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Russia's lower house passes draft 2007 budget

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MOSCOW, November 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed a draft 2007 budget on a third reading Friday.

The draft was supported by 341 Duma members, with 226 votes required for approval. Seventy-seven MPs voted against the document, with no abstentions.

Budget revenue for next year has been fixed at 6.965 trillion rubles ($260 billion), spending at 5.464 trillion ($205 billion), with surplus expected at 1.5 trillion ($55 billion).

GDP will stand at 31.22 trillion rubles ($1.17 trillion), and inflation is expected to be 6.5-8%. The average annual ruble rate against the dollar is expected to be 26.5 rubles to the dollar, and the forecasted oil price is $61 per barrel.

A total of 2.8 million ($105,000) rubles has been earmarked from the budget to sustain former president Boris Yeltsin, who resigned in 2000.

Parliamentary members submitted 1,179 amendments to the document, 368 of which were recommended for approval.

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