State Duma official predicts difficulties in raising wages of budget employees in 2003

The distribution of revenues between the federal center and regions ofRussia budgeted for next year limits the possibility for Russian regions toraise wages of budget employees, Deputy Chief of the State Duma's BudgetCommittee Vitaly Shuba declared in an interview with journalists today.According to him, "not everything is clear" in the main financial documentof the country, and "the budget has heavy discussions by the parliament'slower house in the future," especially its macroeconomic provisions. Thiswill mainly concern GDP parameters, inflation, budget revenues andexpenditures. These are the issues that will be discussed by deputies onthe first reading. Talking about the government coordinating the main parameters of the 2003budget with leaders of four deputy groups, Shuba remarked that this was "apolitical thing" and that the most important issue here was "to achievepolitical consensus." "But while passing the budget through the State Duma,professionals will get involved in the process," which may require makingsome changes in the main financial document of the country," the deputythinks. .

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