MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to develop the idea of taking out bumper profits from mining and chemical companies, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday when commenting on a respective proposal submitted by Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov to President, adding though that no decision has been taken yet.
"Indeed, there has been such a letter, it was classified and indeed contained an expert viewpoint," he said. "Indeed, it was signed as ‘Agreed’ by President. President agreed that the issue would be worked out by the government of the Russian Federation, with respective proposals to be set forth," Peskov explained, noting that the table published by media outlets was also among the documents for reference purposes.
According to Peskov, the proposals that the cabinet of ministers will present to Putin, will take into account "the necessity to maintain investment opportunities of those (mining and chemical) companies." "The cabinet is already working at the issue, he added.
So far Putin has no plans to meet representatives of mining and chemical companies, "since President has not given his consent to any decisions," Peskov emphasized. Putin can hold such meetings on the sidelines of various events, including the upcoming the Eastern Economic Forum, he added.
Sources in the industry told TASS that the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade would hold a meeting later in the day to discuss the initiative of taking additional revenues in the sectors not related to oil production - the metals, chemical, petrochemical and mining sectors. Two other sources confirmed that the initiative of taking out around 0.5 trillion rubles ($7.6 bln) worth of extra revenues from companies in those sectors each year for budget is indeed under discussion. They said the idea had been set forth by Presidential Aide Andrey Belousov. The funds are needed for implementation of President Putin’s new package of decrees revealed this May.
Sources told TASS that the discussion might touch upon revenues of such companies as Norilsk Nickel, NLMK, Alrosa, Polyus Gold, Sibur, Uralkali, Severstal, Metalloinvest, Mechel, Phosagro, and others.
The Industry and Trade Ministry and companies have not been available for official comments.
Meanwhile, sources told TASS that they had found out about the idea to raise the tax burden on companies in the ministry where they were "shown respective papers." The mechanism of receiving those extra revenues is unclear yet. No information has been provided yet as to whether it is going to be a tax-related measure or another one. According to sources, companies "strongly disapprove" of the idea and consider it threatening their projects and investments.