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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Welfare Cuts Proposed

MOSCOW -- Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref told parliament Tuesday that too many Russians receive social welfare payments and the number should be reduced.

Seventy-six percent of aid recipients have incomes above the poverty level, and some should be trimmed from the welfare rolls, Gref said, to Itar-Tass. The report gave no other details.

Many economists have urged Russia to reform its social welfare system, which critics say is inefficient and doesn't help the most needy. The government says the poverty line is 829 rubles ($30) a month.

Gref also insisted that inflation in 2000 will not exceed the 18 percent forecast in this year's budget f despite warnings from President Vladimir Putin of impending price rises.