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By Darya Korsunskaya and Denis Pinchuk
MOSCOW, March 13 Russia will not fully scrap its
oil export duty until 2022-2025, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov
said on Monday, four years later than previously expected.
Russia, the world's biggest oil producer, is in the midst of
a so-called "tax manoeuvre" whereby it is gradually increasing
its mineral extraction tax (MET), while at the same time cutting
export duties on oil and refined products.
Previously the finance ministry had considered cutting the
oil export duty to zero between 2018 and 2020.
"We think that oil export duty could be scrapped in full
between 2022-2025," Siluanov told a tax conference organised by
the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
"We are holding discussions with oil firms and the Energy
Ministry and I am sure a relevant decision will be made."
He declined to specify how much the MET would rise but said
the planned increase would be "neutral" for oil and gas
companies, given the planned abolition of export duties.
Government officials have said it would be easier to just
tax oil and gas producers at home instead of collecting export
duties as well. By abolishing oil export duties, Russia would
also bring its duties system in line with those of its Custom
Union partners Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Oil and gas companies have voiced their support for the tax
reform, saying taxing their profits rather than exports and
exploration would spur production as it better reflects
exploration costs and risks.
In other tax reform, the Russian government is also
considering raising value-added tax but lowering mandatory
social security payments.
Siluanov said on Monday that such a move could lead to a
one-off 2 percentage points rise in consumer inflation.
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Denis Pinchuk; editing by
Andrey Ostroukh and Susan Fenton)