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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Panel Recommends Budget's Adoption

The State Duma budget committee Thursday recommended approval of the 1999 budget draft in Friday's final reading and Communist deputies agreed to a compromise in a row over Kremlin spending.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who is due to attend the debate in the lower house of parliament, was confident the bill would pass in the Communist-led chamber, which is largely sympathetic to his government.

The budget committee's green light for the bill confirms expectations that the document will sail through the fourth reading, which is usually a formality.

The threat of a veto from President Boris Yeltsin waned Thursday as Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov agreed to the government's proposal to cut the budget of the presidential administration by 20 percent instead of the 40 percent initially demanded.

News agencies quoted Primakov as saying at the opening of a Cabinet meeting that he was confident the budget draft would be accepted in the fourth reading.

The bill would then be forwarded to the Federation Council, parliament's upper house, and if approved, go to Yeltsin.

The revenue, inflation and ruble exchange rate targets have been criticized as unrealistic, even by deputies who voted for the draft in the first three readings.

However, it has passed through the Duma at lightning speed, with the Communists and others demonstrating political support for Primakov.