Russia's parliament approves lean new budget
Russia's lower house of parliament gave final approval Wednesday to a 2011 federal budget that forecasts in a 3.6-percent deficit for the year, an improvement on the 2010 figure.
The deficit is forecast to drop to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product for 2012 and slip further to 2.9 percent the following year.
The latest government estimates say that Russia will record a 4.6 percent budget deficit in 2010.
The projected 2011 budget revenues are put at 8.844 billion rubles (208.6 billion euros, 285.3 million dollars), and expenditures at 10.658 billion rubles -- with 793 billion rubles of that figure going to law enforecement and defence.
With about 60 percent of its economy based on energy exports, Russia suffered badly during the 2009 collapse in global commodity prices.
But the gradual recovery in energy has eased some of the country's budget constraints, with the Russian finance ministry recently revising down the 2010 deficit figure.
The Russian government last month approved a 42-billion-dollar, five-year privatisation programme designed to raise more funds for the country's stalled modernisation drive.
© 2010 AFP