Acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin yesterday announced a series of emergency measures aimed at increasing federal revenue. They include tightening control over alcohol production–supposedly a state monopoly–and pressuring Russia’s largest oil- and gas-producing companies to pay their taxes in dollars. Also yesterday, Reuters reported details of a draft plan to rescue the economy. This plan was drawn up by a working group under Acting First Deputy Premier Boris Fedorov. It would reportedly tie the ruble exchange rate to a basket of major foreign currencies for five years, and restore the dollar as a means of payment alongside the ruble. It is currently illegal to pay for goods or services in dollars in Russia. The existing ceiling on the government’s foreign borrowing limit would be raised to enable the government both to meet its budget obligations and to help compensate for recent consumer price inflation. The fate of the plan will depend on the fate of Chernomyrdin himself. (Reuter, September 8)
ROSNEFT SALE LIKELY TO BE CANCELED.