Moscow to face significant budget deficit

The Moscow budget is expected to have a deficit of 12bn rubles (about$379m) in 2003, Irina Rukina, chairman of the Moscow parliamentarycommission for economic policies, announced at a press conference today.She specified that revenues of the Moscow municipal budget would reach260bn rubles ($8.22bn) next year. Moscow authorities are going to eliminatethe deficit by sales of state property in the capital of Russia, creditsand other non-tax revenues. Profit tax payments make up most of therevenues in the municipal budget (44 percent), while income tax paymentsprovide 29.4 percent of the revenues. The 2003 budget already envisages1.74bn rubles ($55m) in revenues from the sale of state property. Theofficial reported that auctions would be a priority for the sale of stateproperty.According to Rukina, the Moscow 2003 budget, unlike previous budgets, willbe drawn up under a new principle. The budget will include three types ofinvestment programs - yearly, mid-term and long-term programs (for 3 yearsand more). Expenditures for the housing and communal sector will beincreased by 19 percent. About 85bn rubles ($2.69bn) will be allocated forsocial programs. The 2003 budget also stipulates a rise in public transporttariffs and an increase in salaries of state employees..

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