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The protest actions, connected with benefits monetization declined. In a number of regions those who protested could increase the size of compensation for annulled benefits, first of all on transportation services, increased five and more times (!).Nonetheless, in ouch cities as St.- Petersburg, Moscow region, Voronezh, Bashkiria, Perm etc) massive demonstrations became regular. They happened concerning not only concrete problems of benefits monetization, but also touch the related topics (prices of housing and utilities services), and even related to militia tyranny, like in Bashkiria. The role of political parties (first of all, KPRF, RODINA, Yabloko, NBP) has grown, local political organizations also joint the protesters, orienting them against the current heads of the RF subjects (for example, the mayor of Voronezh, B. Skrynnikov or the former rival of Rakhimov at presidential elections in Bashkortostan, S. Veremeenko).

According to the new procedure, first appointments of governors took place. Retained their posts the heads of Primoriye, S. Darkin, Tyumen Region, S, Sobyanin, Khanty-Mansijsk Autonomous District, A. Fillipenko, Jewish Autonomous Region, N. Volkov, Vladimir Region, N. Vinogradov, and Amur region, L. Korotkov. It should be noted here the majority of those retaining their posts are the heads of regions either with localized (Primoriye, Vladimir) or with absence of administrative, business and political opposition. However, an appointment of L. Korotkov, against whom spoke almost a third of the legislature deputies, is stood out from the above. The first loser Saratov Governor D.

Ayatskov - appeared, who was recommended to be replaced by the head of Balakovo Atomic Power Station, P. Ignatov. By this example, it may be concluded that the signs of ill-being for the governor are the corruption scandals, considerable representation of opposition in the legislature, unsuppressed opposition from amongst the entrepreneurs and heads of the largest cities.

Sergey Zhavoronkov Budgetary and Fiscal Policy In accordance with the preliminary results of January of 2005, the level of revenues of the RF federal budget made 33.1 per cent of GDP, while the budget surplus was registered at 13.8 per cent of GDP. In January of 2005, a significant share of revenues of the federal budget was generated by the sale of the Yuganskneftegaz company and repayment of the YUKOS tax indebtedness.

The State of the Federal Budget In 2004, the revenues of the federal budget (cash execution) made 20.4 per cent of GDP, while expenditures made 16.1 per cent of GDP (see Table 1). Therefore, the federal budget surplus made 4.per cent of GDP.

Table The monthly execution of the federal budget of the Russian Federation (in % of GDP6, cash execution) XII`03 I`04 II`04 III`04 IV`04 V`04 VI`04 VII`04 VIII`04 IX`04 X`04 XI`04 XII`Corporate profit tax 1,3% 0,9% 0,7% 1,2% 1,4% 1,3% 1,3% 1,3% 1,3% 1,2% 1,2% 1,2% 1,2% Uniform social tax 2,7% 2,2% 2,6% 2,8% 2,9% 2,9% 2,8% 2,8% 2,8% 2,7% 2,6% 2,6% 2,6% VAT 6,6% 7,9% 6,6% 6,2% 6,4% 6,5% 6,3% 6,5% 6,5% 6,4% 6,4% 6,4% 6,4% Excises 1,9% 2,3% 1,8% 1,4% 1,2% 1,1% 1,0% 0,9% 0,8% 0,8% 0,8% 0,7% 0,7% Taxes on foreign trade and foreign trade operations 3,4% 3,6% 4,2% 4,4% 4,7% 5,0% 4,9% 4,9% 5,0% 4,9% 5,0% 5,1% 5,1% Mineral tax 1,9% 2,4% 2,6% 2,4% 2,5% 2,5% 2,5% 2,5% 2,5% 2,5% 2,5% 2,6% 2,5% Other taxes 3,0% 2,3% 0,1% 0,2% 0,2% 0,1% 0,1% 1,0% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% Tax revenues 20,7% 21,6% 18,7% 18,6% 19,3% 19,5% 19,0% 20,1% 19,1% 18,7% 18,6% 18,8% 18,8% Non-tax revenues 1,3% 0,9% 0,8% 0,9% 1,0% 1,1% 1,5% 1,4% 1,5% 1,4% 1,6% 1,7% 1,6% Revenues, total 19,4% 20,4% 19,6% 19,7% 20,4% 20,6% 20,6% 21,6% 20,6% 20,1% 20,2% 20,5% 20,4% Public administration 0,5% 0,2% 0,3% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,4% 0,5% National defense 2,7% 1,7% 2,2% 2,6% 2,9% 2,7% 2,6% 2,6% 2,5% 2,4% 2,4% 2,4% 2,6% International operations 0,2% -0,1% 0,2% 0,2% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% 0,2% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% Judicial power 0,2% 0,1% 0,1% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% Law enforcement and security provision 1,9% 1,0% 1,5% 1,7% 1,9% 1,8% 1,8% 1,8% 1,8% 1,8% 1,7% 1,8% 1,9% Fundamental research and promotion of the sciencetehnical progress 0,3% 0,1% 0,1% 0,2% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% 0,2% 0,2% 0,2% 0,3% 0,3% 0,3% Public services 1,1% 0,2% 0,4% 0,5% 0,6% 0,6% 0,7% 0,7% 0,7% 0,7% 0,7% 0,8% 1,0% Social services 2,3% 1,4% 1,7% 1,9% 2,1% 2,1% 2,1% 2,1% 2,0% 2,0% 2,0% 1,7% 2,1% Public debt servicing 1,7% 1,0% 2,1% 2,2% 1,7% 1,5% 1,4% 1,4% 0,3% 1,5% 1,4% 1,2% 1,2% Other costs 6,9% 5,2% 5,8% 5,9% 6,5% 6,4% 6,1% 6,1% 7,4% 5,8% 5,8% 6,2% 6,1% Total costs 17,7% 10,8% 14,4% 15,8% 16,8% 16,3% 15,9% 15,8% 15,9% 15,2% 15,1% 15,2% 16,1% Surplus 1,7% 9,6% 5,2% 3,8% 3,6% 4,3% 4,7% 5,8% 4,7% 4,9% 5,1% 5,2% 4,4% Domestic financing 0,5% -8,6% -3,1% -1,2% -1,3% -2,4% -3,1% -3,2% -2,9% -3,3% -3,3% -3,8% -3,1% External financing -2,2% -1,0% -2,1% -2,6% -2,3% -1,9% -1,6% -1,7% -1,8% -1,6% -1,5% -1,4% -1,3% Total financing -1,7% -9,6% -5,2% -3,8% -3,6% -4,3% -4,7% -4,9% -4,7% -4,9% -4,8% -5,2% -4,4% % ; ** As compared with the figures registered in 2003, the budget revenues increased by 1 p. p. of GDP in 2004, while expenditures decreased by 1.6 p. p. of GDP and the budget surplus respectively increased by 2.7 p. p. of GDP. As before, VAT accounted for the major share of federal tax revenues 33.9 per cent of the total tax revenues, what was by 1.9 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 16.4 per cent observed in 2003 to 27.3 per cent registered in 2004).

According to the preliminary estimates of the Finance Ministry, as concerns the revenues of the federal budget, in January of 2005 the amount of this budget item made Rub. 456.6 billion (33.1 per cent of GDP), while the expenditures of the federal budget made Rub. 266.5 billion (19.3 per cent of GDP). The surplus of the federal budget was registered at Rub. 190.1 billion (13.8 per cent of GDP).

Such a significant amount or revenues of the federal budget (in January of 2003 and 2004, and on the whole throughout the year the revenues of the federal budget were at or below 21 per cent) is explained by the transfer of the proceeds from the sale of the Yuganskneftegaz company in order to repay the YUKOS indebtedness pertaining to the profit tax and VAT. As a result, according to the data presented by the RF Federal Tax Service, in January of 2005 the VAT generated revenues made about Rub. 220.2 billion, what was 3.4 times above the revenues received in January of 2004. The revenues generated by the profit tax in January of 2005 grew 2.5 times in comparison with the figures registered in January of 2004 and made Rub. 24.1 billion.

The revenues of the consolidated budget in 2004 made 32.3 per cent of GDP, including tax revenues (without SST) at 26.8 per cent of GDP (see Table 4). The expenditures of the consolidated Because of the estimated data on GDP, the indices may be subject to revision.

budget decreased by 1.9 p. p. of GDP in comparison with the figures registered in 2003 and made 26.per cent of GDP. In 2004, the surplus of the consolidated budget made 4.5 per cent of GDP, what was by 3.1 p. p. of GDP above the level observed in the respective period of 2003.

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 deficit/ 14,6% 7,7% 5,4% 5,3% 5,2% 3,8% 4,2% 3,7% 3,3% 2,7% 2,4% 1,0% 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%,0%,8% 1,4% surplus I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII Taxes* 6,1% 21,8% 27,4% 27,4% 26,6% 27,2% 27,1% 26,4% 26.5% 26.9% 26,8% Revenues 30,6% 28,2% 29,8% 32,9% 32,9% 32,5% 33,1% 32,9% 31,9% 32.0% 32.3% 2,3% Expenditures 18,5% 22,8% 25,4% 27,3% 26,9% 27,0% 27,0% 26,9% 26,0% 25.9% 26.1% 27,8% Budgetary deficit/ 12,1% 5,4% 4,4% 5,6% 6,0% 5,5% 6,1% 6,0% 5,9% 6.1% 6.2% 4,5% surplus * As on February 1 of 2005, the amount of the reserves of the RF Stabilization Fund made Rub. 647.billion. At the same time, the amount of the balances for year 2004 transferred to the Stabilization Fund in January of 2005 made Rub. 218.4 billion. The amount of Rub. 93.5 billion was paid from the Stabilization Fund in order to repay the public foreign debt.

Main Developments in the Public Sector.

The RF Finance Ministry and the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade see the switching to the system of compensation of VAT with respect to capital investment, the improvement of amortization of production assets, in particular, the introduction of bonuses for investment in amortization, the transfer of the losses borne by enterprises to future periods, full write off of research and development works to expenditures as the most important tax innovations.

Since December of 2004, the Federal Bailiff Service has exacted the taxes and fees additionally charged from YUKOS after the on-spot tax inspection of the OAO NK YUKOS and transferred to the accounts of the Federal Treasury the amount of Rub. 270.9 billion, of which the funds received in the result of the sale of Yuganskneftegaz made Rub. 260.4 billion. Of the said amount, Rub. 151.5 billion were transferred to the federal budget, Rub. 119.4 billion were transferred to the budgets of the RF subjects. The major share of payments pertaining to taxes is related to the profit tax and VAT Rub.

132.9 billion and Rub. 137.6 billion respectively. The rest of the payments (amounting to no more than Rub. 470 million) were exacted as the repayment of the indebtedness related to the property tax, the tax on advertising, and the tax on the users of motor roads.

The RF Government is planning to approve three year budgets since 2006. In this connection, in February of 2005 the RF Finance Ministry and the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade started to elaborate a forecast of social and economic development for a 3 year outlook.

S. S. Ponomarenko New Mechanism of Pharmacological Support of Recipients of Benefits In accordance with the Federal Law No. 122 of August 22, 2004, since January 1, 2005 a new mechanism has been introduced to supply the federal recipients of benefits (to them are referred: disabled and veterans, warfare veterans; family members of died (deceased) war veterans, citizens of sieged Leningrad, disabled etc, in all, 14.4 million people) with pharmacological support, sanatoriumresort therapy and pass to the place of treatment. Such types of services form a specific package of welfare services (social package), set to be equal for all the listed categories, and of equal cost rubles per month. Compensation for the expenses to provide the above package is carried out from the federal budget. Since 2006 citizens will be able to choose between receiving the cash compensation equal to the cost of the package, or receiving services included in the package.

The major part of the package (by cost) is provision of medicines 350 rubles per month. Medicines are provided for all categories of recipients of benefits free of charge (earlier, a part of recipients of benefits received only a 50% discount for the purchased preparations). The Ministry of Health Care and Social Development approved a list of drugs to be provided to recipients of benefits. It includes 352 international nonproprietary names complying with over 2000 trade names. Subjected to the Ministry, the Federal agency for supervision in the sphere of health care and social development, using the qualified selection method, without a tender, has identified distribution pharmaceutical organizations, which are entrusted to supply drugs to dispense points (drugstores) for recipients of benefits. The chief selection criterion was announced a capability to procure all types of drugs included in the list. Five distribution companies were found to meet the above criterion, which divided between one another the federal districts and regions and became monopoly suppliers of drugs for recipients of benefits. Deliveries in the Central and North-Western federal districts are made by "Protex", in the South and Ural district by "CIA-International", in Privolzhsky - "Biotek", in Far Eastern and Siberian districts - ZAO ROSTA. The company "Pharmimex" delivers drugs to drugstores of Ingushetia and Chechnya.

At the end of February, the sixth distributor - CJSC "Apteka-holding"- obtained a permit to participate in procuring drugs for recipients of benefits.

Providing the beneficial categories of population with drugs is carried out via a network of drugstores assigned by the Russian Federations subjects and the local government. Paying medication granted to recipients of benefits will be made through the compulsory medical insurance system (CMI). The funds from the federal budget are passed to the Federal Fund of CMI, which allocates them among the territorial CMI funds according to their requests.

The new mechanism of financing the pharmacological support of recipients of benefits had not been thoroughly studied with consideration of all the participants. It is to be noted that before November 2004 all the efforts of the Ministry of Health Care and Social Development were concentrated on making a list of drugs, negotiating with their producers, and selecting suppliers. The procedures of interaction between all the participants of the system had been developed in a pressing manner in the last two months of the year. The legal documents regulating the procedure of signing contracts for delivery of medication for recipients of benefits and making respective calculations were sent to the regions only in the last decade of 2004.

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