FEDERATION COUNCIL SPEAKER SEES NOTHING BAD IN NON-SURPLUS BUDGET

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MOSCOW, MARCH 30. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of Russian parliament), sees nothing bad in a non-surplus budget. He said this to journalists in a comment on yesterday's declaration of Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov that the cabinet of ministers is ready to provide for no surplus in the 2005 budget.

"A budget surplus is only good when all problems have been resolved in a country", Mironov said.

Last years show that revenue in the Russian budget have always exceeded expenditure, he said. "It means that revenue arrives to the budget better than planned", he noted.

"If a budget is made with deficit and more revenue is to go to meet social needs, the budget deficit will be closed", believes Mironov.

When senators together with deputies of the State Duma (the lower parliamentary chamber) and government representatives work on the budget of the next year, this matter will require additional consideration, Mironov stressed. "We will see the cabinet's revenue and expenditure proposals, especially in the social sphere", Sergei Mironov said.

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