Source Pravda.Ru

Vladimir Putin discusses budget for next year with Finance Minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a working meeting on Thursday with Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

As the RIA Novosti correspondent was told by the presidential press secretary Alexei Gromov, the President and the Vice Prime Minister discussed questions connected with the budget for 2003.

They also considered the measures which have to be taken to liquidate the wage arrears to the public sector workers in the subjects of the Russian Federation.

On Monday, at the conference with the members of the Cabinet of Minsters, the head of the state drew their attention to the growth in the wage arrears to the public sector workers. He dwelt especially on the problem of paying wages to teachers. The President demanded that jointly with the heads of the constituent members of the Federation, measures should be taken to improve the situation.

Alexei Kudrin, speaking the same day in the news programme Vremya on the first channel, ORT, of the Russian television, said that before September all wage arrears to the public sector workers would be paid in full.

The Vice Prime Minister pointed out that the June wages arrears had grown by 1.5 billion roubles (about 50 million dollars). He also mentioned that the government granted big sums to some subjects of the Russian Federation to pay wages, but a considerable part of this sum was sent to the southern regions to combat the consequences of the flood.

On an average, in 89 Russian regions the arrears amount to one month. In 57 regions, the wages are paid in full and in time.