Public services to get the most investment in 2003

Resources earmarked for public investment in the 2003 federal budget are to total 46.6 billion rubles, officials at the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry announced Thursday. At the current rate, 1 US dollar is worth 31.50 rubles.

Out of that amount, The Economic Development and Trade Ministry plans to appropriate 28 billion rubles for investment in public services, including 10.5 billion in construction of housing and utilities, 5.5 in the state housing certificates program, and about 4 billion in construction of urban subways.

In addition, ministry officials disclosed, 3.5 billion out of the total investment program will be earmarked for rebuilding of Chechnya.

Investments are being projected in a program of modernization of Russia's transport system and in programs dubbed "Russia's Culture," "Home," and "Electronic Russia." Other programs to be invested in next year will be designed to support the elderly, to provide social services to the disabled, to protect the environment, to clean up the fallout from nuclear disasters, to fight and prevent diseases influenced by social conditions, such as AIDS, to develop space exploration, aviation, and the military-industrial complex, and to enhance nuclear safety, among other purposes.