Russia budget cuts

MOSCOW: Russia's government is readying fresh spending cuts of up to 10 per cent as the authorities struggle to cope with tumbling oil prices, business daily Vedomosti reported on Tuesday. A fresh slump in oil prices — which represents around a half of Russia's budget revenues — has further rocked the country’s crisis-hit economy, battering the stock markets and pushing the rouble to its lowest point since December 2014. Russia’s budget for 2016 has been based on oil being worth $50 a barrel but with the price now dropping to around $30, officials are scrambling to find savings to stop the deficit from passing the three per cent budget deficit planned for 2016. Ministers have now been given until Friday to come up with savings of 10 per cent or face the finance ministry stepping in to make the cuts.