United Russia Lawmakers Oppose Government Tax Bill

Lawmakers from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party have refused to support a taxation bill proposed by the Finance Ministry, the first case of public opposition to a government initiative by United Russia MPs in the past few years, the Russian media is reporting on Tuesday.

A debate broke out in the parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, when a lawmaker from A Just Russia party, Andrei Krutov, proposed excluding the government bill modifying the regulations of interest payments for Eurobonds from the agenda of the State Duma’s May 25 session, reports said.

The initiative was supported by the government’s State Duma representative, Andrei Loginov, who said the bill requires additional discussions with the cabinet.

But Andrei Makarov, the United Russia member who heads the State Duma budget committee, insisted that bills should be discussed publicly in parliament.

“The parliament has virtually handed over all its budget powers to the Finance Ministry,” he was quoted by the Moskovski Komsomolets daily as saying. “This is very convenient both for the government and the parliament. But the budget process should not be governed by the principle of convenience.”

State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin, also a United Russia member, voiced support for Makarov, the Vedomosti daily said.

As a result, the bill was not excluded from the agenda of Friday’s session, but lawmakers were short of time to discuss it, the reports said.


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