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Child Subsidies May be Used For Start-Up Capital

The Labor Ministry wants to allow Russian parents to use the subsidies for families with two or more children to start their own businesses, a news report said Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister for social issues Olga Golodets supported the proposal during a recent government meeting, RBK reported. The only objections came from Economic Development Ministry officials, who argued that Russians were too inexperienced in entrepreneurship to be able to efficiently use the funds.

The amendment, if approved, will likely become effective in 2017.

The "maternal capital" program, widely credited with helping reverse Russia's birth rate decline, involves one-time, tax-exempt financial certificates to families with two or more children. Adjusted annually for inflation, the value of the certificate reached 409,000 rubles ($12,000) in 2013 and is expected to increase to 429,000 next year.

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