Russia plans to increase budget spending by 25.8 per cent to 36.6 trillion roubles ($383 billion) in 2024, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Friday, with hefty increases in military and social spending expected ahead of a March presidential election.
Moscow has heavily diverted funds towards what it calls a 'special military operation' in Ukraine, and social spending will rise around the election in which President Vladimir Putin is expected to seek another six-year term, reports Reuters.
The plans for next year envisage spending being equivalent to around 20.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and Russia running a small budget deficit, with revenues expected at 35 trillion roubles, Mishustin said in a televised government meeting.
"Such significant growth will be possible thanks to the further development of our economy," Mishustin said. "As part of this, non-oil and gas revenues should be twice as big as those from oil and gas."
Under its budget rule, Russia sells foreign currency from its National Wealth Fund to make up for any shortfall in revenue from oil and gas exports or makes purchases in the event of a surplus.
The government was discussing budget plans for the next three years. Bloomberg News reported that Russia is also planning a huge hike in defence spending next year, swelling to 6 per cent of GDP from 3.9 per cent in 2023 and 2.7 per cent in 2021.