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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Signs '02 Budget, Labor Code

President Vladimir Putin finished the year in style by wrapping up two key pieces of legislation Dec. 31, signing into law the 2002 budget and a new Labor Code.

News agencies quoted the presidential press service as saying that Putin had signed both bills -- the final stamp of approval after passing through the lower and upper houses of parliament.

The 2002 budget was approved by the State Duma in a fourth and final reading Dec. 14. It sailed through the Federation Council on Dec. 26.

The new Labor Code, seen as part of Putin's economic program, adapts to post-Soviet economic reality by allowing private firms to hire and fire workers. It also seeks to boost job security, locking in workers' rights and penalizing employers for delays in paying wages.

The new code provides for a 40-hour working week, enshrines the right to paid leave after six months employment instead of 11 months, and sets 28 days as the minimum holiday entitlement.

It also requires the minimum wage to be equal to a sum considered to be the poverty line. That currently stands at $10 a month, well below any objective assessment of income needed to survive. But the means of calculating the sum remain under debate.