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    EXPERTS: NO RESULTS FROM TERRORISM-FIGHTING MONEY BOOST

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    MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin has promised an increase in this year's budget spending on law enforcement and security as against 310 billion roubles ($1 equals 29.22 roubles) provided for by the budget. As to 2005 budget estimates, their corresponding expenditure amounts to 388 billion roubles, that is 25 percent more than this year, constituting 2.4 percent of GDP. Following the hostage-taking in the Moscow theatrical centre in 2002 and other acts of terrorism, says the Noviye Izvestia, the expenditure on domestic security was stepped up several times but the Beslan tragedy has not been prevented.

    Mikhail Zadornov, member of the Duma's commission supervising federal budget defence and national security spending, says that Germany, France and Britain facing the same threats as Russia, spend nearly the same GDP share on internal security as Russia. It is only the United States that allocates more -4 percent of GDP. "It is the ineffective utilisation of money rather than its volume that matters," says Zadornov. He gives priority to structural reforms of law-enforcement bodies and special services over financial backing.

    Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights Public Verdict fund, claims that the mounting allocations for law enforcement are being just devoured by the swelled staff of the ministry of the interior. Such megapolises as Tokyo, London and New York, according to him, account for less than 40,000 policemen while the aggregate number of Moscow policemen tops 150,000.

    Duma security committee member Gennady Gudkov also believes that the interior ministry's staff has been swollen beyond measure. "We have 1,500,000 policemen in Russia-that is every one hundredth person works for police." In the opinion of the deputy, law-enforcement bodies can be made redundant by two and two and a half times so as to increase the wages for the rest.

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