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Dvorkovich suggests keeping zero profit tax for agricultural producers

July 13, 2012, 18:07 UTC+3

The nine draft laws designed to adapt Russia’s agro-industrial sector to the requirements and rules of the WTO

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MOSCOW, July 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich suggested keeping the zero profit tax rate for agricultural producers for an indefinite period of time.

“I have sent a letter to the State Duma speaker, stating the position of the government that the zero rate should be introduced for an indefinite period of time,” Dvorkovich said at a government meeting on Friday, July 13.

Speaking of the nine draft laws designed to adapt Russia’s agro-industrial sector to the requirements and rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dvorkovich noted that they could be submitted to the State Duma shortly.

“I have held a conciliatory meeting on other draft laws. The question is settled. They can be submitted to the State Duma in the near future,” he said.

The Russian government will also consider extending profit tax benefits for agricultural producers during the transitional period after Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) until 2020, President Vladimir Putin said earlier.

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Agrarian Committee Nadezhda Shkolkina stressed earlier the need to “study more thoroughly the advantages of admission to the WTO that Russia has and use them properly by developing a flexible mechanism of support to agriculture and agricultural machine-building”.

She suggested creating a separate agency that should advance Russian products to international markets.

“The whole of Europe is chocking on genetically modified food, but our products are organic and clean, maybe from our poverty,” Shkolkina said.

Former Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Slepnev said earlier that there would be the need to adapt Russian industry to new conditions and suggested using government procurements, special protective and compensatory measures, as well as a reform of the system of state subsidies as a form of support for domestic manufacturers.

In terms of agriculture, Russia secured “unprecedentedly favourable conditions” for itself during the talks. For example, after accession to the WTO Russia will not increase the quota for beef imports but on the contrary has been allowed to cut it. “The situation is favourable in terms of agricultural produce and there is no threat there,” the minister said.

Certain threats may occur in machine-building, where tariff protection will drop considerably from 40-45 percent to 5 percent.

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