Draft budget 2004 approved by Russian government

The Russian government approved the draft federal budget 2004 at a session on Thursday, Aleksei Kudrin, Vice Premier and Minister of Finance, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

According to the document, next year's budget revenues are expected to make up 2,740,163.5 million roubles, or 17.9% of GDP, while expenses will amount to 2,656,760.1 million roubles, which is 17.4% of GDP (the Central Bank's official exchange rate of the rouble to the dollar is 30.32 roubles per dollar).

Budget surplus is estimated by the Ministry of Finance to be 83,403 million roubles, or 0.5% of GDP, in 2004.

The estimation of budget income has been based on the figures of a macroeconomic forecast for 2004, grounded on the average annual price of $22 per barrel of the Urals brand oil.

The assessment of federal treasury expenses has been based on a forecast reference oil price. As a reference price experts took this decade's average price for the Urals brand oil, equal to $20 per barrel.

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