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Russia's 2005 budget
Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval of the country's 2005 budget,which envisages a 6.3 percent growth for the gross domestic product (GDP). The draft was passed by a 312-2 vote, with 20 abstentions, in the fourth and final required reading in the 450-seat State Duma, according to the Interfax news agency. The budget projects a surplus of 278.11 billion rubles ( 9.56 billion US dollars), or 1.5 percent of GDP, expecting 3.326 trillion rubles (114 billion dollars) in revenue and 3.047 trillion rubles (104.7 billion dollars) in spending. Russia's GDP in 2005 is estimated at 18.7 trillion rubles (643 billion dollars), up 6.3 percent against this year, and inflation is expected to range between 7.5 percent and 8.5 percent, compared to 10 percent for this year. In the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks, the budgetallocates 531.06 billion rubles (about 19.2 billion dollars) for national defense, and 398.17 billion rubles (14.37 billion dollars) in national security and law enforcement spending. The bill faces one more vote on Friday in the Federation Council, or upper house of parliament, before it goes to President Vladimir Putin for his signature.
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