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Russia ought to have more than 100 billion US dollars in its Stabilisation Fund
Such is the opinion of William Biter, EBRD vice-president for economics. He answered newsmen in Moscow's Strategic Study Centre today as the EBRD was introducing to the public its review of transition economy countries. Present-day Stabilisation Fund accumulations are certainly not enough, he pointed out. Russia direly needs a softer cushion to protect it from a tentative petroleum price slump. The Stabilisation Fund must grow into a symbol-the population must know that the national economy will retain a certain level, whatever ups and downs oil prices may come through. To save not spend is what Russia ought to do about its Stabilisation Fund. It must start with body-building to get as much as possible out of high oil and gas prices, and put by for a rainy day. To spend Stabilisation Fund money is pointless now, stressed the expert as he called Russia for the utmost thrift. The EBRD approves Russia's new law on which monetary grants are replacing welfare privileges in kind. That is the right thing to do, the bank boss pointed out to a Novosti reporter. The arrangement will allow people on the welfare to spend their money the way they like. The amount of grants is of tremendous importance-they must be sufficient, in the first place. The reform demands a change of social classification. Seniors may need one sum, and limited-abilities persons another, he added
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