Putin Heeds Medvedev's Criticism

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the Presidium on Monday that he was changing the rules under which ministries prepare documents and cooperate on joint projects in an apparent nod to criticism a day earlier from President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Naturally, under the current conditions, we must pay the closest possible attention to the development of anti-crisis measures and monitoring the effectiveness of decisions that have already been made. Above all, we will closely follow the situation on the job market," Putin said, according to comments on the government web site.

The Presidium, a quorum of key Cabinet members, was created by Putin in May to inject efficiency into government meetings, which he called at the time "a rather unwieldy mechanism and pretty bureaucratized."

Among the changes introduced on Monday was a rule, effective Jan. 1, 2009, that all measures connected to budget income and spending be sent to the Finance Ministry, which in turn must provide an analysis of the financial implications of the decision within 30 days, Interfax reported.

Addressing government members at an aircraft engine-building plant in Moscow on Sunday, Medvedev said only 30 percent of a rescue package worth more than $200 billion had been implemented.