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Government Suggests Taking Out Gazprom's Excess Profits

Russian Finance Ministry plans to withdraw excess profits of Gazprom

Russian Finance Ministry will keep on elaborating proposals to withdraw excess profits of the companies, Alexey Kudrin said despite the government?s recent denial to canvass additional taxation of Gazprom, the business daily Kommersant reported.

It appears an opposition to Gazprom may consolidate the economic bloc of the government, as Finance Ministry, Economic Development and Trade Ministry and Central Bank of Russia have spoken in favor of this move already.

Alexey Kudrin first suggested taking out excessive revenues generated by Gazprom from gas export at the government?s sitting June 7 but was rebuffed by Dmitry Medvedev, 1st deputy PM of Russia and chairman of Gazprom BOD, and Mikhail Fradkov, prime minister of the country.

According to the sources, Finance Ministry launched its first proposals to raise severance tax for gas fields long ago and the battle of the cabinet?s economic bloc with Gazprom continues for at least four years.

But the Kremlin is apparently against any attacks on the excess export revenues of the gas monopoly, which are estimated at 270 billion rubles by the company?s management committee and at 400 billion rubles by Finance Ministry.