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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Fires Chief of Tax Service

President Boris Yeltsin on Tuesday dismissed Vladimir Gusev as the head of the State Tax Service, the presidential press service said, at a time when budgeted tax revenues have been coming in far under projections.

The decree also appointed Vitaly Artyukhov, a deputy finance minister, as the new head of the State Tax Service. The decree said Gusev was moving to a new job but did not specify what position.

A spokeswoman for the State Tax Service, who declined to be identified, said she could not comment on the news of Gusev's dismissal until the decree is published by the press.

The dismissal comes after the government declared last week it planned to step up the tax collection to ensure the budget receives enough revenue.

However, the federal budget revenue for the first quarter was expected to be 54 trillion rubles, but only 18 trillion rubles had come in by the end of February with an additional 12 trillion rubles projected for March, Finance Minister Vladimir Panskov said recently.

"The budget problems should be solved through better tax collection," Sergei Aleksashenko, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, said Friday.

In the wake of Yeltsin's pre-election shift to address social issues, the government has pledged to pay off all wage arrears -- estimated at some 20.4 trillion rubles ($4.25 billion) -- by the end of March, according to Aleksashenko.

Artyukhov, 52, the newly appointed head of the State Tax Service, took over his position in the Finance Ministry in 1995 and oversaw industrial, transport, construction and the auditing departments, Interfax reported. Prior to that he served as a deputy transport minister.

Artyukhov sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on Feb. 3 suggesting an emergency plan "in strict compliance with the pressing social-economic priorities" to fulfill the budget expenditure plans, Interfax said.