The Russian joint-stock company Gazprom offers to invest 161 billion rubles ($1 equals to 30.30 rubles) in developing the gas-producing industry in 2002. The Russian government considered an investment programme of the gas industry Thursday. At the same time, deputy minister of economic development and trade Andrei Sharonov stressed that his department believes the investment programme volume should amount to 140 billion rubles and 20 billion rubles are not covered with financing. Sharonov also noted that the investment programme should be reduced also because the Gazprom budget for 2002 was compiled with a 92-billion-ruble deficit. According to the deputy minister of economic development and trade, a list of gas industry objects, whose investment did not arouse disagreements in the Cabinet of Ministers today, should be compiled till January 10, 2002. A special attention was also paid to financing geological exploration. Specifically, Gazprom offered to increase allocation of funds to geological exploration 7-fold in 2002 compared to this year, i.e. from 2 billion rubles to 14 billion rubles. Sharonov reported that in 2002 the Russian gas monopolist plans to attract 75 billion rubles in borrowings.
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