MOSCOW, APRIL 1, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI) -- The Russian customs and tax departments will be reorganised upon making amendments in the correspondent codes, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the news conference in Moscow after a cabinet sitting considering the course of the administrative reform in Russia.

"The customs and tax departments do not yet fall under reform until the making of amendments in the customs and tax legislations", Kudrin said. And noted that "after amendments they will turn into federal services".

Meanwhile, the tax department continues in full measure and upon reorganisation part of its functions will go to the Finance Ministry, Kudrin said.

The cabinet has already outlined wages for ministers, their deputies and heads of departments, he noted.

"Yesterday Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov gathered ministers and we mapped out approximate wage parameters", he said.

"A wage will depend, above all, on the volume of work to prepare normative decisions and the total work load", Kudrin said.

The reform of federal organs of executive power will not call for additional expenses from the budget and, on a longer perspective, will even save a lot of funds, the finance minister believes.

"Talking of the cost of administrative reform in the narrow sense, all measures now being taken neatly lie within the remuneration-of-labour fund set in the budget law. It will not be more", Kudrin said.

As to the administrative reform in the broad sense, it will later effect a considerable saving of funds owing to the smaller sums to go into the upkeep of the organs of power, Kudrin said.

He explained that the reform will make vacant buildings and other facilities, which will be removed from the pay of ministries. "We won't have to pay for them", Kudrin noted.

Nor will the payment of severance pays to the personnel fired from ministries and departments allow expenses to overstep the budget-fixed framework, he also said.

The finance minister has proposed to the cabinet to cancel many commissions, of which he once was a member himself.

"Ministers should bear responsibility for the decisions they propose", Kudrin told journalists. For instance, he thinks it expedient to pass to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry the functions of the commission on Russia's joining the World Trade Organisation and the commission on prospective measures in foreign trade and the customs-and-tariff because these commissions tackle precisely these goals.

Kudrin also said that ministers will be able on their own without governmental instructions set up interdepartmental commissions for coordinating interdepartmental work. "This level of coordination will replace the earlier commissions", the finance minister said.

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