MOSCOW Aug 2 Russia should be raising excise
taxes on alcohol at a faster rate than currently planned, Deputy
Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Thursday.
Russia has recently started to tighten regulation of alcohol
sales to curb drinking, with measures already taken including
excise tax hikes, an increase of a minimum vodka price, and a
ban of advertising in all media, including Internet.
"In my personal opinion, excise taxes on all alcoholic
beverages - beer and everything containing alcohol - should grow
more than it is currently envisaged in the budget," Dvorkovich
told reporters after a government meeting.
He added that the final decision should be discussed with
all the parties involved, without providing any details.
At the beginning of 2012 Russian taxes on beer rose by 20
percent and according to a Finance Ministry plan approved late
last year, they will rise by a further 25 percent in 2013 and 20
percent in 2014.
These measures have hit brewers and vodka makers which rely
on emerging markets such as Russia for growth.
On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin said beer
taxes could be increased again to curb drinking, sending Danish
brewer Carlsberg's shares down more than 5 percent.
Carlsberg earns nearly half its profits from the Russian
market, making it vulnerable to Russian taxes hikes.
Belgium-based AB InBev and Turkey's Anadolu Efes
also have a big presence in Russia.
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; writing by Maria Kiselyova;
editing by James Jukwey)