Moscow, April 9 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered lowering of sickness benefits for sportsmen and top managers, the Kremlin press service said.
Putin enforced the amendments into law "about mandatory social insurance of a professional causality and professional illness" which affected a handful of the highest-paid people in Russia, Xinhua reported.
The President proposed the amendments after learning that 12 players of the St. Petersburg Zenit soccer club had drained 53 percent of the city's total social security budget in 2011.
The players' sickness benefit payments have reached 162 million rubles (5.3 million US dollars), according to an investigation held in the St. Petersburg Social Security Fund last September.
In line with the amended law, the highest sickness benefit could not exceed four-fold the monthly insurance pay-off.
The highest monthly contribution into the fund business owners are allowed to deposit is no more than 59,000 rubles ($1,966), regardless of the company's actual total paychecks in 2013. Thus, the cap on the sickness benefits would amount to nearly 236,000 rubles (about $7,860) per month.
"It is expected that in 2013 the restrictions will affect no more than 90 high-paid citizens, such as professional athletes and top managers of the big companies," the Kremlin website said.
A clinic used by Zenit has been ordered to return 18 million rubles ($570,000 dollars) to the city budget after two injury claims of the club's players have been found to be baseless.