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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reform Plan Set For Review

Most of the government's reform plans are contained in an 18-month economic program to be considered next week, Itar-Tass quoted a senior government official as saying Friday.

Immediate action on the program, which the Cabinet will consider Wednesday, was not recommended by Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. "It is a document which describes the priorities and direction of the Russian government's movement toward market reforms," he said.

The Vedomosti daily newspaper published what it called the main ideas of the 18-month plan, including:

- financially separate transport and distribution facilities within natural gas monopoly Gazprom

- separate transportation and sales functions within gas distribution companies

- stimulate independent electricity producers to join a united electricity wholesale market

- significantly cut the number of consumers who cannot be switched off from electricity supplies for nonpayment of debts

- stimulate competition in railways and allow foreign companies to work in the sector

- gradually eliminate the system whereby cheap passenger rail fares are subsidized by expensive cargo shipments

- eliminate the possibility of nationalization and increase stability of property rights

- improve bankruptcy procedures

- eliminate tax privileges

- set up legislation to provide a favorable investment and business climate

-gradually reduce government interference in business.