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    PENSIONS TO GO UP 121 RUBLES FROM APRIL

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    MOSCOW, March 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Pensions will go up on the average by 121 rubles from April 2004, Healthcare and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov said at a meeting with the president on Friday.

    President Putin inquired about arrangements being done for the rise. "Everything's ready, the cabinet's draft resolution has been agreed on with all relevant bodies and will be published next week," said the minister.

    Mr Zurabov reassured that the Pension Fund's budget can afford to raise pensions.

    This will not be the only increase in pensions in 2004, added Mr Zurabov. "We will, thereby, pay the debt for last year. This is an extra indexation of pensions calculated on the results of the country's and government's performance last year," said the minister.

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