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Pro-governmental factions deprived Russian science of tax breaks

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"Today's decision of the Duma to abolish property tax breaks for research organisations poses a threat to the development of fundamental science in Russia," declared Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science Alexander Shishlov after the State Duma introduced amendments to Part 2 of the Tax Code on Wednesday, October 8, 2003.

At the meeting of the Duma (on October 8) pro-governmental factions managed to pass at the second attempt in the third reading the amendments to the Chapter "Property Tax" of the Tax Code. In accordance with these amendments, property tax breaks may no longer be applied by state academic organisations from January 1, 2004. Shishlov thinks that this amendment may lead to a considerable deterioriation in the situation for academic organisations, as the system of compensations that has to replace the tax break is not based on calculations and there are no guarantees that it shall function." "The decision of the Duma majority subordinated to the government is also shameful, as yesterday two Russian scientists obtained the Nobel Prize for Physics," stressed Shishlov.

At the morning meeting of the Duma Shishlov proposed to return the aforementioned draft law to a second reading and adopt amendments granting tax breaks to academic institutions. Nobel Prize winner and Duma deputy Zhores Alfyorov (CPRF) supported Shishlov and stated that the life and death of Russian fundamental science would depend on this decision-making. Despite all the arguments of the Nobel Prize winner, the Duma centrist factions voted for the passage of the draft law in the third reading.

The issue was voted upon and the draft law obtained only 220 votes against the required minimum of 226 votes. Artur Chilingarov ("Russia's Regions") chairing the meeting and Chairman of the Duma Regulations Committee Oleg Kovalyov ("Unity - United Russia") insisted on a second vote. Finally, the law was supported by 246 deputies, 142 deputies voted against and there were no abstentions. "The Duma knocked a nail into the coffin of the Russian science," stated Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee for Education and Science Oleg Smolin (Agro-Industrial Group).

For the adoption of the Federal Law \"On Introduction of Amendments into the Part 2 of the Tax Code of the RF\" (depriving academic organisations on privileges on property tax).
Factions Votes,%
Communist Party 0%
"Unity" 97.53%
"People's deputy" 68.18%
"Fatherland - All Russia" 100%
Union of the Right-Wing Forces 96.77%
"Yabloko" 0%
"Russia's Regions" 59.57%
LDPR 100%
Agro-Industrial group 0%
Independent deputies 33.33%

Roll-call voting in the State Duma "For the adoption of the Federal Law "On Introduction of Amendments into the Part 2 of the Tax Code of the RF" (depriving academic organisations on privileges on property tax)", October 8, 2003.

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