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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputies Urge Higher Limit for Cash Exports

The State Duma's budget committee on Monday recommended that lawmakers vote to raise to $10,000 from $1,500 the amount of cash foreigners and Russians can carry out of the country without special Central Bank permission.

The recommendation by the influential committee comes ahead of Friday's crucial second reading of amendments to the law on currency controls, which passed a first reading in October.

Currently, foreigners cannot take out a single cent without a declaration stamped upon arrival or a special bank receipt, while Russians can take out up to $1,500 without questions.

A source close to the committee said the recommendation to raise the limit to $10,000 is unlikely to pass due to pressure from the government and the Central Bank. More important, he said, is making the rules of the game the same for everyone.

The Central Bank has recommended a limit of $3,000.

A number of deputies, including budget committee chairman Alexander Zhukov, pushed for raising the limit to $3,000 or $5,000.

Under their proposal, people leaving the country could still take out $10,000 without special permission from the Central Bank if they can show documentation that their hard currency above the $3,000 or $5,000 limit has been transferred or imported to Russia, bought with rubles or withdrawn from a legitimate hard currency account.

Amounts exceeding $10,000 would still require Central Bank permission.

The amendments are reflected in the government's new, liberal version of the currency law, the source close to the budget committee said. Zhukov said Monday that the government's version of the new law is likely to be passed in the spring, despite an alternative version developed by deputies that is expected to spark heated debate.

"The majority of deputies take a more liberal stance than the government," Zhukov was quoted as saying.