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The bill On innovations was adopted by the State Duma, approved by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, submitted to the President of the Russian Federation to be signed. However, according to his Letter No Pr-14 from 3 January 2000, the bill was turned down. In the Presidents letter it was mentioned as a drawback of the bill that one of criteria to define some kind of activity as innovation was novelty or improvement of goods or technological process created or used as a result of this activity. However no signs by which production or technological process can be referred to as new or improved to the extent that the activity on creation or use of such products or technology can be defined as innovation were cited in the bill On innovation. In practice this means impossibility to formulate distinct subjects to the bill mentioned.

Review of Economic Legislation over March I. Tolmacheva A number of changes were introduced in legislation in March: the rate of monthly social payments was raised for some categories of citizens; a new chapter, regulating labor relations with professional sportsmen, is introduced to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation; the coefficient for additional increase of the rate of insurance part of old-age pensions from April 2008 was established; data used for calculation of severance tax on oil for February 2008 are prepared for application; explanations of the Fund for social development with regard to children pay are given.

I. Federal Laws of the Russian Federation 1. ON MAKING CHANGES TO SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE RATES OF SOME KINDS OF SOCIAL PAYMENTS AND PAYMENTS FOR A NUMBER OF SOCIAL SERVICES from 01.03.2008 No 18-FZ Comes into effect on 01 April 2008, excluding a number of positions, coming into effect on other dates According to the changes, on 1 April 2008 the rates of some kinds of social payments and cost of the list of social services are increased for some citizens, for instance citizens that were exposed to radiation as a result of the catastrophe at Chernobyl nuclear power plant; citizens that were exposed to radiation as a result of trials at Semipalatinsk testing area; corresponding categories of veterans; the disabled, including the disabled children; Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of the Russian Federation and holders of all Glory orders and members of their families, Heroes of Socialist Labor, holders of all orders of Labor Glory. The same law established the procedure for indexation and recalculation of payments to citizens, having children.

Besides, changes are made to the Federal Law from 17.07.1999 No 178-FZ On government social support concerning increase of sums, directed to payment of a number of social services.

2. ON MAKING CHANGES TO THE LABOR CODE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION from 28.02.2008 No 13-FZ Comes into effect on 30 March Changes were made to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation; they concern regulation of labor relations with professional sportsmen. Earlier in the Labor Code there was no separate chapter, regulating of labor of sportsmen and coaches issues, - some regulations, concerning this category of workers were included in other chapters of the Code, which now are invalid. The Code is supplemented with chapter 54.1, which regulates the procedure for making and abrogation of agreements with sportsmen and coaches. Additional grounds for labor contracts abrogation with a professional sportsman are add: disqualification for the period of more than 6 months, doping abuse. Besides, special issues of relations with sport workers: necessity of compulsory medical check-up (examination) of sportsmen on signing the labor contract, cases of temporary transfer to another employee and debar of the sportsman from the participation at competition, direction of sportsmen and coaches to combined teams of the Russian Federation. Special features of sportswomen and underage sportsmen are described specifically. Clause 348.10 in new version envisages additional warranties and compensations for sportsmen and coaches.

II. Decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation 1. ON MAKING CHANGES TO THE DECREE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION FROM 19 NOVEMBER 2007 NO 786 from 20.03.2008 No Indexation coefficient for monthly social payment on compulsory social insurance from accidents at production and professional illnesses, granted before 1 January 2008 was increased and is now equal to 1.085.

2. ON ESTABLISHING OFN COEFFICIENT FOR ADDITIONAL INCREASE OF THE INSURANCE PART OF THE OLD-AGE PENSION FROM 1 APRIL 2008 from 25.03.2008 No Comes into effect on 01 April Coefficient for additional increase of the insurance part of the old-age pension is established at the level of 1.075 from 1 April 2008. Pension Fund of the Russian Federation is commissioned to inform its territorial branches on the value of the coefficient, adopted by this Decree, to increase pensions, established by the Federal Law from 17.12.2001 No 173-FZ.

III. Letters, Orders, Directions 1. Letter of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation ON DATA, NECESSARY TO CALCULATE SEVERANCE RATE IN REGARD TO OIL FOR FEBRUARY 2008 dated 19.03.2008, No SchS-603/192@ The data, applied to calculation of the severance tax in regard to oil for February 2007, are prepared for application:

- average level of prices for oil grade Urals USD 92.01 per barrel;

- average US dollar exchange rate against ruble of the Russian Federation over all the days of the tax period 24.5352;

Cp coefficient value 7.8033.

2. Letter of the Federal Social Service from 05.03.2008 No 02-18/07-Starting with 1 January 2008 a number of children payments will be indexed annually. Payments that are paid by employees are also subjected to indexation: extraordinary grant to women, registering at medical institutions at early stages of pregnancy, extraordinary grant on childbirth.

Payments should be indexed according to the forecast level of inflation, established in the Law on federal budget for the current year. This level for 2008 is 8.5% (part 1 clause 1 of the Federal Law from 24.07.No 198-FZ). In this connection the rate of the extraordinary grant for women on childbirth will be RUR 8680 in 2008, and payment for women, registering at the early stages of pregnancy is RUR 325.5. Minimum and maximum rates of the monthly leave on childcare are also indexed. In 2008 minimum rate of the payment is RUR 1627.50 (care for the first child) and RUR 3255 (care for the second and other children), maximum rate is RUR 6510. It is specified that it is the minimum and maximum rates that are indexed, not the rate of payment calculated on the basis of 40% of the average wages. Payments, which have already been paid for 2008, should be recalculated and the difference should be paid to the employee. Since both the calculation pay-sheet by means of the Federal Social Service of the Russian Federation (form 4-FSS RF) and calculation of advance payments on Single social tax, which are reduced by the sum of expenditures, taken by the Federal Social Service, will be submitted by employees already as a result of the 1st quarter, accounts reflecting indexed sums of made payments and no changes to accounts will have to be made.

Review of Budgetary Legislation over March M. Goldin The following events took place in March 2008 in the field of budgetary legislation: Federal Law on budget for 2009-2010 was changed considerably, Rules for granting of subsidies in 2008 from the federal budget to regions to co-finance construction of regional capital construction and (or) to grant corresponding subsidies to local budgets to co-finance municipal objects of capital construction.

Federal Laws Federal law from 03.03.2008 No19-FZ On making changes to the Federal Law On the federal budget for 2008 and for the planned period of 2009-2010 The changes are accounted for by real macroeconomic indices of the development of the Russian Federation in 2007, including growth of prices for consumer goods at the end of 2007, as well as expected results of social and economic results of the countrys development in 2008 and specification of the main forecast parameters for the development of the Russian Federation in the planned period of 2009 and 2010.

Main characteristics of the federal budget for 2008 and for the planned period of 2009 and 2010 have been specified. For instance, the share of oil and gas transfer and normative volume of the Reserve fund for the planned period of 2009 and 2010 have been increased.

Besides, the total volume of federal budgets expenditures in 2008 as compared with the initially approved volume was raised by RUR 331.3 bln, in 2009 by RUR 831.6 bln, in 2010 by RUR 994.6 bln.

The list of targets for which subsidies are granted to the regions of the Russian Federation was widened.

For instance, now subsidies are given both to make purchase and goods interventions of grains. Earlier, according to the law on the budget, subsidies were granted only to make purchase interventions of grain.

Decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation from 07.03.2008 No 155 On granting subsidies in 2008 from the federal budget to subjects of the Russian Federation to co-finance construction of regional capital construction objects of state ownership of subjects of the Russian Federation and (or) to grant corre sponding subsidies from the budgets of subjects of the Russian Federation to local budgets to co-finance municipal capital construction objects of municipal ownership The Decree establishes rules to grant subsidies in 2008 from the federal budget to subjects of the Russian Federation to co-finance construction of regional capital construction objects of state ownership of subjects of the Russian Federation and (or) to grant corresponding subsidies from the budgets of subjects of the Russian Federation to local budgets to co-finance municipal capital construction objects of municipal ownership.

Rules however do not apply to granting subsidies to co-finance construction of regional capital construction objects, with regard to which other regulating acts that establish procedure of subsidies distribution and (or) granting are adopted.

Distribution of subsidies among the subjects of the Russian Federation is stated by legislative acts of federal executive power subjects of budget planning.

A legal act on distribution of subsidies issued by a subject of budget planning should contain:

a) denomination of the subjects of the Russian Federation to which subsidies are granted;

b) volumes of subsidies granted on the whole to a subject of the Russian Federation as broken by the main superintendents of the federal budgets funds;

c) target granting of subsidies, including target distribution in cases mentioned in paragraph 5 of the Rules;

d) other information on the decision of the subject of budget planning.

Target allocation of subsidies is defined by mentioning in the legal act of the subject of budget planning, target distribution of subsidies and subsidies distribution by kinds of objects, belonging to the sphere of the chief superintendent operation. Target distribution of subsidies is carried out by indication of the amount of granted subsidies for every capital construction object, included in the federal target programs, with indication of objects names and corresponding programs, and for every capital construction object not included in the federal target programs.

According to paragraph 5 of the Rules it is stated that target distribution is compulsory for the following capital construction objects:

a) included in the federal target programs with indication of amount of financing for every object on these programs;

b) included in the federal target programs without indication of the amount of financing for every capital construction object in these programs:

without which commissioning and operation of the capital construction objects of the state ownership of the Russian Federation is impossible;

necessity of whose construction results from international liabilities of the Russian Federation;

c) not included in the federal target programs, whose construction (reconstruction) is envisaged by decisions of the President of the Russian Federation of the Government of the Russian Federation, including those without which it is impossible for the capital construction objects of the state ownership of the Russian Federation to be put into commission or to function, or necessity of construction (reconstruction) of which results from the international liabilities of the Russian Federation.

Subsidies are granted to chief superintendents of the federal budgets funds according to the total budget revenue and expenditures within the limits of budget allocations and budget liabilities for 2008 and in accordance with the approved legal act of the subject of budget planning on subsidies distribution on the basis of the agreement on subsidies granting made between the federal executive body of the subject of the Russian Federation and the chief superintendent of the federal budget funds, agreed with the subject of budget planning.

Orders are given to the federal executive bodies to adopt legal acts on approval of subsidies distribution among the subjects of the Russian Federation as broken by the chief superintendents of the federal budget funds. The main superintendents, in their turn, are to provide making agreements with the supreme executive bodies of the Russian Federation on subsidies granting.

According to paragraph 13 of the rules it is established that granting subsidies is suspended in case decision is made by the chief superintendent of the federal budget on violation of agreements condition by the supreme executive body of the Russian Federation.

If it is impossible to eliminate violation of agreements conditions made by the supreme executive body of a subject of the Russian Federation, granting of subsidies is stopped according to the decision of the chief superintendent of the federal budget funds, and the subject of budget planning is informed with the indication of the amount of released funds.

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