Tax burden on Gazprom might be increased

The growth in gas tariffs can be offset by the increase in tax burden on Gazprom, Russian Economy Minister German Gref voiced his opinion today speaking about the preliminary forecasts of the government for a maximum increase in tariffs of services of natural monopolies in 2004. He specified that gas export taxes could be raised from 5 to 20 percent.

The minister admitted that a number of consultations on this issue were to be held. Gref also added that the ceiling for tariffs of natural monopolies in 2004 approved at today's government meeting could be corrected later.

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