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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budget Passes in 2nd Reading, Many Amendments Rejected

The State Duma on Friday approved the government's first three-year budget in a second reading, rejecting hundreds of amendments proposed since the first reading.

"It's a budget for stability of the state," Kudrin told reporters after the vote. "It's a budget of diversification."

Deputies seeking to promote their own programs ranging from increasing funding for school meals to giving more money to various regions, submitted more than 700 amendments to the first version of the bill, which was approved May 25. Many of the additional requests were rejected.

The federal budget will post a surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP, or 74.1 billion rubles ($2.88 billion) in 2008 and 0.04 percent of GDP or 14.2 billion rubles in 2009, the bill said. The net surplus will disappear in 2010 when government spending will equal revenue.

The government's foreign debt cannot exceed 1.13 trillion rubles on Jan. 1, 2009, 1.17 trillion rubles on Jan. 1, 2010, and 1.23 trillion rubles in 2011, according to the bill.

The government will be allowed to borrow more at home. The bill sets the upper limit of domestic borrowing at 1.83 trillion rubles on Jan. 1, 2009, 2.28 trillion rubles on Jan. 1, 2010, and 2.86 trillion rubles on Jan. 1, 2011.

Lawmakers also passed amendments to the 2007 budget in the second and third reading. The legislative changes will increase spending on road building by 30 billion rubles this year and a further 10 billion rubles will be allocated for housing.

The Cabinet will draft other amendments in September to this year's budget to increase spending as outlined in President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address, Kudrin said. Putin announced in April 650 billion rubles in unplanned government spending to improve roads, housing, increase pensions and other social spending.