Focus On Social Spending To Remain In Russia's 2002 Budget Regardless Of Oil Prices

Whatever the oil prices, the 2002 budget will preserve its focus on social spending and will not run a deficit, said in an interview with RIA Novosti Valery Galchenko, deputy chairman of the Budget and Tax Committee in the State Duma, or the lower house of Russia's parliament. Mr. Galchenko stressed that financial reserves incorporated in the 2002 draft budget will stay intact. However, he added that under the compromise reached by the Budget Committee and the Cabinet, if oil prices are low, the reserves will be smaller as well. If budget revenues are insufficient to cover budget expenditures, the reserves will be used for the purpose.

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