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The determents for students remain unchanged. Reduction of the term of service, planned for the year of presidential elections, is a notable indulgence, while the number of those who cannot ignore it - is not great according to expert estimates (the Ministry of Defense data are kept in secret), no more than 10-15 thousand. It is important to note that the new bill fixes refusal of the powers of frequently discussed (and beloved) in the past two years initiative on students draft (though, another acute question concerning graduate students is still open). Thus, it can be said that the efforts of liberal opposition, youth and human rights organizations were effective.

Another retreat had to be made by the premier M.Fradkov. At the session of the budget committee of the government he abandoned the initiative of the Government Office (which he himself supported earlier) on VAT reduction to 13% and offered to consider it as late as in 2009. Thus, one may state another victory of the economic bloc (A.Kudrin G.Gref) in the debates with the premier.

It looks like in March the final decision had been taken concerning the YUKOS fate. The consortium of western YUKOS creditor banks sold Rosneft the YUKOS debt for $482 million, and by the end of March the court took a decision on the YUKOS bankruptcy (earlier negated by Vladimir Putin). Thus, now the taxation bodies and Rosneft accounted for more than a half of all the YUKOS debts, which means the successful appointment of I.Sechins representatives as court-appointed managers of the company. In this case, Rosneft can avoid the unwanted acquisition of YUKOS judicial casing with a debt of many billions before the taxation bodies. By contrast, the thing that happened does not improve the Rosneft positions on the international market in view of the planned legalization of activities through carrying out IPO. YUKOS and Yuganskneftegaz still have a big loan before the stockholder Group Menatep, which is disclaimed by the Russian power, but could be perfectly well recognized by the judicial bodies abroad. Besides, the issue of consolidation of the stock of Rosneft subsidiaries is not yet solved, and even without that the huge debt of Rosneft is only increasing.

S. Zhavoronkov Budgetary and Tax Policy In February of 2006, basing on the preliminary data on the execution of the federal budget, the revenues of the RF federal budget made 26.15 per cent of GDP, while the level of expenditures of the federal budget was registered at 14.72 per cent of GDP, and the budget surplus made 11.43 per cent of GDP. In 2005, the revenues of the RF consolidated budget made 36.1 per cent of GDP, while the expenditures of the RF consolidated budget were registered at 28.1 per cent of GDP, and the budget surplus made 7.9 per cent of GDP. According to the data as on March 1, 2006, the amount of financial reserves accumulated in the RF Stabilization Fund was registered at Rub. 1562.7 billion as compared with Rub. 1459.1 billion registered as on February 1 of this year. Therefore, in February of this year the amount of the RF Stabilization Fund increased by Rub. 103.6 billion.

The State of the Federal Budget According to the preliminary estimates presented by the RF Finance Ministry, in January and February of 2006 the revenues of the federal budget made Rub. 876.04 billion in terms of the execution of the budget on the cash basis (or 26.15 per cent of GDP), whereas the expenditures of the federal budget were registered at Rub. 493.11 billion (or 14.72 per cent of GDP). The surplus of the federal budget made Rub. 382.93 billion (or 11.43 per cent of GDP). It should be noted that in January and February of 2006 the amount of revenues of the federal budget in absolute terms turned out to be somewhat above the value of this indicator registered in the respective period of the preceding year, which at that time made Rub. 749.93 billion, or 24.23 per cent of GDP; however in relation to GDP it demonstrated a certain decline (27.65 per cent of GDP in 2005). On the contrary, in January and February of 2006, in nominal terms the expenditures borne by the RF federal budget increased in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of 2005 (Rub. 445.48 billion); however, they significantly decreased in relative terms (16.43 per cent of GDP in 2005). The surplus of the federal budget registered in the period under observation both in absolute terms and in relation to GDP somewhat exceeded the values of this indicator observed in 2005 (Rub. 304.45 billion, or 11.43 per cent of GDP).

In January and February of 2006, the amounts of the revenues of the RF federal budget made Rub.

449.35 billion and Rub. 426.68 billion respectively, or were at 28.08 per cent and 24.38 per cent of the monthly GDP amount. The expenditures borne by the RF federal budget in January and February of 2006 made respectively Rub. 227.70 billion (or 14.23 per cent of GDP) and Rub. 265.41 billion (or 15.17 per cent of GDP), while the surplus of the RF federal budget was registered at the level of Rub.

221.66 billion and Rub. 161.27 billion, what respectively made 13.85 per cent and 9.22 per cent in terms of the shares in GDP. Therefore, basing on these data it should be noted that there was registered a significant decrease in the revenues of the federal budget and a certain increase in the expenditures borne by the federal budget in relation to the monthly amount of GDP in February of this year in comparison with the figures registered in January of 2006.

For the structure of revenues over the period under observation, see Table 1.

Table 1.

Amounts of revenues of the RF federal budget (in per cent of GDP, in terms of cash basis execution) Cash basis execution Feb. 2005 Jan. 2006 Feb. Taxes and other payments administered 10,48% 15,92% 12,13% by the Federal Tax Service Taxes and other payments administered 9,11% 10,73% 11,46% by the Federal Customs Service Receipts administered by the Federal Agency for Management of Federal 0,10% 0,35% 0,14% Property Revenues of the federal budget adminis1,03% 1,08% 0,64% tered by other federal structures Total revenues 20,71% 28,08% 24,38% As it is demonstrated by Table 1, in February of 2006 the structure of tax revenues as broken by individual agencies changed rather significantly in comparison with the data collected this January and in February of the last year. In spite of the fact that the bulk of the tax revenues was as before associated with the taxes and other payments administered by the RF Federal Tax Service, their share in GDP significantly differed in the said months. Thus, while in February the share of these payments declined to 12.13 per cent from 15.92 per cent of GDP registered in January, it was significantly above the respective figures registered in February of 2005. The revenues generated by taxes and other payments administrated by the RF Federal Customs Service turned out to be significantly above the respective indicators observed in February of the preceding year (9.11 per cent of GDP) and this January (10.73 per cent of GDP). In February of 2006, the amount of tax generated revenues falling within the receipts administered by the Federal Agency for Management of Federal Property remained on the whole at the level registered last year (0.10 per cent of GDP); nevertheless, it was significantly below the respective indicator observed last month (0.35 per cent of GDP). As concerns the rest of the revenues of the RF federal budget administered by other federal structures, it should be noted that in February this amount of revenues significantly decreased in the terms of their share in GDP and made 0.64 per cent of GDP as compared with 1.03 per cent of GDP and 1.08 per cent of GDP registered in February of 2005 and January of 2006 respectively. Therefore, the data presented above permit to draw a conclusion on a significant change in the structure of the tax generated revenues of the RF federal budget occurring in February of 2006 in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of 2005 and the preceding month of 2006.

For the preliminary data on the financing of the expenditures borne by the RF federal budget in January and February of 2005 and 2006 presented by the RF Finance Ministry, see Table 2.

Table 2.

Amounts of financing of the expenditures borne by the RF federal budget (in per cent of GDP) Financing of expenditures January Febru- January of 2006 January February of 2005 ary of Federal issues 4.80% 7.80% 4.31% Including expenditures associated with the servicing of the public and municipal debt 3.13% 4.22% 2.02% National defense 4.60% 4.67% 4.95% National security and law enforcement 3.37% 6.29% 3.58% National economy 0.92% 0.90% 0.94% Housing and public utilities 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% Environmental protection 0.04% 0.06% 0.04% Education 1.06% 1.36% 1.00% Culture, cinematography, and mass media 0.26% 0.33% 0.22% Health care and sports 0.66% 1.33% 0.69% Social policy 1.24% 2.95% 1.50% Interbudgetary transfers 8.04% 20.04% 9.95% Total expenditures 24.99% 45.74% 27.19% It should be noted that this January and February the share of financed expenditures of the federal budget in GDP made 27.19 per cent, what was significantly above the respective indicator registered in the respective period of 2005 (24.99 per cent). In the course of comparison of the structure of expenditures it should be noted that in 2006, similarly to the figures registered a year ago, the largest amounts of financing were registered in the sphere of interbudgetary transfers (9.95 per cent of GDP as compared with 8.04 per cent of GDP in 2005). As concerns other most significant items of expenditures the respective differences varied. Thus, in January and February of 2006 the expenditures for federal issues made 4.31 per cent of GDP (4.80 per cent of GDP in 2005), including the servicing of the public and municipal debt (2.02 per cent of GDP as compared with 3.13 per cent of GDP observed in 2005), national defense (4.95 per cent of GDP as compared with 4.6 per cent of GDP registered a year ago), and national security and law enforcement (3.58 per cent of GDP as compared with 3.37 per cent of GDP observed in 2005). Therefore, there was observed a growth in the shares in GDP of almost all expenditure items listed above. Other expenditure items totaled to about 4.4 per cent of GDP as compared with 4.19 per cent of GDP registered in January and February of 2005. As concerns the expenditures in 2006, the Table demonstrates that the data pertaining to the majority of expenditure items in January significantly exceed the respective indicators registered in January and February of 2006.

At the end of 2005, the revenues of the RF consolidated budget made 36.1 per cent of GDP as compared with 32.3 per cent of GDP registered in 2004. The expenditures of the RF consolidated budget also somewhat increased in comparison with the respective indicator observed in 2005 (27.8 per cent) and made 28.1 per cent of GDP. In 2005, the surplus of the RF consolidated budget made 7.9 per cent of GDP, what was significantly above the indicator registered in 2004 (4.5 per cent). Therefore, in 2005 there was observed a significant increase in the revenues of the RF consolidated budget at the background of practically constant expenditures, what resulted in such a significant increase in the surplus of the RF consolidated budget.

According to the data as on March 1, 2006, the amount of financial reserves accumulated in the RF Stabilization Fund was registered at Rub. 1562.7 billion as compared with Rub. 1459.1 billion registered as on February 1 of this year. Therefore, in February of this year the amount of the RF Stabilization Fund increased by Rub. 103.6 billion.

Table 3.

Execution of the RF consolidated budget in January through December of 2005 (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% Deficit/ 7,7% 5,4% 5,3% 5,2% 3,8% 4,2% 3,7% 3,3% 2,7% 2,4% 1,0% 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% Deficit/ 11,3% 5,0% 3,8% 4,5% 4,7% 3,5% 3,6% 3,1%,7% 3,0% 2,8% 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% 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% 27,8% 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 I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII Revenues 48,8% 40,3% 40,3% 40,8% 38,8% 38,2% 37,6% 37,0% 36,0% 35,9% 35,8% 36,1% Expenditures 22,2% 23,3% 24,9% 27,1% 26,5% 26,6% 26,7% 26,6% 27,2% 26,1% 25,9% 28,1% Deficit/ 10,0% 26,5% 17,0% 15,4% 13,7% 12,3% 11,6% 11,0% 10,5% 8,8% 9,8% 7,9% surplus Major developments in the budgetary sphere.

In the beginning of the month, the Chairman of the RF Government approved the adjusted long term financial plan of the Russian Federation for years 2006 through 2008 presented by the RF Finance Ministry. In accordance with this document, the rates of growth in GDP should make 5.7 per cent in 2007 and 5.9 per cent in 2008, whereas the exchange rate of the Ruble against the US dollar should be at 27.9 Rub. / US $ and 28 Rub. / US $ respectively. The oil prices, on which the calculation of the budgets for years 2007 and 2008 are based, should make US $ 46 per barrel, whereas the cut off price for the purposes of formation of the RF Stabilization Fund is set at US $ 27 per barrel.

The estimated revenues of the federal budget in 2006 should make Rub. 5606.2 billion, what is by Rub. 560.1 billion above the targets set by the federal law On the federal budget for year 2006. The preliminary estimate of the revenues of the federal budget expected to be generated in 2007 and makes Rub. 5828.5 billion and Rub. 6587.4 billion respectively.

In 2007, the expenditures of the federal budget are expected to increase additionally by Rub. 243.billion, whereas in 2008 this indicator should grow by Rub. 181.2 billion, including:

- expenditures for priority national projects by Rub. 36.6 billion and Rub. 38.3 billion in 2007 and 2008 respectively;

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