MOSCOW, August 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Work in the draft budget for 2013-2015 has entered the final stage and will be completed on time, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov assured President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, August 22.
“We will hold a meeting of the Budget Commission in the near future; the Government meeting on the budget is planned for late September, and we will submit a draft budget to the State Duma by October 1, in accordance with the legislation,” he said.
Siluanov recalled that the government had held a series of meetings on key fiscal policy issues, including those pertaining to the social sphere, the industry, the armed forces and the overall budget balance.
The minister described the budget for 2013-2015 as “complex” as it has been drafted in accordance with the budget rules.
“The rules set limits on the expenses that we can afford. It is the right approach in the current unstable macroeconomic environment. Our task is to make sure that we are able to implement the budget and meet our obligations in full whatever the foreign economic situation and the oil prices. The draft budget that the Government is currently working on meets these requirements. You outlined out task in the Budget Address, and the draft meets those objectives,” he said.
The budget is also made more complex “by the budget manoeuvre we had to adopt in order to execute and implement your decisions, the executive orders of May 7 on increasing the salaries of public sector employees, as well as to address other important socio-economic issues”, the minister said, adding, “We redistributed the allocations within the budget so that the priorities you identified are included in the budget parameters.”
In addition, in view of the tasks outlined in the Budget Address, the Finance Ministry provided for a reserve in the next year’s budget in the amount of 200 billion rubles (over 6 billion U.S. dollars) in the event of changes in the macroeconomic situation. “We did not distribute those funds among the relevant ministries and agencies,” Siluanov said.
“Let’s say, in the event of market changes, not the macroeconomic situation. We must make certain that the macroeconomic situation remains unchanged,” Putin corrected the minister.
“That’s right, in the event of market changes, such as a drop in the oil prices or a slowdown in the growth of the global economy. That would have a negative effect on Russia. Therefore, we have made provisions for such developments and set aside sufficient reserve funds for 2013, just as in the current year,” Siluanov replied.