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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chernomyrdin Expects Inflation to Fall to 10%


Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promised Tuesday to bring inflation down next year and said the government would not give in to the temptation to print extra cash.

Speaking at the first autumn session of the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, Chernomyrdin said annual inflation should fall to 10 percent next year, from a likely 20 to 24 percent in 1996 and 130 percent in 1995.

He pledged that the government would stick to "non-inflationary means" to cover the budget deficit. "There is no use asking us to switch on the printing presses," he said. "Doing so would bring short-term relief -- for a week, for a month -- but in the long run it will only make things worse."

The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, is due to debate the proposed 1997 budget Friday. Ministers have said they are determined to keep policy tight to ensure that the International Monetary Fund pays out on a three-year, $10 billion loan to Russia.

Chernomyrdin said Russia's key budget task is to raise revenues because there is no way to cut spending further. He also said the government would lower some prices for gas and electricity, which could make life easier for troubled domestic firms. The new price structure could take effect as early as Oct.10, he said.

On the foreign trade front, the State Statistics Committee said Tuesday that exports for the first eight months of 1995 grew 7.8 percent, to $55.4 billion, from the year-earlier period. But imports grew at a faster rate for the period, climbing 8.5 percent, to $31.4 billion.