The final stage of the State Duma's (the lower house of parliament) spring session is expected to be tense. The deputies are to discuss the package of tax bills. This information was provided by chairman of the Duma budgetary committee Alexander Zhukov (Russian Regions group). In compliance with the State Duma regulations the deputies are now working in election districts. The regular work will resume on May 13, and a routine plenary session is scheduled for May 15. The deputies will consider the tax bills since the draft budget for the next year will be based, in many respects, on the changes in the tax legislation, Zhukov pointed out. It is necessary to make changes in the tax legislation to further increase the economic growth rates, he emphasised. Zhukov stated that though taxes on small business in the country are not big -- 5-7 percent, in practice this economic sector remains in the shadow. At the same time, he believes, the small business turnover is about 40 billion dollars. This includes the sphere of services, construction, but these means are going through a "hidden stash" and are not taken into account by official statistics. In May-June the taxation of small business will be one of the main issues to be discussed by the State Duma. The government variants of the draft laws stipulate that small business enterprises will pay a turnover tax of 8 percent or a profits tax of 20 percent.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated