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In the course of the meeting, it was pointed out that in order to accelerate the rates of economic growth and reduce the level of poverty, in 2004 the RF executive authorities should base their activities on the following priorities:

- implementation of the administrative reform;

- completion of the tax reform, including the reduction of the effective rate of the single social tax, changes in the procedures governing the calculation of the mineral extraction tax, improvement of the administration of the profit tax and the value added tax;

- creation of an efficient system of medical, social, and pension insurance of Russian citizens;

- creation of conditions stimulating innovative activities in the sphere of science, technology, and production;

- reform of the housing and public utilities sector, including the development of the mortgage credit lending system;

- enhancement of the efficiency of utilization of natural resources and improvement of environment protection system.

The RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade was charged to further review and submit recommendations concerning the adjustment of the RF Government action plan proceeding from the necessity to attain the objectives determined by scenario based conditions of the social and economic development of the Russian Federation in the few next years.

E. A. Bolshakova Review of economic legislation: March of I. FEDERAL LAWS of the Russian Federation 1. ON AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE 16 OF THE LAW OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON EDUCATION No. 9-FZ of March 5, 2004.

Enters into force on the day of promulgation.

According to the amendments to the law, persons who were orphaned or left without parents guardianship aged below 23 should be entitled to the privilege to enter state and municipal educational establishments providing secondary professional education and higher professional education without contest. Earlier, the right to enter the said educational establishments had been granted only to persons aged below 18.

2. ON AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL LAW ON JOINT STOCK COMPANIES No. 5-FZ of March 24, 2004.

Enters into force on the day of promulgation.

Federal law No. 208-FZ of December 26, 1995, On joint stock companies was amended with respect to its stipulations concerning the procedures governing the use of cumulative voting in the course of election of members of the board of directors (supervisory board) and termination of the membership in the board of directors. The law establishes that cumulative voting should be used in the course of election of members of the board of directors of joint stock companies with any number of shareholders. It is envisaged that the number of members of the board of directors should be not less than 5 persons. Membership of all members of the board of directors (supervisory board) may be terminated before the expiration by the decision of the general shareholders meeting.

II. RESOLUTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Russian Federation 1. ON APPROVAL OF RULES GOVERNING THE GRANTING OF STATE GUARANTEES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION WITH RESPECT TO BORROWINGS OF THE OPEN JOINT STOCK COM PANY ROSSIYSKIY BANK RAZVITIYA MADE ON THE DOMESTIC FINANCIAL MARKET FOR FINANCING OF SMALL BUSINESSES, INCLUDING FARMS, IN 2004 No. 118 of March 1, 2004.

The approved Rules establish the procedure governing the granting by the Government of the Russian Federation of state guarantees of the Russian Federation with respect to the borrowings of the open joint stock company Rossiyskiy Bank Razvitiya made on the domestic financial market for financing of small businesses, including farms, in 2004, and maintenance of state guarantees.

The state guarantees are granted to the bank within the amount of funds provided for these purposes in the federal budget for year 2004 and should ensure the fulfillment of the banks obligations relating to its borrowings made on the domestic market of the Russian Federation via the placement of the banks bonds and attraction of credits. The Russian Federation should be subsidiary liable to the holders of bonds (creditors) with respect to the banks obligations covered by the state guarantees. The term of the state guarantee is determined by the term of execution of the respective obligations covered by the state guarantee. The obligations covered by the state guarantees should be executed at the expense of the federal budget. In the case the state guarantee is granted, the RF Finance Ministry and the bank should make an agreement stipulating the substantial terms of provision of the state guarantee, as well as rights and obligations of the parties. The RF Finance Ministry should be vested with the power to control the designated use of the banks borrowings covered by the state guarantees by analyzing quarterly reports submitted by the bank.

2. ON PRICE DETERMINATION WITH RESPECT TO ELECTRICAL AND HEAT ENERGY IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION No. 109 of March 26, 2004.

The resolution approves the principles of price determination with respect to electrical and heat energy in the Russian Federation, which determine key principles and methods of regulation of tariffs (prices) of electrical and heat energy and respective services, the system of said tariffs, the procedure governing price determination on the wholesale and retail markets of electrical power and heat energy. The resolution also approves the Rules of state regulation and implementation of tariffs on electrical and heat energy in the Russian Federation, which envisage the principles and procedures governing the determination of tariffs on electrical and heat energy established by the said Principles of price determination.

Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 226 of April 2, 2002, On price determination with respect to electrical and heat energy in the Russian Federation was abolished.

3. ON APPROVAL OF THE COEFFICIENT OF INDEXATION OF THE RATED PENSION CAPITALS No. 141 of March 15, 2004.

Enters into force on April 1, 2004.

The resolution approves the coefficient of indexation of the rated pension capitals of insured persons. As on January 1, 2003, this coefficient makes 1.177.

4. ON DETERMINATION OF AMOUNTS OF BASE PARTS OF LABOR PENSIONS AND APPROVAL OF THE COEFFICIENT OF ADDITIONAL INCREASE IN THE INSURANCE PART OF LABOR PENSION SINCE APRIL 1, 2004. No. 142 of March 15, 2004.

Enters into force on April 1, 2004.

Since April 1, 2004, the amount of base part of the labor old age pension, labor disability pension, and labor survivors pension envisaged by the federal law On labor pensions in the Russian Federation, as well as respective pensions granted in accordance with the federal law On state pensions in the Russian Federation should be calculated proceeding from the amount of the base part of the labor old age pension determined by item 1 of article 14 of the federal law On state pensions in the Russian Federation as indexed in accordance with inflation rates, which since April 1, 2004, has been set at Rub. 621 a month. Besides, on April 1, 2004, there was approved the coefficient of additional increase in the insurance part of the labor pension (1.09) as per items 5 and 7 of article 17 of the federal law On state pensions in the Russian Federation. III. INSTRUCTIONS AND ORDERS 1. Telegram of the RF Central Bank ON CHANGES IN THE RATES OF MANDATORY RESERVES OF CREDITING ORGANIZATIONS No. 1395-U of March 19, 2004.

The rates of mandatory reserves of crediting organizations relating to the Ruble denominated funds borrowed from legal entities and the forex denominated funds borrowed from legal entities and individuals were reduced from 10 to 9 per cent proceeding from the respective amounts as of April 1, 2004. The rate of mandatory reserves pertaining to Ruble denominated household deposits was retained at 7 per cent.

2. Letter of the RF Tax Ministry ON THE STAMP TAX No. SA-6-04/88@ of February 27, 2004.

The letter informs about the amendments to RF law No. 2005-1 of December 9, 1991, On the stamp tax made in relation to the changes made in federal law No. 129 FZ of August 8, 2001, On the state registration of legal entities with respect to the state registration of individual entrepreneurs. Article 3 of the RF law On the stamp tax envisages that the stamp tax should be charged for state registration of citizens as individual entrepreneurs and for state registration of discontinuation of the status of individual entrepreneurs on their initiative. The stamp tax for state registration of discontinuation of the status of individual entrepreneurs is set at Rub. 400. The stamp tax for state registration of citizens as individual entrepreneurs on their initiative is set at Rub. 80. The stamp tax charged in relation to the conduct of actions relevant in law should be paid prior to submission of the respective application.

3. Informational letter of the RF Tax Ministry ON CALCULATION OF THE MINERAL EXTRACTION TAX RATE IN DECEMBER OF 2003 No NA-6-21/40@ of January 16, 2004.

The letter informs about the data used for the calculation of the mineral extraction tax with respect to oil and gas condensate extracted from oil and gas condensate deposits in December of 2003:

The average level of Urals oil prices on the Mediterranean and Rotterdam markets (US $ 28.35 per barrel);

Official Ruble / US $ exchange rate; the average value of the Ruble / US $ exchange rate determined by the RF Central Bank across all days of the tax period (Rub. 29.4331;

Value of the Kts coefficient (2.3768);

Tax rate adjusted for the Kts coefficient (Rub. 808.1120 per metric ton).

I. V. Tolmacheva

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