MOSCOW, June 15 (Reuters) - Russia aims to get an extra 30 billion roubles ($520 million) in revenue this year by raising the mineral extraction tax (MET) on gas giant Gazprom, according to the transcripts of a government meeting on Thursday.
The Russian government has been looking for ways to cut a budget deficit that is persisting because of low prices for oil and gas, both key sources of revenue for state coffers.
On Thursday, the government studied proposed changes to the tax code, which envisaged an increase in both extraction and excise taxes for oil and gas producers.
It decided to raise the MET for Gazprom from the fourth quarter and a finance ministry source said that change alone would bring in an additional 30 billion roubles this year.
Besides the Gazprom increase, the government discussed extending an increase in the MET for oil producers announced in the 2017 budget through to 2020 instead of 2019. It also looked at increasing excise taxes in line with inflation in 2020.
It was not immediately clear whether those proposals had been approved in the meeting.
“We count on the changes to bring an additional 30 billion roubles in 2017 and around 380 billion roubles in 2020 to the budgets of all levels,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
Gazprom has been singled out as it has a monopoly on the Russian gas pipeline system and is the country’s sole gas pipeline exporter. The MET for Gazprom will, however, be lowered in 2019 and 2020, according to the draft changes to the tax law.
Russia initial targeted a 2017 budget deficit of 3.2 percent of gross domestic product but it lowered the planned annual shortfall to 2.1 percent in May saying it now expected higher revenues. ($1 = 57.7349 roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Maria Kiselyova and David Clarke)