MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - The Communist faction at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament will not vote for economic amnesty for business persons, deputy house speaker from the Communist faction Ivan Melnikov stated on Tuesday.
"The faction cannot support /the draft resolution/, although it will not vote against it either," Melnikov said.
"The Communists support the economic amnesty initiative on the whole, yet they see great "subjectivity" in it. A thief must stay in prison, and amnesty can only be announced for petty crimes," he added.
At a plenary meeting of the Petersburg economic forum Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a draft resolution of amnesty for entrepreneurs and recommended the parliament to approve it before the summer holiday.
According to the head of state, the amnesty will apply to those who committed economic crimes for the first time, reimbursed or agreed to reimburse the damage to the injured parties.
Their criminal convictions will be quashed, Putin said.
The persons sentenced for counterfeiting, taking apartments from people and involvement in hostile takeovers are not eligible for amnesty, the president said.
The parliament is due to vote on the economic amnesty resolution later on Tuesday.
More than one-third of Russians support economic amnesty, Russia's business ombudsman Boris Titov said.
"We've carried out a poll: 32 percent supported the amnesty, and 36 percent objected. The others were undecided," Titov said. He explained the results by Russians' unequivocal attitude toward entrepreneurs.
Titov stressed that in 2012, more than 155,000 cases were opened under penal code articles on economic crimes, and that only 35,000 cases went to courts. He expressed the hope that several dozen thousand people would be eligible for amnesty.
Lawmaker from All-Russia People's Front Viktor Klimov said some 10,000 people might be released from prison under the proposed amnesty.
"Estimates vary from 9,000 to 11,000," Klimov told Tass.