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In January a regular information campaign was conducted concerning struggle against extremism, confined to a meeting of the leaders of the leading nations of the world on the occasion of 60year anniversary of release of concentration camp Oswiecim. On January 25, the two tens of deputies from KPRF and Motherland factions made an appeal to the Prosecutor-Generals Office requesting to set a veto on Jewish organizations, because, as the authors believe, Zionism is a misanthropical religion, which allegedly admits human sacrifice etc. Besides the traditional supporters of such views (N.

Kondratenko, A. Makashov), most part of those who put a signature the members of Motherland faction, just those who expelled from the post the leader of faction, S. Glaziev for unauthorized advancing to the position of the RF President, among them, the well-known representatives of chekist Orthodoxy - the former chairman of KGB of the USSR, N. Leonov, the former presenter of the television show Russian House A. Krutov, etc. Naturally, that letter was condemned by officials, including V. Putin. Thus, further demonstrations of anti-Semitism may be expected in the near future, on the one hand, and calls on civil society to concentrate on counteraction against this dangerous phenomena, on the other.

On January 3, 2005, A. Illarionov was relieved of his post a special representative of the RF President for negotiations with the Big Eight, with preservation of his post an adviser of the RF President. In the past year IIlarionov publicly opposed the two principled positions (at a minimum) of the countrys these are ratification of Kyoto Protocol and the sale of YUKOS assets, that is why his further functioning in the presidential administration looked a plain absurd. On the other hand, Illarionovs experience and contacts made not easy a decision on his dismissal after almost the three years of working on the problems of Russias participation in G-8, including also that he, like not many, is well aware of all the arguments against Russias participation in this club, and, the more so, - planned for 2006 presidency. I. Shuvalov has been assigned a new special representative, and it looks like it will take long time for him to master this new (for him) line of activity.

S. Zhavoronkov Budgetary and Fiscal Policy In accordance with the preliminary results of 2004, the level of revenues of the RF federal budget has increased by 0.2 p. p. of GDP in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding month and made 20.7 per cent of GDP. The level of expenditures of the federal budget decreased by 0.4 p. p.

in comparison with the figures registered last month and made 16.5 per cent of GDP in 2004. In January through November of 2004, the revenues of the RF consolidated budget made about 32.3 per cent of GDP, while the expenditures of the RF consolidated budget over the respective period made 26.per cent of GDP.

In the framework of implementation of the law on the substitution of allowances with money payments, the RF Finance Ministry is planning to assign additional Rub. 8.5 billion from the federal budget as subsidies to the regions to be used for transport privileges of federal allowance recipients.

The State of the Federal Budget In January through November of 2004, the revenues of the federal budget (cash execution) made 20.5 per cent of GDP, while expenditures made 15.2 per cent of GDP (see Table 1). Therefore, the federal budget surplus made 5.2 per cent of GDP.

Table The monthly execution of the federal budget of the Russian Federation (in % of GDP1, cash execution).

XI`03 XII`03 I`04 II`04 III`04 IV`04 V`04 VI`04 VII`04 VIII`04 IX`04 X`04 XI`Revenues 1.3% 1.3% 0.9% 0.7% 1.2% 1.4% 1.3% 1.3% 1.3% 1.3% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% Profit tax. 2.6% 2.7% 2.2% 2.6% 2.8% 2.9% 2.9% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.7% 2.6% 2.6% Income tax. 6.6% 6.6% 7.9% 6.6% 6.2% 6.4% 6.5% 6.3% 6.5% 6.5% 6.4% 6.4% 6.4% Unified social tax. 1.9% 1.9% 2.3% 1.8% 1.4% 1.2% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9% 0.8% 0.8% 0.8% 0.7% Taxes on goods and services. License and registration dues. 3.4% 3.4% 3.6% 4.2% 4.4% 4.7% 5.0% 4.9% 4.9% 5.0% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% VAT 1.9% 1.9% 2.4% 2.6% 2.4% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.6% Excise taxes 2.9% 3.0% 2.3% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 1.0% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% Taxes on foreign trade and foreign economic operations. 20.5% 20.7% 21.6% 18.7% 18.6% 19.3% 19.5% 19.0% 20.1% 19.1% 18.7% 18.6% 18.8% Other taxes. 1.3% 1.3% 0.9% 0.8% 0.9% 1.0% 1.1% 1.5% 1.4% 1.5% 1.4% 1.6% 1.7% Tax revenues. 19.3% 19.4% 20.4% 19.6% 19.7% 20.4% 20.6% 20.6% 21.6% 20.6% 20.1% 20.2% 20.5% Non-tax revenues. 0.4% 0.5% 0.2% 0.3% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% Total revenues. 2.5% 2.7% 1.7% 2.2% 2.6% 2.9% 2.7% 2.6% 2.6% 2.5% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4% Expenditures 0.2% 0.2% -0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% Public administration. 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% National defense. 1.7% 1.9% 1.0% 1.5% 1.7% 1.9% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8% 1.8% 1.7% 1.8% International activity. 0.3% 0.3% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% Judicial power. 0.9% 1.1% 0.2% 0.4% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.8% Law enforcement and safety measures. 2.1% 2.3% 1.4% 1.7% 1.9% 2.1% 2.1% 2.1% 2.1% 2.0% 2.0% 2.0% 1.7% Fundamental scientific research and technological development promotion. 1.7% 1.7% 1.0% 2.1% 2.2% 1.7% 1.5% 1.4% 1.4% 0.3% 1.5% 1.4% 1.2% Public services rendered to national economy, including : 6.8% 6.9% 5.2% 5.8% 5.9% 6.5% 6.4% 6.1% 6.1% 7.4% 5.8% 5.8% 6.2% Social services. 16.7% 17.7% 10.8% 14.4% 15.8% 16.8% 16.3% 15.9% 15.8% 15.9% 15.2% 15.1% 15.2% National debt service 2.6% 1.7% 9.6% 5.2% 3.8% 3.6% 4.3% 4.7% 5.8% 4.7% 4.9% 5.1% 5.2% Other expenditures -0.3% 0.5% -8.6% -3.1% -1.2% -1.3% -2.4% -3.1% -3.2% -2.9% -3.3% -3.3% -3.8% Expenditures and loans less repaid loans -2.3% -2.2% -1.0% -2.1% -2.6% -2.3% -1.9% -1.6% -1.7% -1.8% -1.6% -1.5% -1.4% Surplus -2.6% -1.7% -9.6% -5.2% -3.8% -3.6% -4.3% -4.7% -4.9% -4.7% -4.9% -4.8% -5.2% % ; ** As compared with the figures registered in January through November of 2003, the budget revenues increased by 1.2 p. p. of GDP in the respective period of 2004, while expenditures decreased by 1.5 p.

p. of GDP and budget surplus respectively increased by 2.6 p. p. of GDP. As before, VAT accounted for the major share of federal tax revenues 34.1 per cent of the total tax revenues, what was by 1.8 p.

p. above the level observed in the respective period of 2003. At the same time, in 2004 the share of taxes on foreign trade in the total amount of tax generated revenues of the federal budget significantly increased in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding year (from 16.5 per cent observed in the first 11 months of 2003 to 26.9 per cent registered in the respective period of 2004).

According to preliminary estimates, the cash execution of federal budget revenues made 20.7 per cent of GDP in 2004, what was by 1.3 p. p of GDP above the level of revenues observed in the respective period of the preceding year. At the same time, the cash execution of expenditures made 16.5 per Because of the estimated data on GDP, the indices may be subject to revision.

cent of GDP (17.7 per cent of GDP in 2003); therefore, this year, according to preliminary data, the surplus of the federal budget made 4.2 per cent of GDP.

According to the preliminary estimates of the Finance Ministry, in terms of fulfilled funding2 the expenditures of the federal budget in 2004 made 16.5 per cent of GDP (see Table 2), while in this indicator was at 17.8 per cent of GDP. In 2004, the amount of revenues of the federal budget increased by 1.2 p. p. of GDP in comparison with the figures registered in 2003 and made 20.7 per cent of GDP. Therefore, the surplus of the federal budget in terms of fulfilled funding in 2004 increased by 2.5 p. p. in comparison with the figures registered in 2003 and made 4.1 per cent of GDP.

Table The monthly execution of the federal budget of the Russian Federation (in % GDP, fulfilled funding) XII`03 I`04 II`04 III`04 IV04 V04 VI04 VII04 VIII`04 IX`04 X`04 XI`04 XII`Total revenues 19.5% 20.4% 19.6% 19.7% 20.4% 20.6% 20.6% 20.7% 20.6% 20.1% 20.2% 20.5% 20.7% Public administration 0.5% 0.5% 0.7% 0.6% 0.6% 0.6% 0.5% 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% Judicial power 2.7% 2.7% 3.9% 2.9% 3.7% 3.2% 2.8% 3.0% 2.8% 2.6% 2.9% 2.8% 2.6% International activity 0.2% 0.0% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.5% 0.5% National defense 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% Law enforcement and safety measures 1.9% 2.1% 2.4% 2.3% 2.4% 2.3% 2.1% 2.1% 2.1% 2.0% 2.0% 2.1% 1.9% Fundamental scientific research and technological development promotion 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% Public services rendered to national economy 1.1% 0.5% 0.7% 0.8% 0.9% 0.9% 0.8% 0.8% 0.6% 0.7% 0.9% 0.9% 1.0% Social services 2.3% 2.4% 2.5% 2.4% 3.0% 2.9% 2.5% 2.5% 2.4% 2.2% 2.2% 2.3% 2.2% National debt service 1.7% 1.0% 2.1% 2.2% 1.7% 1.5% 1.4% 1.3% 1.5% 1.5% 1.4% 1.3% 1.2% Other expenditures 7.0% 5.6% 6.6% 6.1% 6.6% 6.6% 6.2% 6.3% 6.3% 5.9% 5.9% 6.0% 6.1% Total expenditures 17.8% 15.2% 19.7% 18.0% 19.7% 18.8% 17.1% 17.4% 17.1% 16.2% 16.5% 16.9% 16.5% Budgetary surplus (+) / deficit (-) 1.6% 5.2% 0.0% 1.7% 0.7% 1.8% 3.5% 3.3% 3.4% 4.0% 3.7% 3.6% 4.1% According to the estimates of the Tax Ministry, in December of 2004 the tax revenues of the federal budget made about Rub. 149.58 billion (without the single social tax). In real terms the revenues made 289.5 per cent of the level registered in January of 1999, while the respective indicator was at 247.per cent in December of 2003 and 250.2 per cent in December of 2002 (see Table 3).

Table Actual tax revenues to the federal budget, according to the data of the MTC (in % of the data for January of 1999)3.

2002* I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII 218,7% 187,1% 234,8% 277,8% 239,6% 218,0% 284,4% 246,5% 254,8% 299,7% 241,0% 250,2% 2003* I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII 230,0% 229,2% 265,5% 280,4% 233,2% 240,0% 260,4% 242,6% 248,7% 265,6% 231,0% 247,9% 2004* I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII 266,5% 204,4% 238,0% 261,4% 241,0% 243,6% 288,9% 246,0% 288.4% 314.7% 220.2% 289.5% * .

The revenues of the consolidated budget in January through November of 2004 made 32.3 per cent of GDP, including tax revenues (without SST) at 26.9 per cent of GDP (see Table 4). The expenditures of the consolidated budget decreased by 1.8 p. p. of GDP in comparison with the figures registered in January through November of 2003 and made 26.1 per cent of GDP. As on December 1, 2004, the surplus of the consolidated budget made 6.2 per cent of GDP, what is by 3.4 p. p. of GDP above the level observed in the respective period of 2003.

The execution of the budget in terms of fulfilled (actual) financing is equal to the sum of the funds transferred to managers of budget funds, while the cash execution of the budget is equal to the sum of funds spent by managers of funds (i.e. without account of funds remained on their accounts).

It was decided to choose January of 1999 as the benchmark in order to render the comparison more reliable.

January of 1999 is not a remarkable date in terms of tax revenues.

Table Execution of the RF consolidated budget (in % of GDP) I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII Taxes* 28,7% 23,6% 24,3% 26,5% 26,6% 25,9% 26,4% 25,9% 25,2% 25,4% 25,4% 25,5% Revenues 32,9% 31,3% 31,4% 33,6% 33,6% 32,7% 33,3% 32,5% 31,7% 32,0% 32,1% 32,1% Expenditures 18,3% 23,7% 26,0% 28,4% 28,4% 28,8% 29,1% 28,9% 28,4% 29,3% 29,7% 31,1% Budgetary 7,7% 5,4% 5,3% 5,2% 3,8% 4,2% 3,7% 3,3% 2,7% 2,4% 1,0% deficit/ 14,6% surplus I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII Taxes* 25,6% 24,4% 25,6% 27,4% 27,1% 26,0% 26,1% 25,7% 5,0% 5,0% 5,1% 25,2% Revenues 32,0% 30,3% 31,5% 33,4% 33,6% 32,2% 32,2% 31,6% 0,9% 0,8% 0,7% 31,1% Expenditures 20,7% 25,3% 27,7% 28,8% 28,8% 28,6% 28,7% 28,5% 8,2% 7,8% 7,9% 29,7% Budgetary deficit/ 11,3% 5,0% 3,8% 4,5% 4,7% 3,5% 3,6% 3,1% 2,7% 3,0% 2,8% 1,4% surplus I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI Taxes* 6,1% 21,8% 27,4% 27,4% 26,6% 27,2% 27,1% 26,4% 26.5% 26.9% Revenues 30,6% 28,2% 29,8% 32,9% 32,9% 32,5% 33,1% 32,9% 31,9% 32.0% 32.3% Expenditures 18,5% 22,8% 25,4% 27,3% 26,9% 27,0% 27,0% 26,9% 26,0% 25.9% 26.1% Budgetary deficit/ 12,1% 5,4% 4,4% 5,6% 6,0% 5,5% 6,1% 6,0% 5,9% 6.1% 6.2% surplus * Main Developments in the Public Sector The RF Finance Ministry is planning to submit to the RF Government its proposals concerning the reduction of the VAT rate from present 18 per cent to 16 per cent. The Finance Ministry plans also include the switching to accrual basis, abolishment of the preferential 10 per cent rate of the tax, improvements related to the return of VAT payments to exporters and compensation of VAT paid in the course of capital transactions. It should be noted that the reduction of the base VAT rate from 20 per cent to 18 per cent in 2004 did not result in a significant decline in the revenues of the budgetary system generated by the Value Added Tax. Thus, in the first 11 months of 2004, VAT generated revenues made 6.4 per cent of GDP and 6.6 per cent of GDP in the respective period of 2003, while the expected reduction of VAT revenues should make more than 0.6 per cent of GDP.

On January 1, 2005, there were enacted the amendments to article 26 of the RF Tax Code Mineral extraction tax. In accordance to the amendments, the MET rate was increased from Rub. 347 per metric ton to Rub. 419 per metric ton. At the same time, the oil price threshold not subject to the MET was increased from US $ 8 to US $ 9. Besides, the Ruble exchange rate used in the course of calculation of MET was changed from Rub. 31.5 per US $ to Rub. 29 per US $, what took into account the trend towards the Ruble appreciation. According to the estimates presented by the RF Government, due to the appreciation of the national currency the fixed Ruble / US $ exchange rate used in the MET formula resulted in additional revenues of the oil industry at US $ 1 billion.

Since mid-March of 2004, there has been introduced the new scale of export duties on oil, which increased withdrawals from the oil sector at higher levels of oil prices. At the same time, the RF Finance Ministry plans to reduce the export duty on oil from US $ 101 per metric ton introduced on December 1, 2004, to US $ 83 per metric ton since February 1, 2005.

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