Moscow, 29 September 1998 (RFE/RL) - The Russian government today named a new director of the country's tax service after news that tax collection was down this month. The new director, Georgy Boos, is a parliamentary deputy with the centrist "Our
Home is Russia" faction. Poor tax collection is widely seen as a key factor behind Russia's deep financial crisis. Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov said today that Russia had collected only half
of its planned revenues for this month.
Boos has no previous record working with for the government. He replaces Boris Fyodorov, who was dismissed by President Boris Yeltsin yesterday.
According to ITAR-TASS, Primakov plans to hold talks with some of the country's biggest tax dodgers. Primakov also met with regional leaders today. Some have threatened to withhold
taxes they owe the federal government, and they want the government to give them
Primakov suggested the regions work on restructuring the tax system. But he
ruled out non-payment of taxes.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri
Maslyukov will present an anti-crisis plan on Thursday. No details on the plan
Also, Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov tried to calm foreign investors today.
Some of them have criticized the government for favoring Russian banks as it
tries to clear up its massive debts. Zadornov said there will be no
In addition to poor tax collection and controversy over debt repayments, the
country's wage arrears continue to be a problem. Reuters news agency today said
Russia's military officers and soldiers are jamming a new telephone hotline set
up to answer their questions about wage arrears. Colonel Vyacheslav Rashevsky of
the Defence Ministry's financial department said today that there are many
callers and that the phone "practically never stops ringing."
are being run by the eight regional military districts and four navy fleets.
More than a million men and women serve in Russia's armed forces and most have
not been paid since May. Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov said yesterday the
government had paid two months of arrears.