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MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The entire team of the Ministry of Finance is aimed at fulfilling all the plans contained in the three-year budget and approved by the government, acting Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the media on Wednesday.
"Fiscal policies are determined by decisions of the government and the Russian president, so we, the Ministry of Finance, will implement them. Our entire team is focused on the task the plans contained in the three-year budget, the plans that were discussed by the government and approved by the president, should be performed," he said. Siluanov recalled that in 2015 "we should achieve a zero deficit budget."
As he answered questions, the acting finance minister said that the increase in budget expenditures might create additional risks, so the policy of the ministry was to ensure macroeconomic stability and fiscal balance.
"We should not increase costs without corresponding revenue sources," he said.
According to Siluanov, the risks include "as always, the current prices of crude oil and petroleum products."
He recalled that the budget of 2012 relied on "quite realistic" forecast oil prices, but unfortunately they were volatile. That is why, Siluanov said, if the price environment in the future gets worse, the Finance Ministry will seek measures to keep the budget in balance. Asked if a tax increase might be such a measure, Siluanov said, "Tax rises can be used only as a last resort, it is not the best proposal."
He added that the Finance Ministry did not intend to prepare any proposals for a tax increase in the near future.