Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 124

As part of the anti-crisis program launched on June 23, a package of six new tax laws was approved by the government on June 25 and submitted to the parliament the next day. Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko will address the State Duma on July 1 in a bid to persuade them to adopt the measures. Also on June 26, the government approved 42 billion rubles worth of cuts in federal spending–8 percent of the annual budget.

At a press conference on June 26, Constitutional Court Marat Baglai made it clear that he would sanction actions by President Yeltsin to introduce the changes by decree if the Duma fails to act. Baglai argued that Article 80 of the constitution empowering the president to issue decrees to fill “gaps” in legislation can override Article 75 which makes the legislature the sole tax-raising agency. (Russky telegraf, 27 June)

With the State Duma due to depart for its summer recess on July 16, it is looking increasingly likely that the lower house will buckle under the pressure from the Kremlin and international financial institutions and pass at least some of the spending cuts and tax changes. Yeltsin is trying to insist that the Duma accept the package as a whole.