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Putin to hold meeting on 2016 budget projections

September 22, 2015, 10:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In recent weeks, the 2016 draft federal budget has been more than once discussed at meetings with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on Tuesday with the leadership of the presidential administration, the Federation Council and State Duma upper and lower houses of parliament and ministers of the government’s economic bloc to discuss the 2016 budget projections, as well as current issues of the budget process, the Kremlin press service reported.

The 2016 budget will be principally different from the similar document that was prepared in 2014. Thus, the State Duma has approved in the first reading amendments to the Budget Code, according to which the government forms a one-year budget, not considering the 2017-2018 planning period. The document was drafted by the Russian government and motivated by the high volatility on financial and raw materials markers, heightened risks to the reliability of socio-economic forecasts and calculations of incomes and spending of the federal budget.

The bill suspends a number of provisions of the Russian Budget Code till January 1, 2016 in order to create the legal framework to form and adopt the federal budget and the budgets of government off-budget funds only for 2016. Under the bill, October 25 is a deadline for submitting a draft federal budget for 2016 to the State Duma. Under the Budget Code, a draft budget for each following financial year is to be submitted by October 1.

The bill postpones the deadline when Russian regions are to submit their budgets to local legislatures. The new deadline is November 15 versus the previous one of November 1.

Apart from that, the bill suspends the so-called "budget rule," which determines the maximum level of expenditure on the basis of oil prices. It also offers measures to ensure the realization of the contracts and decisions adopted within the three-year budget.

Andrey Makarov, the chairman of the State Duma budget and tax committee, told reporters last week that the bill would be considered by the State Duma in the second and third readings on September 25.

In recent weeks, the 2016 draft federal budget has been more than once discussed at meetings with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. At these meetings the Finance Ministry proposed to keep the 2016 expenditures at the level of 2015, that is, cut them by 650 billion rubles ($9.82 billion) compared to the expenditures envisaged for 2016 within the 2015-2017 three-year planning period. In this case the budget deficit will reach 2.8% - 2.9% of GDP.

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