Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Cabinet to reduce the flat social tax within the shortest possible period of time. As presidential spokesman Alexander Gromov said, the reduction of the flat social tax had been the focus of today's meeting between President Putin and Economic Development Minister Herman Gref, Federal Tax Police Service chief Gennady Bukaev, and Labour Minister Alexander Potchinok. According to Gromov, the President instructed the officials in charge to reduce the annual wage threshold from 50,000 to 30,000 rubles per worker. As a result, 50 to 80% of companies could go legit and start paying the social tax in full, Gref said following the meeting. In the course of Tuesday's meeting between the President and the leaders of the Union of Right Forces faction, Vice Speaker of the State Duma (parliament's lower house) Irina Hakamada also approached Putin with a request to reduce the flat social tax. According to Gromov, the restructuring of companies' debts became another important issue of the meeting between the President and the ministers. Putin was quoted by his press-secretary as saying that debt restructuring should be effected within the shortest possible period of time. This concerns "not only debts to tax bodies, but also overdue customs duties, back state loans, and repayments to non-budget funds". As Gromov said, the President believes that these measures could ease the tax burden for many companies and help them out of the debt pitfall.
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