AUDITING COMMISSION PROPOSES INCREASING BUDGET REVENUE TARGETS

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AUDITING COMMISSION PROPOSES INCREASING BUDGET REVENUE TARGETS

Izvestia, September 10, 2003, p. 3 EV

The Auditing Commission is calling for more precise forecast figures in the federal budget for 2004, to raise budget revenues. The Auditing Commission collegium, chaired by Sergei Stepashin, spent yesterday discussing a draft of the Auditing Commission’s conclusions on the draft budget for 2004. In its conclusions, the Auditing Commission notes some flaws in the draft budget and proposes activating additional reserves to increase budget revenues. In particular, revenues from leasing real estate owned by the state could actually be increased by no less than 1.7 billion rubles, to a total of 10.4 billion rubles. The Auditing Commission considers that other potential reserves for increasing revenues include stricter surveillance over tax-payers.

RUSSIA’S FOREIGN TRADE TURNOVER RISES BY 25 PERCENT

Izvestia, September 10, 2003, p. 5 EV

The State Customs Committee has released foreign trade statistics for January through July 2003. According to the Interfax news agency, the positive trade balance in this period amounted to $41.8 billion, or $10.3 billion more than for the same period of last year. Russia’s foreign trade turnover from January through July was $102.2 billion, or 25.2% more than in the same period of last year. Exports in the January-July period amounted to $72 billion, up 27.4% against the same period of last year. Imports amounted to $30.2 billion (a 20.5% increase). The leading exports to countries outside the CIS are still raw materials: they accounted for over 60% of total exports.

GAIDAR STRIDES AHEAD OF EXPERTS IN RECONSTRUCTING IRAQ

Trud, September 10, 2003, EV

Yegor Gaidar – a former prime minister of Russia, and architect of the “shock therapy” reforms – is going to Baghdad as a consultant to the Americans. Union of Right Forces (URF) leader Boris Nemtsov proudly announced at the party’s recent congress that the Americans have invited Gaidar, a URF co-leader and director of the Transition Economy Institute, to visit Iraq as a consultant on reconstructing its completely devastated economy. Nemtsov said: “Gaidar is the only specialist in the world who knows how to revive a nation’s economy.” According to the URF press service, Yegor Gaidar “will be in Iraq between September 19 and September 21, after which time he will analyze the situation and prepare his proposals for rebuilding Iraq.”

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