RSPP Offers Anti-Crisis Proposals

The business community should have a stronger say in shaping the measures being taken to tackle the financial crisis, and the government should refrain from strengthening its long-term role in the economy, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs said Friday.

The group, known as the RSPP, also said in a letter to the government on its web site that it welcomed the Cabinet's financial rescue plan but that it should be more open and offer specific deadlines.

The group suggested that representatives of the business community should become direct participants in drafting anti-crisis measures. "We deem it necessary to create a coordination council under the auspices of the chairman of the government, which would become a permanent body for a timely drafting of agreed decisions," it said in the letter.

It said the council would bring together key ministries and leading business associations.

The RSPP welcomed government interventions on the stock market, which it said would "contribute to stabilizing market sentiment and restoring a fair price for shares." But it said the government should not make a habit of such interventions and that a special state institute with no conflict of interests should be created to do the job.

It also warned the government against pursuing a policy of nationalizing the country's banks and other financial firms and urged the government to recreate a special state agency that handled the restructuring of banks during the 1998 crisis.