MOSCOW, February 16 (RAPSI) – The State Duma has passed in the third and final reading a bill equating the minimal wage in Russia to the subsistence minimum.

The bill was prepared by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who filed the document to the lower house of parliament on January 26.

The bill envisages to raise the minimal wage, which is currently set at nearly 9,500 rubles (about $170), constituting 85% of the subsistence minimum, to about 11,100 rubles (nearly $200).

The expenditures aimed at raising wages and salaries of employees paid from the state budget are expected to be at 39.3 billion rubles ($593 million at the current exchange rate); overall, the bill will positively affect 3 million people including 1.6 million state and municipal employees. According to the bill, the change is to enter in force starting May 1, 2018.