MOSCOW, November 15 (Itar-Tass) —— The programme of the development of mineral deposits of the Arctic shelf is being analysed by the Russian government, and, according to the plan, is going to be approved at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in December, this year, Denis Khramov, deputy minister of natural resources and ecology, said at the conference, entitled “Gas of Russia – 2011,” on Tuesday.
According to his information, several ways of the development of the Arctic shelf were analysed during the drafting of the document, and eventually the innovation way was chosen.
“According to our estimates, expenditures on geological prospecting and the study of the shelf will amount to 400 million roubles,” Khramov said. He admitted that it was a heavy burden for the budget or the state-owned companies. In order to reduce the expenditures, the authors of the programme are willing to attract private capital and independent companies to geological prospecting and drilling. It is planned to bring the number of prospecting wells to 290 by 2020, and to reduce the number of loss-making deposits from 73 to 27 percent.
Commenting on tax privileges, Khramov said that they chose as the optimal way the replacement of the tax on the extraction of minerals with the tax on gross income. The tax rate will be given in percent, and not in roubles. The tax burden is planned to be distributed between financial results and incomes of the subsoil using companies. “A total tax burden for the companies developing shelf deposits will stand at about 35 percent, which is enough for the fulfilment of the budget,” he said. According to Khramov, they do not plan to impose export duties in that sphere.