Russia to provide loans to IndO-China to buy Russian equipment;Put

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Moscow, Nov 20 (UNI) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today said Russia will issue loans to India and China for purchases of Russian equipment.

Putin in his address at the Congress of the pro-Kremlin ruling United Russia party announced a number of measures to tackle the financial crisis in Russia.

He said the Russian government would allocate over about two billion dollars to support and protect the defence sector from bankruptcy.

''A decision was made to allocate one billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund to assist countries in a particularly difficult financial situation,''he said.

''We will also issue loans to China and India to buy Russian equipment, thereby creating jobs and securing profit for our companies,'' Mr Putin said.

He also proposed cuts in profit tax to help companies weather the financial turmoil.

''We must cut profit tax by four per cent from January 1, 2009 at the expense of the federal budget. This issue will cost 14.5 billion dollars. All this money will stay in the economy next year and will work in the economy,'' he said.

He also unveiled measures to help the unemployed and proposed raising the level of monthly unemployment benefit by 55 dollars from the current figure of 124 dollars.

He also assured Russian depositors that the government would guarantee 98.5 per cent of all their savings held in Russian banks.

''The overwhelming majority of Russian deposits - 98.5 per cent, are fully protected by the state,'' the Russian Prime Minister said.

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