All budget-financed workers receive increased wages on time and in full, the Russian Finance Ministry department for relations with government and public organisations reported Monday.
Nevertheless, wage arrears to workers of local budget- financed organisations grew in Russia's regions in 2002 Q1 by 1.2 billion rubles to 2.9 billion rubles as of July 1. Orenburg Region, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Karelia, Komi, Khakassia and Omsk Region are lagging behind in wage payment most. June saw the increment in wage arrears to local workers soar. That month the wage debt grew by 1.1 billion rubles due to vacation payments to workers of regional educational establishments.
As of July 1, wage arrears to workers of local budget- financed organisations correspond to the amount of payments for 0.1 months in 12 Federation members, from 0.2 to 0.4 months in 10 members, and over two weeks in 9 members. Fifty-eight Russian regions have no wage arrears at all.
The Finance Ministry noted that the government renders financial assistance to the regions on a permanent basis to correct the situation with local budget performance. Thus, in 2002 Q1 the federal budget allocated 84.0-billion-ruble worth of subsidies to the regions or 62 percent of the annual amount. Moreover, 7.9 billion rubles or 58 percent of the annual amount were allocated to partially cover expenditure on raising the first grade of a single tariff scale.
The federal government also granted budget loans to make up for the temporary shortage of funds amounting to 12 billion rubles in regional budget spending. As many as 5 billion rubles of this amount were allocated in June to pay wages to workers of budget-financed organisations taking into account the payment of education workers' leaves.
In June the Russian government concluded agreements with 30 Federation members on financial rehabilitation envisaging extra assistance from the federal budget in the amount of 3 billion rubles. These agreements stipulate that should a need arises a region should transfer no less than 50 percent of its budget revenue to pay wages and redeem wage arrears. The agreements also demand from regions to revise the priority order of financing their expenditures giving preference to paying wages to budget- dependent workers. Another demand stipulated in the agreements boils down to the fact that wages of budget-dependent workers should correspond to the increased federal standards.