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MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. The Russian Finance Ministry’s proposal to freeze the federal budget spending in nominal terms for 3 years was approved on Monday at a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Vedomosti newspaper reports, citing a meeting participant and two federal officials.
The ministry of finance proposed to set the budget spending in 2017-2019 at 15.78 trillion rubles ($246.28 bln) per year, less than the revised volume of spending for 2016.
"No decisions have been made, as the Commission does not make such decisions. The finance ministry presented proposals," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalia Timakova has said. Nevertheless, all the meeting participants agreed with the approach, practically approving the proposal, a meeting attendee said. "Although every minister spoke out and many complained about scarcity of money for all the expenses. These comments will be reviewed and a decision will be presented on Thursday," the source said.
"The approach was adopted, redistribution within program expenditure articles is possible," another federal official said - the president also agrees with freezing expenditures. The exact figures will be adjusted, the source concluded.
According to the Russian Finance Ministry's proposal, spending on 36 out of 43 state programs (roughly half of the budget) are declining even in nominal value, except retirement costs, economic development and management of public finances (national debt).