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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Thursday the country's first three-year budget
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Thursday the country's first three-year budget, seen as a transition to longer-term financial planning, and designed to streamline finances and expenditure. In 2008, revenues are set at 6.6 trillion rubles ($259 billion), or 19% of GDP, and expenditure at 6.6 trillion rubles ($259 billion), 18.8% of GDP. The budget surplus is expected at 74.1 billion rubles ($2.9), or 0.2% of GDP. In 2009, the revenue and spending are planned at 7.5 trillion rubles ($291 billion) and 7.4 trillion rubles ($290 billion) respectively. And in 2010, both figures are expected at over 8 trillion rubles ($315 billion). GDP growth in 2008-2010 is forecast in the budget at 6-6.2% per year. In 2008, GDP will be 35 trillion rubles ($1.4 trillion), 39.7 trillion rubles ($1.5 trillion) in 2009, and will reach 44.8 trillion rubles ($1.7 trillion) in 2010, according to the budget. Inflation is expected to fall from 6-7% in 2008 to 5.5-6.5% in 2009, and 5-6% in 2010. The average dollar rate is forecast at 25.9 rubles per dollar in 2008, 26.2 rubles in 2009 and 26.8 in 2010. The Reserve Fund - from next year part of the Stabilization Fund cushioning the federal budget in the event of an oil price plunge - will amount to 3.5 trillion rubles ($136.3 billion) in 2008, 3.9 trillion rubles ($154.6 billion) in 2009, and 4.5 trillion rubles ($174.5 billion) in 2010, the budget says. On national defense in the next three years, the state will allocate 509.1 billion rubles ($19.8 billion), 566.7 billion rubles ($22. billion) and 596.1 billion rubles ($23.2 billion) respectively. Security bodies will receive 521.8 billion rubles ($20.3 billion), 642.6 billion rubles ($25 billion), 693.5 billion rubles ($27 billion). Funding for education in 2008-2010 is envisioned at 306.7 billion rubles ($11.9 billion), 313.6 billion rubles ($12.2 billion), and 339.8 billion rubles ($13.2 billion). Healthcare and sports will receive 211.6 billion rubles ($8.2 billion), 245.2 billion rubles ($9.5 billion), and 295.3 billion rubles ($11.5 billion) in the next three years respectively. The budget envisions a rise in the minimal wage from 2,300 rubles ($89) per month to the official subsistence level, which currently stands at 5,120 rubles ($200) per capita, by early 2011, and the use of Stabilization Fund money to offset the pension fund deficit. Average pensions are expected to increase to 5,105 rubles (about $200) by 2010, 1.7 fold on the current levels.
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