MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Reserve Fund decreased 3.7% to 2.298 trillion rubles ($76.37 billion) while the National Welfare Fund shrank 0.9% to 2.764 trillion rubles ($91.86 billion) in September, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.
The Reserve Fund was set up to cushion the federal budget against a fall in oil prices, and the National Welfare Fund is intended to help the government carry out pension reforms.
According to the ministry, "a total of 2.023 trillion rubles ($67 bln) was channeled from the Reserve Fund as of October 1 to balance the federal budget, including 309.24 billion rubles ($10.3 billion) in September."
In line with budget policy guidelines for 2010-2012 approved by the government in July, a total of 3.028 trillion rubles ($95.5 billion), or 7.9% of the country's GDP, will be spent on covering the budget deficit this year.
Russia's Reserve Fund is expected to fall to 1.55 trillion rubles ($50 billion) by the end of the year and run out entirely in 2010, while the National Welfare Fund will fall to 2.8 trillion rubles ($91 billion) by the end of the year and down to 94 billion rubles ($3 billion) by the end of 2012.