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    PRESIDENT PUTIN MEETS WITH SAINT PETERSBURG GOVERNOR

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    ST. PETERSBURG, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Saint Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko.

    The governor informed the head of the state about the execution of the city's budget and the fulfilment of the commitments before the pensioners and the public sector workers.

    The city's authorities have set themselves the task to use additional sources for increasing the revenue basis of the budget and to meet the social commitments. The governor explained that otherwise the city "will not be able to cope with its social commitments." The governor also told the President that a social-economic development programme had been drawn up for the city, as well as its master plan and a programme for improving the investment climate in Petersburg.

    However, the production volume in the city has dropped; at the present time it equals 5.5% of the GDP. "This figure is lower than the last year's," said the governor. She explained this by the recession in the food, light and chemical industries. However, the ship-building and machine-building industries are working well, she added.

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