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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stricter Rules Approved To Govern Soft Loans

President Boris Yeltsin has approved strict rules for soft loans to state and private enterprises in a move that should help the government control inflation, a top official said Monday.

Yeltsin signed a decree Friday saying enterprises may receive short-term aid from the federal budget only if they seek to restructure production or introduce new technology.

The decree, obtained by The Moscow Times on Monday, says short-term soft loans can be issued by the government "for restructuring production, paying interest on credits used to buy equipment and materials and working out or purchasing the newest technology ... at home or overseas."

Only 5 percent of such a short-term loan can be used to pay wages to workers, the decree says.

"It's an anti-inflationary decree," said Deputy Economics Minister Sergei Vasiliev, who took part in drafting the new legislation. "It's meant to introduce order into the chaotic system of issuing credits to enterprises."

He added that the government previously handed out interest-free loans arbitrarily. "Now that there is a set of rules, it reduces the possibility of abuses," he said.

In a separate decree signed Friday, Yeltsin reduced requirements for factories to produce extra supplies to be used in the event of war.