Vice premier about 2003 draft budget

The government draft budget for the year of 2003, despite the necessity for Russia to pay great sums on its foreign debt, is "socially-oriented", Vice-Premier Valentina Matviyenko stated on Tuesday.

According to her, the funds for the main social items, in spite of everything, will be sizeably increased next year.

In particular, the expenditures for the social and cultural purposes will go up by 30 per cent, for education by 23 per cent, for public health by 23.9 per cent, and for the development of the social policy by 23.9 per cent. Furthermore, of the order of 23 billion roubles (1 dollar = 31.4 roubles) in the budget for 2003 are planned to be spent on increasing wages of state employees and monetary allowance of servicemen, Matviyenko said.

At the same time, the financing of the cultural sphere in 2003 will be the largest in the past few years. The Vice-Premier specified that the financing of this item will increase by 37 billion roubles. It is planned to channel more than 2 billion roubles into the production and distribution of Russian-made films.

As Matviyenko said, in the sphere of health services emphasis will be made on combating socially caused diseases, as well on maternity and child care.

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