Government to approve draft 2003 budget on August 15

The Russian government intends to approve the draft 2003 federal budget on August 15th and to present it to the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower chamber by August 26th, said Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov at a government session on Thursday.

The period of considering and adopting the budget, set by law, should be strictly complied with, he stressed.

On July 26th, the government session is to take decisions necessary for completing the preparation of the budget, the prime minister said. These include the next year's privatization program, external and internal loan programs, the federal investment program, as well as the program of Russian credits to foreign states.