Gennady Seleznev: Social sphere is priority of State Duma's legislative activities

The social sphere is a priority direction of the State Duma's legislative activities, its chairman Gennady Seleznev said at a press conference devoted to the conclusion of the chamber's spring session on Saturday.

The State Duma speaker recalled that the deputies had supported the Cabinet proposal to increase federal expenses on the financial support for the regions and to raise budget workers' salaries by 33%.

A law increasing the minimal salary was passed and amendments permitting the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and the Pension Fund to enlarge the funding of social programmes for the protection of maternity and childhood, targeted material assistance and other programmes adopted.

Seleznev recalled that the new wording of the federal law on communications retained the users' right to choose between pay-as-you-go and line rental forms of payment.

The federal law on increasing allowances to higher school teachers for academic degrees adopted at the legislators' initiative has come into force.

In addition, the law forwarded by the president obliging Russian regional authorities to allocate subventions to local budgets for funding municipal secondary schools was adopted. A law increasing twice students' scholarships was adopted, too, the State Duma speaker added.

According to him, the amendments to the Russian Federation Tax Code apply the right to receive social deductions to custodian taxpayers.

The bills "On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Freedoms of Men and Women and Equal Opportunities of their Realisation" and "On Minimal State Social Standards" were passed in the first reading, the speaker said.

In addition, the current legislation was amended to simplify the procedures of inheriting and receiving compensations for ritual services.

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