Russian government to provide loans to regions to repair communal housing facilities

The Russian government intends to provide up to 5.5 billion roubles /$1 equals approximately 30 roubles/ of target loans to regions for repairing communal housing facilities, said Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov at the State Duma's plenary session on Wednesday. The funds will be taken from the 2003 budget, he explained.

The prime minister expressed his regret that regional and local authorities were not always adequate with respect to communal housing problems, and to preparations for winter, even with necessary resources available. He recalled that regional and local authorities were in charge of preparing the facilities for the winter period and would remain so after the forthcoming re-division of powers between levels of authorities.

The bill introducing amendments to the current budget envisages allocation of funds to pay out reimbursement to citizens who have lost their houses and property in Chechnya, to strengthen the country's southern borders, ant to pay salary to public workers that is due to be increased by one third from October, Kasyanov said. "The government asks you to consider this bill in three readings as soon as possible," the prime minister told MPs.

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