Russia’s Finance Ministry is to propose limiting cash payments to 600,000 rubles ($20,000) and promote plastic card settlements in the country in a bid to close down the grey economy, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.
“The proposal we are currently considering at the expert level is to recommend using only the non-cash scheme for certain settlements that exceed 600,000 rubles and more,” Siluanov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 round-the-clock TV channel.
Siluanov said it was expedient to switch to non-cash payments for large-sum purchases of property and cars, rather than using cash.
“I recently visited Italy where you can’t make cash payments over 1,000 euros and must use cards. This is a healthy practice and this is right,” Siluanov said.
The ministry’s proposal envisages prompting major retail outlets to increasingly accept payment cards for non-cash settlements, he said.
“This would be more correct, this is a transparent practice while the issue of grey businesses and the shadow economy is largely related to the functioning of a large quantity of cash in Russia,” Siluanov said.
To implement this measure, Russia should speed up the switch of budget-financed organizations to bank card accounts to pay wages and salaries, he said.