RUSSIA - Russian pensions will increase by over a third by the end of 2009, prime minister Vladimir Putin has pledged.
Putin explained this would mean pensions would grow in general by 37% and would make the size of social pensions at least equal to the pensioners' minimum subsistence level.
He said: "As a result, the average size of a social pension cannot be lower than a pensioner's minimum subsistence level by the end of 2009. This goal was set long ago, and we will accomplish it within the declared time frame."
This means that by the end of next year, pensioners in Russia would not receive any less than R2,460 a month, and pensioners aged 80 or older would have a minimum monthly retirement income of no less than R3,900.
Putin said pension payments were an obligation of the state and would be achieved for the people of Russia.
He proposed to leaders of the constituent parts of the Russian federation to discuss their obligations and noted that their work would be evaluated on the basis of state of affairs in the region.
Putin added: "Calculations show that about R440bn of the funds from the regional budgets, nearly 10% of the total amount of spending, was spent inefficiently in 2007. We are not trying to dictate to constituent parts of the federation the way in which they should discharge their powers, but the federal government has the right to link the volumes of financial aid being allocated."
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