Gov't to consider 2004 draft budget before end of May

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov met with Deputy Prime Ministers and key ministers at a regular meeting at the House of Government today. The meeting focused on working out the 2004 draft budget, a source in the Government Information Department reported.

The reports of the Economy Ministry and the Finance Ministry provided information on working out the draft budget and the forecast of the country's social and economic development for the next year. The main parameters of the draft budget and the forecasts should be submitted to the government by the beginning of June 2003.

Additionally, the Ministers discussed issues on taxation and imposing tariffs on natural monopolies. The participants of the meeting also confirmed the decision to consider the energy strategy through 2020 at the next meeting to be held on May 22, 2003.

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