Simplified taxation and reduced tax burden are one of government's key goals

The simplification of taxation and reduction of the tax burden is one of the key aspects of the Russian government's effort, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on Monday, opening in Moscow the Council on Entrepreneurship under the Russian government.

According to him, the reforming of the tax area now proceeding in Russia facilitates economic growth and has already improved the business situation and the investment climate. "Tax reform is the main factor in ensuring economic growth," he emphasised.

"The ultimate aim is just taxation with the repeal of many individual perks, which fact puts all businessmen and taxpayers on the same footing," Kasyanov said, adding that the government would continue scrapping economically unjustified taxes "violating the logic of economic management".

Another aim, according to the prime minister, is to ease the tax burden. This measure has already yielded positive results -- in 2000 the level of taxation was 33 per cent of GDP, while in 2003 it is projected to be 31 per cent of GDP.

Kasyanov believes that by applying the principles of tax reform "we move in the right direction".

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