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Russian Tax Problems To Delay IMF Payment

Washington, July 23 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's growing problem of faltering tax collections is causing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to delay this month's $300 million loan payment to Russia for a few weeks.

Tax revenues are running at less than 50 percent of projections and IMF officials say they are working with Russian officials to overhaul the tax collection system as well as to revamp the level and types of taxes.

Falling government revenues are causing Russia's budget deficit to rise, which could jeopardize the stabilization and reform program on which the IMF loan is based. The fund approved the $10 million loan in March, but conditioned monthly disbursals on Russia's meeting the basic critera of the program.

The July payment is being delayed because the IMF review team had to return to Washington for consultations with senior fund management on the tax collection problem. They are expected to finish their review in Moscow early next month.