Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Senators Alarmed by Tax Rises

The Federation Council upper house of parliament is alarmed by planned tax increases on electricity, fuel and transport in the 2001 draft budget and has called for President Vladimir Putin to create a commission to revise the budget, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The senators said they feared a new wave of inflation would harm production and voted 95-0 for an appeal to be made to the president. Two senators abstained.

In the appeal the council asked Putin to order the government to "allocate resources so that regional administrations can buy fuel and take immediate measures to ensure that prices of goods and services of natural monopolies do not rise uncontrollably," Interfax reported.

Natural monopolies refer to state-owned enterprises such as national power grid Unified Energy Systems, natural gas giant Gazprom and the Railways Ministry.

Senators called for a commission composed of members of the council, the State Duma lower house of parliament and the government to revise the budget draft.

In their resolution they said spending on national defense and security and law enforcement should be raised to 5.1 percent of gross domestic product.

In the first draft of the 2001 budget in August, defense spending had been boosted to 206.32 billion rubles ($7.44 billion), representing 2.66 percent of GDP compared to 2.39 percent of GDP this year.

Law enforcement and security spending was to rise to 1.67 percent of GDP in 2001 from 1.37 percent of GDP in 2000.