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Moscow Is Saving 150Bln Rubles On City Contracts Per Year, Sobyanin Says

Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has denied claims made in Alexei Navalny's election program that the city loses 150 billion rubles ($4.5 billion) per year due to corruption.

"I do not know where they got this figure but we actually save the same amount per year," Sobyanin said in an interview with radio Ekho Moskvy on Thursday.

He said that the money is saved through an effective system of tender procedures for state contracts. The extra funds are then put toward to finance infrastructure projects, he added.

The total value of contracts the city put up for tender in 2012 came close to 700 billion rubles compared to 600 billion rubles a year earlier.

Over a third of the annual city budget, which amounts to 1.5 trillion rubles, is spent through tender procedures.

The city's competition policy department said earlier that the authorities control each stage of the tendering process and that one major improvement in comparison to the previous contract system under former Mayor Yury Luzhkov is the use of a more effective method for evaluating starting prices.

The highest price tags are traditionally placed on infrastructure contracts. In 2012 the most expensive contract, which cost close to 30 billion rubles, was offered by the city's construction department to build a junction from Festivalnaya Ulitsa to the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway that is currently taking shape in northern Moscow.

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