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City news, 23.12.2003 12:40

City shares economic plan

St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko Doubling city budget revenues in three years and providing all public employees with salaries above the subsistence level by the end of 2004 are key short-term tasks of the new city administration, according to St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko, who spoke at the general meeting of the St. Petersburg Joint Venture Association on Monday. The newly elected governor is also eager to change the city's general plan of development. The existing plan is valid until the end of 2005, but it doesn't reflect current goals, tasks and future prospects, she said. As a result, St. Petersburg's first plan of social and economic development through 2008 will be presented to the city Legislative Assembly in January 2004.

Meanwhile, the most ambitious goal of the new administration is to double budget revenues in three years, echoing the president's goal of doubling gross domestic product by 2010.

Next year's budget, however, is not very optimistic. Worth 85 billion rubles, the 2004 budget has a deficit of between 3 and 4 billion rubles, while projected revenues are lower than those in the 2003 budget.

"We're not going to raise taxes, we just plan to bring companies out of shadow economies and to administrate taxes more effectively," Matviyenko said.

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