• Russia’s anti-crisis plan faces fund lack


    MOSCOW: Russia may not have enough money to implement planned anti-crisis measures, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), asking ministers to make revisions.

    Russia makes half of its revenue from oil and gas and the steep drop in oil prices risks plunging the country into a second consecutive year of recession as budget revenues fall.

    “We will be extremely careful in spending, because we may simply not have enough money for all the areas,” Medvedev said at a meeting with ministers and top officials on social and economic policy.

    “We need to take exceptionally considered decisions,” he added.

    As the ruble at the end of last month reached its lowest value ever against the dollar, the government announced a package of measures to support the economy, to be implemented promptly.

    Since then, Russian media has published a number of the measures expected to be adopted and the government has held further meetings without a final decision being taken.

    On Wednesday morning a number of newspapers reported that officials were set to present a new version of the “government action plan for economic and social stability” to Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin.

    The latest plan calls for 828 billion rubles ($10.5 billion) to be given to the auto industry, agriculture and to buy medicines. But it does not show financing to account for 134 billion rubles, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.

    “The current version is a work in progress. It’s not the final draft,” Medvedev said.
    He said the new plan was made up of urgent measures but also medium-term structural reforms.

    “We do not now see how to finance all the [medium-term] measures by any means,” Medvedev acknowledged.

    The economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev on January 28 initially pledged 750 billion rubles to projects to tackle the country’s economic slump.

    Russia’s current crisis has seen people’s spending power dwindle, rolling back leaps in living standards during the early years of Putin’s rule that established his popularity as leader.



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