Russia needs backup austerity budget

GMT 14:12 2014 Saturday ,25 October

Arab Today, arab today Russia needs backup austerity budget

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov
Moscow -XINHUA

Russia needs to draft a backup federal budget for the next few years in case the economic situation further deteriorates, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Friday.
"If external conditions in the future remain as complex as they are today, we need to adopt an alternative variant (of the budget) where we could reduce some expenditure or eliminate other obligations," Siluanov said during a session in Russian Parliament 's lower house, State Duma.
The budget cannot afford the same spending as envisaged in a more favorable economic situation, RIA Novosti news agency quoted the minister as saying.
The Reserve Fund accumulates 3 trillion rubles (71.7 billion U. S. dollars) currently. Siluanov asked the parliament to allow the government to use up to 500 billion rubles (11.9 billion dollars) from the fund if the economic conditions would not improve.
"It is hard to predict how the situation will develop, but we need to have reserves," Siluanov said.
The minister also said that the 2015 federal budget will be executed regardless of the influence of inflation, oil prices or any other factors.
The draft federal budgets for 2015 to 2017 was passed by the State Duma at the first reading on Monday, with a planned deficit of 0.6 percent of GDP over the next three years.
Earlier in October, President Vladimir Putin said Russia had enough reserves to meet state budget spending regardless of global political and economic trends.

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