percentage of revenue generated by the NRET for each region. Putin said 32 regions would be affected.

Putin also said that revenue from the management of Russia's sovereign wealth fund assets would be paid into the federal budget from next year and that the Central Bank would be required to pay 75% of its profit into the federal budget for a period of three years instead of 50%.

"In all, today's decisions ought to increase federal budget revenue by 144.4 billion rubles next year alone," Putin said.