While NLMK's Lisin warns against higher Russian mining taxes: Kremlin backs the discussion
MOSCOW, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees that a proposal to prop up the budget by raising more revenue from metals and mining companies should be discussed, but has not made any decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
Proposals seen by Reuters on Thursday were set out in a letter to Putin from Kremlin economic aide, Andrei Belousov.
However, not all industry participants agree with this proposal.
Billionaire Vladimir Lisin, who controls top steel producer NLMK argues that hitting Russian mining and metals companies with extra taxes, because they are making profits, will only encourage them to be less efficient. Lisin, who is also president of industry association Russian Steel, said the proposed measures need to be refined.
"The proposed method of creating an extra tax base looks like an encouragement for inefficiency: the lower the profitability, the lower the tax that needs to be paid," Lisin said.
Russia needs additional budget revenue to meet economic goals set in decrees signed by Putin for his new six-year term. The government has already raised value-added tax, effective from 2019.
($1 = 66.4525 roubles)
(By Tom Balmforth and Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Maria Kiselyova and Jason Neely)