Russia says continues to improve financial system

Apr 14, 1998 02:00 AM

Russia's acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and Central Bank chairman Sergei Dubinin have signed a joint 1998 economic policy statement, which is critical to receiving funds from the IMF, the bank said.
The document is to be considered by the IMF board of directors in May. Its approval will form the basis for continuing the extended financing facility in 1998-1999. The total sum of the credits that Russia may expect to receive by the end of the program is $ 2.8 billion.
According to their joint statement, the Russian government and Central Bank are posed to maintain the "achieved level of macro-economic stability and to make crucial progress in the tax and budget sphere, including improved tax collectibility and reduced budget deficit."
The government intends "to eradicate the serious faults in the budget process and ensure better management of and control over federal budget expenditures," the statement said.
The comprehensive program of restructuring outlined in the statement aims to create "transparent" conditions for economic activity, to speed up economic reforms and to encourage investments required for economic growth.
According to the document, further privatisation in Russia is to be regulated by law and based on open participation in stable auctions and tenders.
The documents attaches special importance to the better management and more "transparent" activities of natural monopolies, such as the Railway Ministry, the electric monopoly Unified Energy Systems and Gazprom.
The joint statement is to be discussed by the Central Bank chairman and IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus in Washington, the bank's spokesman said.

The Russian delegation headed by Dubinin went to Washington to participate in the spring session of the World Bank and the IMF on April 15-17.
The delegation embraced acting Federal Minister Yevgeny Yasin, top officials from the Finance Ministry, Economics Ministry, State Tax Service and some other federal agencies, a source at the government staff told.
The discussion will focus on the pressing problems of the world financial system, as well as on the implementation of the World Bank's current and proposed projects in Russia.
The participants will also discuss the extension to Russia of more than $ 700 million in the next loan tranche as part of the $ 10.1 bn three-year loan program launched in late 1996. In February, Camdessus and Russian officials had agreed to extend the program into a fourth year, calendar 1999.
At the same time, Washington will house a meeting a the finance ministers and central bank heads of 22 developed and developing countries. Participants in the meeting will discuss possibilities for preventing financial crises and for co-ordinating activities in such spheres as disclosure and propagation of financial information, reform of financial institutions, distribution of financial burden in overcoming crises between the government and private sectors.

Russia is a member of the World Bank since June1992. The bank currently finances 39 projects in Russia for the total value of $ 9.9 bn. In 1997, the bank spent $ 2.69 bn on its Russian projects.

Source: not available
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