The Federation Council, or the upper house of the Russian legislature, is now busy preparing recommendations for the Cabinet on how to boost tax collection and improve public property management. These recommendations will be set forth in a resolution on the 2002 federal budget that the house is planning to adopt at its January 16 session (it will be remembered that the draft budget passed through parliament December 26, 2001), according to Valery Goreglyad, Vice-Speaker of the Federation Council. Mr. Goreglyad said the forthcoming resolution is also supposed to include proposals from Federation Council members as to the implementation of a law on public-sector pay raise and ways to assist the regions in effecting this program. The Federation Council Vice-Speaker added that the MPs are planning to offer to the Cabinet a set of measures to reduce the Treasury's dependence on fluctuations of energy source prices at the world's markets.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated