21 Jun 2018 13:04

Russian Duma passes 2018 budget amendments

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) - Russia's State Duma on June 21 passed amendments to the 2018 budget at their third and final reading.

According to the amendments, budget revenue increases to 17.073 trillion rubles from 15.258 trillion rubles, due to higher oil and gas revenue, which rises by 1.755 trillion rubles, and non-oil revenue, up 59.8 billion rubles. Budget spending goes up 61.9 billion rubles to 16.591 trillion rubles, from 16.53 trillion rubles.

The old version of the budget projected a deficit of 1.271 trillion rubles or 1.3% of GDP, but the new one anticipates a surplus of 481.8 billion rubles or 0.5% of GDP.

The budget now assumes GDP will be 98.234 trillion rubles for the year, compared to a previous 97.462 trillion rubles, while the inflation forecast was lowered from 4% to 2.8%.

Domestic government borrowing rises 227 billion rubles, to 1.044 trillion rubles from 817.042 billion rubles, however borrowing abroad is capped at $6.968 billion rubles, virtually unchanged from the old version of the budget.

The ceiling on domestic guaranteed debt is lowered to 1.959 trillion rubles from 2.375 trillion rubles and the foreign debt ceiling is lowered to $22.9 billion or 18.3 billion euros from $33.5 billion or 27.9 billion euros.

The budget will allocate 36.4 billion rubles in subsidies for Russian automobile manufacturers to compensate costs related to producing vehicles that comply with Euro 4 and Euro 5 standards as well as some of the cost of keeping on staff due to adjusted automobile production volumes.

Agriculture will receive 26.5 billion rubles in subsidies to compensate interest on investment loans.

Another 22.5 billion rubles will be reserved to fulfill Russia's international obligations in the event of changes in the exchange rate; 14.5 billion will be set aside to pay pensions to retired servicemen and women; 9.8 billion rubles will be allocated as subsidies for the State Transport Leasing Company to bolster Russian airline fleets; a subsidy of 8 billion rubles will be provided to the Khrunichev Space Center to finance costs related to the repayment of Russian bank loans; Russian Agriculture Bank will receive 5 billion rubles to sustain rates of agricultural output and stabilize the bank's operations; and Promsvyazbank will receive a similar amount for loans to fulfill the defense order.