Russia wants to increase the excise tax on cigarettes by 20 percent next year to help plug holes in its budget, reports Reuters. The government is also eying the oil and mining industries for additional revenues.
The move, estimated to bring in around RUR340 billion ($4.54 billion) a year, comes as Russia faces a prolonged budget deficit amid weak oil prices and after Moscow offered Belarus a $1.5 billion loan.
“When it is difficult, everyone should be involved in solving the problems which the country and its people are facing,” Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting on Wednesday.
He described the proposal, yet to be finalized, as “slightly increasing taxes on a number of profitable sectors.”