Deputy Speaker names drawbacks in 2003 budget draft

Senior Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Valery Goreglyad commentedon the 2003 budget draft and said it was a more balanced document thanprevious budgets. He stressed there were no grounds for budget disputesthis time, as the Cabinet tried to coordinate the most complicated issuesbefore the budget was given its first reading.Commenting on the conference devoted to the 2003 budget draft, which wasorganized by the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russianparliament, the Deputy Speaker called it a very important event, which wasvital for elaborating on the budget and for its approval in the State Dumaand the upper house of parliament. Among participants of the conferencewere Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin, members of the Federation Council,State Duma deputies and scientists. Goreglyad called today's conference'the pubic presentation of the 2003 budget draft.'At the same time, the Deputy Speaker stressed there were a lot of problemsremaining in the draft. In particular, it is necessary to make items withbudget expenditures more open and clarify the establishment of thefinancial reserve. The official also mentioned that unequal distribution ofrevenues, which was in favor of federal authorities. He believes thisfactor hampers economic growth. The Deputy Speaker hopes that the year 2003will be the last year when tasks of macroeconomic stability will beaddressed. He believes that starting in 2004 the budget will graduallybecome a financial instrument for regulating economic growth..

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