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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mayor Wants Shoes 'Made in Moscow'

Mayor Yury Luzhkov wants more "Made in Moscow" goods on store shelves, and a store on every downtown corner to sell them.

Luzhkov on Tuesday gave tentative approval to a three-year industrial program aimed at boosting tax revenues and replacing foreign imports.

The program calls for increasing machine building by 10 percent and downsizing chemistry and metallurgic production, Yevgeny Panteleyev, head of the city's department for science and industrial policy, said at City Hall's weekly meeting.

Luzhkov ordered that the program also include measures to produce goods for mass consumption -- including shoes, clothing and household products -- that would replace imports.

He spoke against supporting companies that produce some or all their goods for export. "We should saturate our market. It's as empty as a drum!" he exclaimed.

He also called for the development of the city's electronic, pharmaceutical and defense industries.

Luzhkov told Panteleyev to include suggestions from him and other city officials and resubmit the program in two weeks.

Luzhkov usually quietly signs reworked programs without having his administration debate them again.

If implemented as presented, the program would boost overall industrial production in the city by 39 percent and city tax revenues by 47 percent from 2007 to 2009, Panteleyev said.

The growth, however, would be roughly the same as the city has experienced in the past few years, thanks to earlier measures to support industrial enterprises, Luzhkov said.

Industrial production has grown by 11 percent to 12 percent every year since 2000, he said.

Despite past measures, the city will draw 40 percent of next year's budget revenues from oil and gas companies through the profit tax, a tax on their real estate and the income tax of their employees.

The 80 billion-ruble ($3 billion) program -- to be funded mostly by private money -- would encourage investment in new Western equipment, cooperation with research institutions and seek to shut down plants that generate little or no profit, Panteleyev said.

Just 10 billion rubles ($370 million) would come from city coffers, while officials expect the enterprises to collect the rest of the money, including through bank loans, Panteleyev said.

In other business, Luzhkov and his government gave a thumbs-up to an ongoing campaign to open more stores in downtown Moscow, where banks and fashion boutiques leave little space for grocery stores and other retail outlets.

Since 2004, businessmen have opened 275 neighborhood stores and services, said Sergei Baidakov, the prefect for the city's Central Administrative District authorities.