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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Livshits Puts Tax Pressure On Norilsk

COMBINED REPORTS


Finance Minister Alexander Livshits was quoted as telling the State Duma on Friday that Norilsk Nickel, one of Russia's industrial giants with close ties to the government, had to pay its overdue taxes and that bankruptcy procedures apply to the metals group.


"The procedure of bankruptcy will be applied," Tass quoted him as telling Duma deputies.


Norilsk, controlled by powerful Uneximbank, was granted tax breaks reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars under a presidential decree last summer.


Shortly after the decree, former Uneximbank chairman Vladimir Potanin was named Russia's new first deputy premier for the economy.


Another prominent company controlled by Uneximbank, the oil major Sidanko, was given summons by federal bankruptcy officials this week over its unpaid taxes.


Itar-Tass indirectly quoted Livshits as saying that Norilsk should first pay salary arrears and that no exceptions would be made for the company on its overdue taxes, the size of which he did not name.


The agency gave no further information.


The State Tax Inspectorate said in mid-November that it had agreed a schedule of payments of back taxes for the nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum and platinum-group metals producer and that it did not intend to freeze metals or property.


It estimated the debts of the Norilsk flagship alone combine to 500 million rubles.


Russian tax authorities have been cracking the whip recently over companies' unpaid and overdue taxes and have launched a drive to get companies to pay up.


But no companies have actually been liquidated under the drive.


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