The procedure for considering the RF federal budget by the RF State Duma has been altered

On 1 July 2009, the RF State Duma approved, in the first reading, the draft law “On introducing changes into the RF Budget Code and Article 45 of the Federal Law “On the RF Central Bank” (the Bank of Russia)”.

In accordance with this document, the period for submitting the draft federal budget for the years 2010 – 2012 to the RF State Duma is extended by more than a month – until 1 October, instead of 26 August (the current deadline). Besides, it is planned to shorten the period for the consideration by the RF State Duma of a draft federal budget: in the first reading – to 20 days from the date of submitting a draft federal budget to the State Duma by the RF Government, in the second reading – to 25 days from the date of approving the draft in the first reading, and in the third reading – to 5 days from the date of approving the draft in the second reading.

In a crisis situation, and in view of the low predictability of the basic budget planning parameters, this measure appears to be quite justified, because it reduces the risks of financial and economic errors by approximating the moment of planning to the moment of the coming in force of the federal law on the federal budget. Following this logic, by the draft law it is envisaged that the indices of the federal budget, the summary of budget revenue and expenditure, and the limits for budget liabilities should be set only for the year 2010, whereby the practice of drawing-up one-year budgets will be continued. It should be admitted that the reestablishment of one-year planning will result in an even lower transparency of medium-range targets in the sphere of state finance, so that public understanding of the RF Government’s fiscal policy for the next few years will become less clear.

I. A. Sokolov – Candidate of Economic Sciences, Head of the Department for Budget Policy