29 Jul 2009 18:06

Secondary budget expenditures need to be eliminated

NOVO-OGARYEVO. July 29 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has predicted the country will have a budget deficit in 2010 and in subsequent years and has demanded that secondary budget expenditures be eliminated.

"The budget for 2010 and several subsequent years will have a deficit. A rigid system of priorities needs to be built up to eliminate secondary and less urgent types of spending," Putin said at a meeting of a government commission handling the drafting of the budget.

"The negative consequences of the economic mess will still have an impact on the standing of government finances for a certain time," he said.

"As a result, it is especially important to get a clear understanding of our real capabilities taking into account the funds accumulated in the Reserve Fund and the National Welfare Fund in addition to prospects for internal and external borrowing," he said.

Putin again stressed that "a simple mechanical slashing of budget-funded programs" is not option for getting out of this situation.

"In taking such a step, we risk leaving the economy without extremely vital investment and slowing the full-fledged recovery of business activity," he said.