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    500 MILLION ROUBLES DEFICIT OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET IN JANUARY-FEBRUARY

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    MOSCOW, March 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - According to the preliminary estimates, the federal budget was executed in January-February 2004 with a deficit of 0.5 billion roubles (1 dollar = some 29 roubles), that is 0.013 percent of the financed expenditures and 0.025 percent of the forecast amount of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2004.

    The Russian Finance Ministry told RIA Novosti on Friday that according to the preliminary estimates, the federal budget was executed in January-February 2004 in the revenues to the sum of 434.9 billion roubles, or by 68 percent of the approved budget revenues for the first quarter of 2004, and in expenditures - to the sum of 435.4 billion roubles, or by 65.1 percent of the approved budget expenditures for the first quarter.

    A spokesman for the Finance Ministry explained that the deficit, provided for in the budget for the first quarter of 2004, appears in connection with the planned decrease of the incomes in January-March period. In particular, the Central Bank's incomes from value added taxes and profit taxes are envisaged only in the second half of the current year.

    The primary surplus (without payments on servicing the foreign debt) amounted to 46.3 billion roubles, or 2.1 percent of the forecast size of the GDP for the first quarter of 2004.

    The main part of the revenues to the federal budget constitute the money collected under the Ministry of Taxes and Dues - in 2003 they amounted to 66.2 percent of the total size of the incomes, in 2004 - to 64.4 percent (without a single social tax - 53.2 percent and 51.1, respectively) and also under the State Customs Committee - in 2003 they constituted 26.9 percent of the total amount of the incomes, in 2004 - 31.9 percent.

    In January-February 2004 priority was given to financing public sector wages and monetary allowances to servicemen. The sum spent on these purposes amounted to 105.7 billion roubles, or 20.8 percent of annual budgetary allocations.

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