Putin urges joint efforts to control social spending

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MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that prosecutors and comptrollers should unite to prevent misuse of funds earmarked for social spending projects in 2006.

Speaking to a board meeting of the Prosecutor General's Office, Putin said, "It is extremely important that prosecutorial bodies and the Audit Chamber join efforts to oversee the proper use of funds allocated for the purpose."

In November last year, Putin pledged to channel 160 billion rubles (about $5.7 billion) of Russia's windfall oil export revenues into national projects in education, health care, agriculture and housing projects.

"The massive amount of budget allocations lays a greater responsibility on government bodies and the government's task will be to deliver the money to the target recipients."

Under the country's 2006 budget, spending on education and agriculture will be increased by more than 30%, on health care by 60%, and spending on new housing will be quadrupled.

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