Kasyanov Believes Russia's Budget is Stable

The stability of the Russian budget will be guaranteed regardless of world oil prices, Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov said to the media on Tuesday.

Budget expenditures will be based on the forecast average oil price of $20 per barrel in 2004. The Premier assured that the government would be able to keep up stability even if oil prices were lower.

The government is making efforts to gradually cut budget expenditures in proportion to GDP.

The Government Head pointed out that the past three years had seen great economic changes and new ways to pursue policy. "The country possesses huge gold and currency reserves, people have come to understand the way industry operates and taxes are paid," Kasyanov stressed.

First quarter results suggest an upward trend in the food, wood processing, car-making and construction material industries, that had seen no growth in the previous years. "Every effort will be made to keep the industries growing; we will try to involve other sectors, for example the light industry," Kasyanov said.

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