Updated 3:12 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s draft 2015 budget does not envisage any increase in taxes, including the introduction of sales tax, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday.
“We managed to avoid raising taxes, raising the tax burden, and this is important,” the minister said.
The Russian government approved the draft 2015 budget earlier in the day.
The budget stipulates incomes at 15.082 trillion rubles ($392 billion, 19.4% of Russian GDP), expenditures of 15.513 trillion rubles ($403 billion, 20% of GDP) and the budget deficit of 430 billion rubles (almost 11.2 billion at the current exchange rate).
The Russian government does not plan to make any cash injections into the country's Reserve Fund next year. It is predicted that by the end of 2015, the Reserve Fund will amount to 3.543 trillion rubles ($92 billion), while the Russian National Wealth Fund (NWF), which is part of the Reserve Fund, is expected to reach 3.194 trillion rubles ($83 billion).
The Russian non-oil and gas budget deficit will amount to 10.5 percent of the country's GDP.
The growth of the Russian economy in 2016 and 2017 is projected at 2.3 percent and 3 percent, respectively. It is estimated that the ruble will weaken to 38.7 rubles per dollar in 2016 and 39.5 rubles per dollar in 2017.
The inflation rate will drop to 4.5 percent in 2016 and 4 percent in 2017.