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The Russian president did not like a draft budget

September 19, 2012, 12:43 UTC+3
For the first time the Finance Ministry has made public the draft budget for an anti-corruption expertise
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MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass) — At a meeting in the Sochi presidential residence on Wednesday Putin levelled sharp criticism on a draft budget for 2013-2015. For the first time the Finance Ministry has made public the draft budget for an anti-corruption expertise. He was dissatisfied with the fact that his first presidential decrees issued last May were not fulfilled and now many provisions of these instructions cannot be fulfilled.

Taking his speech formally, Vladimir Putin has literally showered sharp criticism on the draft budget. Minister of Regional Development Oleg Govorun and Labour Minister Maxim Topilin were the first ministers to be come under presidential criticism, the Kommersant daily reported. Putin accused them of non-fulfilling the demands of his first May program decrees. For instance, the decrees envisaged a 50% growth of real salaries by 2018 and approve a program for gradual improvement of the remuneration system for budget-financed workers. The draft budget did not contain expenditures for higher salaries, as well as substantial expenditures for the development of the Far East and new mortgage crediting special programs.

Putin named only one risk for the drafting of a budget that is a high non-oil and gas deficit of 10.6% of GDP. The draft budget, which was posted on the website of the Finance Ministry, also mentions other threats for the execution of the budget, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. The authors of the draft budget named a probable reduction of custom duties as the top problem for the budget. This tendency may take place over lower export and import custom duties due to Russia’s accession in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry acknowledged that Russia will exert an influence on the instability in the world economy. This is the decline of oil prices, so it is a threat for stability.

Finally, the president dwelt on inflation as one of the most pressing problems for Russians. “Despite current problems, it is essentially important for us to continue a firm course for curbing the inflation. This is just an illusion that the control over the inflation can be slightly loosened to settle the current tasks, particularly in budget drafting. This is a very dangerous approach. We know that a low inflation rate is good that provides for the saving of incomes of people, affordable credits, mortgage credits and long-term investments,” the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily quoted the president as saying.

Putin promised not to take any drastic punitive measures himself, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported. However, Putin noted that he will urge Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that those ministers to blame should be reprimanded. “I would like also to warn other members of the government that I will be supervising closely our common work and will be reacting on what is happening and not happening and must have happened,” the president noted.

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