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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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State Rolls Back Tax To Halt Vodka Crisis

While the government has endured the closure of car, aluminum and even military plants, it apparently has found the shutdown of Moscow's largest vodka producer too hard to swallow. In a rare and speedy decision, a high-level government commission, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, has reduced by two-thirds a 900 percent excise tax imposed in December on domestic spirits that forced the Kristall plant to close down Monday, a spokesman for Soskovets said Wednesday. The Commission on Urgent Problems reduced the excise tax to 300 percent, even lower than the pre-December tax of 550 percent which the industry had sought, said the spokesman, Yury Mikhailov. He said the new tax, to cover all domestic alcoholic beverages except beer and wine, will take effect Friday. ""The former decision of the government was acknowledged as erroneous. We should have done that two weeks ago,"" Mikhailov said.

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