On Saturday vice-premier Aleksei Kudrin, Russian finance minister, announced that in 2004-2005 Russia would abolish quotas on sale of diamonds, and shares of Alrosa, the national diamond production company, would be issued for free circulation.
According to him, in 2004-2005 the company will be transformed into an open joint-stock company. The vice-premier was hopeful that by that time amendments to stop restricting dissemination of the information on current diamonds production and their reserves to the current legislation will be adopted. At the meeting with the company's management Kudrin stated that "following the world practice it is not be necessary to make that information classified." According to the vice-premier, quotas on sale of diamonds will also be abolished in accordance with the international practice by the end of 2004.
The vice-premier stated that the government will also buy Alrosa stock out of which it owns only 37 percent at the moment. The vice-premier stated that the production facilities of the company would not be divided and would "remain solid and efficient." According to the company's management, by the results of the current year the company's profit is expected to reach RUR 5.7 billion (about USD 247.5 million) unless exchange rates changed dramatically.