Putin says situation in oil industry needs to be improved

Oct 15, 1999 02:00 AM

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that the loss by the state of the regulating role in the oil and gas complex was a mistake. "It is impossible to explain to any reasonable person why Russia, an oil producing country, witnesses a 50 % growth of petrol prices this year, " he said, opening the session of the Russian government, which is discussing the state and development prospects of the oil and gas complex of Russia.
Putin stressed that "it is an extremely important problem, because the oil and gas complex accounts for 12 % of the national economy and some 40 % of the budget revenues." He called the attention of the government to complicated processes going on there. "The purchasing of oil and lubricating materials for the North was perceptibly reduced over the past few years, the supply of fuel and heat to the population in cold seasons is going on with difficulty, oil output was dramatically reduced, the deliveries of fuel and lubricating materials to the army, the police and allied services were reduced to one fifth," Putin said.
In his opinion, "this situation is intolerable, and it must be improved. " The prime minister believes that "the loss by the state of control over the processes taking place in that sector, as well as the loss of the regulating role by the state" is one of the root causes of the current situation. "This does not mean, however, that measures running counter to the market orientation should be taken," he added.

Source: Itar-Tass via Newspage
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