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Duma to consider oil and gas fund amendments to Budget Code

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government has submitted amendments to the Budget Code to be considered by parliament's lower house in the second reading, envisioning transformation of the Stabilization Fund, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

"The amendments have been submitted to the State Duma. Most of them are devoted to establishing an oil and gas fund," a ministry source said.

In early March in his budget 2008-2010 address Russia's President Vladimir Putin called for transforming the Stabilization Fund, set up in 2004 as a cushion against inflation and world market price fluctuations to accumulate windfall oil revenues, into the Reserve Fund and the Future Generations Fund.

"The Reserve Fund and oil and gas profits used to finance federal budget expenses should be fixed in legislation and linked to GDP with a three-year transition to a new system of oil and gas profit management," Putin said then.

The new draft code was adopted in the first reading in late January. The Duma is expected to approve the draft in the final reading by the end of April.

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