MOSCOW - The State Duma has passed amendments to the federal budget for 2004, on its third and final reading. According to the amendments, budget revenues will rise by RUR 531bn (about $18.5bn according to the current exchange rate), due to a revised forecast for the GDP, revenues of the Stabilization Fund and tax revenues.
RUR 422.4bn of the additional budget revenues will go to the budget surplus, and the remaining RUR 108.6bn will be used to increase budget spending. Another RUR 23bn will be allocated as financial aid to regional budgets. RUR 14.7bn was earmarked for national defense, RUR 6bn – on law enforcement activities, RUR 5bn – on agriculture; RUR 12.7bn will be allocated to manufacturing, energy and construction.
Spending on healthcare, railways, international affairs, the mass media, culture and art will also be increased. The Federation Council is expected to discuss the bill on October 29. The amendments were passed by a vote of 380-0, with 6 abstentions.
Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry reviewed the parameters of the federal budget for 2004. Revenues are expected to be RUR 3.274 trillion, RUR 531bn more than planned. And expenditures are set at RUR 2.761 trillion, RUR 108.6bn more than projected.