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Russia: Duma Discusses 1997 Draft Budget

Moscow, 24 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Russian State Duma discussed today the 1997 draft budget in its fourth and final reading.

In presenting the draft, Budget Committee chairman Mikhail Zadornov said that control over budget implementation will be significantly tightened this year. Zadornov said the government would now be bound to make quarterly reports to the Duma on budget implementation and that one month after the adoption of the draft the government has to present a plan for restructuring company debts to the budget.

Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Petrov, who also addressed today's morning session, said the government had some reservations about revisions made in the draft by the Duma Budget Committee. But he urged lawmakers to approve the draft and thus bring to a close five months of joint work of the executive and the legislative.

After a two-hour break the Duma is due to continue debates on the draft budget which will be put to the vote later today.