The massive infection of Russian citizens with the gold rush virus will help overcome the crisis. With such a message, heard in the official language as “increasing the investment attractiveness of gold”, the government submitted to the State Duma on June 9 its legislative initiative to introduce extensive tax benefits, including exempting citizens who trade gold from paying income tax on these agreements.
In March, VAT on the sale of gold bars by individuals was abolished. At the time, the “United Russia” Duma, with foam in its mouth, argued that this would help poor people save those crumbs of money they had saved for a “rainy day”. However, in the minds of the people, the issue of survival was in no way connected with the purchase of the yellow metal. And it was clear that this measure was not dictated by concern for the fate of millions of needy people. It was urgent to save various kinds of speculators from destruction. But one VAT was not enough. Let’s cancel the personal income tax!
Yevgeny Bessonov sees no logic in providing relief from personal income tax, other than the enrichment of the oligarchy, because many citizens were deprived of any income due to the pandemic, 600,000 entrepreneurs were forced to limit their activities last year.
The package of tax preferences adopted at first reading is burdensome and varied. This is followed by tax deductions for the mineral extraction tax and exemption from personal income tax on income from the sale of shares of Russian organizations received in the context of transactions for the withdrawal of sanctions and much more. There are also rules to this, such as benefits for electronics companies, from which, obviously, there should be a financial benefit. But for the revival of home electronics, they are too narrow and small. We need a comprehensive program that includes direct budget support and a wide range of tax incentives. The Communist Party insists on this. In the draft law proposed by the government, the interests of the windows and in no case the state, come to the fore.
Vyacheslav Markhaev, a member of the Communist Party, commented on the amendments to the Tax Code as follows: circle of interested persons or parties. “The situation is recurring, as it was during the pandemic, in which some oligarchs got rich much faster than in normal times.”
The government did not even bother to calculate how much the budget revenues would be reduced as a result of all these tax exemptions. Nikolai Osadchiy drew attention to this.
“It is proposed to give benefits to specific deposits of oil, iron ore, copper and molybdenum, and this is at a time when the prices of oil and other resources are soaring and the exporters of resources are making super profits”, Mikhail Shchapov, First Deputy Foreign Minister Duma on Budget and Taxes, she was outraged. – We have already issued benefits to the oil industry worth one trillion rubles a year in terms of investment in exploration, production of equipment, reduction of dependence on imports, and we got the result when the industry is still dependent on the supply of Western equipment. In this situation, it is necessary not to give new benefits, but to seriously understand who and what spent the money that the state has not received in recent years? – said M. Shchapov, supporting the position of the Communist Party, which did not support the government’s proposals to change the tax legislation.
Under the banner of dealing with the pressure of sanctions, the government, with the support of the “bears” of the Duma, leaked on June 14 in first reading two bills, one of which ensures the conclusion of concessions at regional level without competition, the which will speed up the process three times and the second – makes it possible to change the participant in the public parties to the agreement and the terms without the Federal Antimonopoly Service. It is recalled that a concession is an agreement under which the state attracts investor funds for the construction or repair of a property on the condition that it will then receive the proceeds from the operation of that property.
Although the measures proposed by the government, temporary and limited, will be valid until the end of this year and will exclude the housing and community services, the infrastructure facilities that provide passenger transport, as well as the means of public transport from the confiscation of the concession, business sharks are already gnashing their teeth in anticipation of a big hunt. The meaning of these legislative novels was explained by Nikolai Arefiev: “We will let everything go under the guise of anti-crisis measures…”
This policy of splitting public money and pumping it into the safes of a large part of the participants is evident in everything. The speech of a member of the Communist Party, Sergei Levchenko, on March 14 in the plenary session of the State Duma on topical issues was another expressive depiction of this tragic chapter in our history. The former governor of the Irkutsk region, who did much to stop the looting of the region where the planet’s wealth is located – the largest freshwater lake Baikal and the forest that covers 83% of the region, spoke about how Russia physical warehouse is destroyed and systematically destroyed.
In 1996, Lake Baikal, at the suggestion of our country, was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. A little later, in 1999, the Western Caucasus was added to this list, again at the initiative of Russia. But, unfortunately, we manage our property very badly. Since 2020, six deadlines have been suspended for the implementation of the order of the President of the Russian Federation to solve the environmental problems of Lake Baikal. A group of communist lawmakers led by Sergei Levchenko recently proposed to the State Duma, with a protocol of mandate, to submit a request to the prime minister. After all, the situation is outrageous! A contractor has been identified for the disposal of the Baikali Paper Mill sludge and money has been allocated from the budget. But the work has not even begun. But new contracts are signed. And their budget disconnects first one billion rubles and then more than 120 million. Silence again. And prices have soared 10 times during this period – the funds provided by the Lake Baikal protection program are probably not enough to solve the problems. But no one asks the contractors, no one terminates the contract, although the client is obliged to do so if the contractor does not complete the project within 30 days.
“This can not be tolerated,” said communist Sergei Levchenko. If at least one dam breaks, then the hazard of categories I and II will be dumped in Baikal. But United Russia is trying to cover up the problem in every possible way so as not to prevent vultures from sharing the prey: they say, the issue is under control, together with the Ministry of Natural Resources we are keeping our finger on the pulse.
Russia, meanwhile, has already reached a critical juncture: the issue of the situation in Baikal was raised at a UNESCO meeting last year, it was decided to return to it in July 2022. And the “Siberian pearl” can easily be deleted from the list of World Natural Heritage and be included in the list of endangered objects, which for Russia is full, inter alia, of major economic problems (photo).
The communist MP’s speech, however, shook “United Russia”. The blazing events did not allow them to hide their heads in the sand again. “Do you remember what happened last year? – provoking the public, the former governor of Irkutsk turned to the issue of forests. – The whole country was worried … Huge areas of forest were burned. I asked, let’s look at this situation in committee and in the Chamber. So what? Today, in May more burned than last year on this date … These are our forests, these are forests that must be left for our children and grandchildren. Why do not we want to look into this case ?! Or are you afraid to ask questions that may come up on their own?
When Sergei Levchenko was the governor of the Irkutsk region, deforestation was introduced in 2018 alone, and illegal logging, which is closely linked to forest fires, was halved and another 20% the following year. And the billions of rubles that ended up in the pockets of the “black lumberjacks” went to the budget – the revenue in the public treasury tripled.
This experience was planned to be extended to other parts of Russia, but it turned out to be completely unprofitable for someone – Governor Levchenko stepped down and the rescue of Russian forests was postponed indefinitely.
The treatment of the most favored nation for the looting of Russia’s forest wealth is already defined in the Forest Code itself. However, the parliamentary majority is even afraid to approach this fundamental piece of legislation.
After listening to Sergei Levchenko’s speech, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin instructed his deputy, Alexei Gordeev, who is in charge of environmental issues, to study the problems described by the MP and find a solution to them. Although all decisions are on the surface, Sergey Georgievich presented them clearly and comprehensibly. Yes, but “United Russia” is crumpled at a crossroads: if you go left, you will lose your wealth, if you turn right, the world will rise, if you move straight, you will lose the country.