Untaxed wealth in Lithuania amounts to between 2.5 billion and 3 billion litas ($714 million), Prime Minister Algirdas Brazaus-kas said July 12.
"Our major problem is collecting taxes, as the growth of GDP budget incomes are not increasing at the same speed," Brazauskas said during a press briefing. "According to the estimates of our experts some 2.5 billion-3 billion untaxed litas are in turnover in Lithuania."
The economy grew by 5.9 percent in 2001 and by 4.5 percent in the first-quarter of 2002. But budget income last year increased by only 3 percent, adding that an estimated 200,000 people in Lithuania did not pay income taxes.
"Because of that, tax collection is to become the priority of the government," he said.
Lithuania is currently negotiating membership in the European Union and hopes to conclude talks this year and join in 2004.