At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said he was sure that it would be possible to balance the budgets of Russian Federation constituents without the sale tax to be abolished from 2005. Kudrin announced that last week a conference was held on the issue and a decision was taken to analyse the consequences the abolishing of the tax will have for Federation constituents and to work out extra measures that would insure the regions from a shortfall of revenues. (The 5% sale tax goes to regional budgets.) "We have already worked out such measures," the vice-premier said. In particular, the federal centre is supposed to transfer a part of taxes from the federal budget to Federation constituents.
At the same time, extra subsidies could be allocated to those regions, which will find it insufficient. "We have no doubts that in the future the budgets of federation constituents will be safe and balanced and will solve all tasks set to them," Kudrin said. According to him, the growth of the gross domestic product, income tax, property taxes, which yield large revenues to Federation constituents inspires such hopes.
The head of Russian Technologies, Sergei Chemezov, clarified the fate of anti-aircraft guided missiles that Russia was supposed to deliver to China
The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13