Heightened attention to financing education in budget-2003

Financing of education is the "top priority" in the budget of the country for the year of 2003, Vice-Premier and Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Alexei Kudrin stated delivering at the plenary meeting of the State Duma on Wednesday the main report on the draft budget-2003 during its consideration in its first reading.

He said that 383 billion roubles (1 dollar = 31.43 roubles) will be spent on education. So, as he said, the increment of the expenditures amounts to 115 billion roubles. "It is the greatest increase of expenditures" compared to other sectors, the Vice-Premier noted.

He said that "financing national defence is another priority". "We must build such a system of financing national defence in which the budget financial resources will be spent effectively. Our task is to set up a mobile, effective army", Kudrin added.

The Vice-Premier cited the planned increase of pay to the personnel of the budget-financed sphere by 33 per cent and an increase of monetary allowance of servicemen among the important priorities.

The Vice-Premier said that compared with this year it is planned to boost the financing of education and science by 22 per cent, of national defence by 26 per cent, and of law-enforcement activity by 46 per cent.

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