. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Starts New Year With Approved Budget

President Boris Yeltsin has signed into law the bill on the 1996 federal budget, giving Russia the chance to start the new year with an approved budget for the first time since launching economic reforms in 1992, the presidential press service said Wednesday.

The budget was passed by the State Duma on Dec. 6, and approved by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, on Dec. 19, after numerous amendments were made by a government-parliamentary conciliation commission.

Yeltsin signed the bill Sunday, his press service said. Experts say the timely passage of the budget is crucial for approval by the International Monetary Fund of a three-year loan to Russia in 1996. The loan, known as Extended Fund Facility, is projected to be about $9 billion and aims at macroeconomic and monetary reform in Russia.

Monthly inflation in the approved budget text was set at a compromise figure of 1.9 percent, but financial experts said a realistic figure could run at 3 to 5 percent a month.

The law sets the budget revenues at 347.2 trillion rubles ($75.5 billion), and expenditure of 435.7 trillion rubles. The budget deficit was set at 88.5 trillion rubles, or 3.85 percent of estimated gross domestic product.

The government made concessions on financing for agriculture, the military-industrial complex and social programs, Interfax said Friday.

Spending on national defense was increased by 3.5 trillion rubles, and an additional 1.4 trillion rubles were allocated for law-enforcement and state security needs.