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Russian Economy Improving; New Tax Measures Planned

by Tatiana Smolenska, Tax-News.com, Moscow

28 December 2001


As the Russian State Statistics Committee submitted a set of impressive economic figures to a session of the Russian government yesterday, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade set out its slate of tax measures written in for 2002, including abolition of the foreign currency purchase tax, replacement of the property tax with a real estate tax, and major simplification of the system of taxation of small businesses.

According to the Statistics Committee, the average monthly salary in Russia has grown by 46.2% in 2001, and the growth of real salaries, with inflation taken into account, has amounted to 12%. Highest salaries this year were registered in the gas and oil sectors (R15,000 and R14,500 respectively). In the agriculture sphere, the average monthly wages were R1,481, in the education sphere R1,862, and in the healthcare system R1,959.

According to the Statistics Committee, pensions were indexed twice this year, and the average pension in Russia is now R1,134 per month, up 40% since the start of the year. The average subsistence level in 2001 will stand at R1,600. According to the Statistics Committee, 27% of the population are below the poverty line now, while in 2000 this index was 30%.

The overall number of Russian unemployed calculated according to the International Labour Organization methodology will be 6.3m people by the end of 2001, while in January this figure was 7.1m people. At the same time, only about 1m people are officially registered as unemployed, with 976,000 vacant jobs currently existing in the Russian economy.

In the first 10 months of this year, 410 enterprises were privatized, against 301 in the same period last year, says the Committee.


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