Putin proposes reparations for ’90s

Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pesnya)
Vladimir Putin wants any disputes from Russia’s chaotic privatizations in the 1990s settled once and for all. At a meeting with leading Russian businessmen, the PM said entrepreneurs involved may have to pay a one-off duty to secure their assets.

At a meeting with leading Russian businessmen, Prime Minister Putin suggested that the results of the 1990s privatization should be fixed once and for all, but that entrepreneurs ensure the community accepts this plan – possibly via a one-off duty.

It is not the first time Vladimir Putin has said that the initial privatization in Russia was not completely fair, but the first time the PM, who is currently running for presidency, has said that those who benefited most must compensate the rest of society.

“We must turn this page. We must end this period. There are various suggested options and they all must be discussed with the community and with experts. Discussed in such way that society accepts the option of closing the problem of the unfair, to be frank, privatization of the 1990s,” Putin said.

The PM said that a special mechanism must be created for the purpose.

“This can be a one-time toll or something else. We must think about it together. I think that society as a whole and the entrepreneurs as a class are interested in this,” Putin said.

At the same meeting, Putin asked one of the participants, board chairman of the Magnitogorsk Metals Group, billionaire Viktor Rashnikov, what his attitude to the luxury tax was.

“You have only just voiced this idea… it must be thought through and looked at,” the businessman answered. “But if the time has come…” Rashnikov replied.

“Thanks you for your answer, it is good,” the prime minister said, as the audience laughed.

At the same time Putin said that the authorities are not planning to impose heavier taxation on economic sectors other than raw materials production.