Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has named priorities of the Russian government's activity in advancing the social and economic reforms.
Opening the session of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, the Prime Minister underscored that the main priority in the government's activity in 2002 will be "to put into operation in full the earlier started mechanism of the reforms." According to him, it is necessary to ensure further progress in the tax reform. This will make it possible, he believes, to strengthen the small business in the country which must become "the foundation of the Russian economy." Another important element in the government's activity is the development of competition, said Mikhail Kasyanov. He believes that the banking reform will contribute to this process.
Apart from that, pointed out the Prime Minister, this year it will be necessary to cut government participation in the economy.
Mikhail Kasyanov thinks that a considerable amount of work was done in 2001 for further development of the economy - the judicial and pensions reforms, the programmes for reforming the power industry and railway transport were adopted and changes introduced in the tax regime.
The Prime Minister specially dwelt on the importance of the judicial reform. In his opinion, it will contribute, among other things, to "debureaucratisation of the economy." At the same time, said Mikhail Kasyanov, we are lagging behind in some reforms. But in 2002 this cannot be tolerated.
The Prime Minister also underscored the necessity of making stricter the financial and state discipline.
On Tuesday, the government is considering the plan of action in the social-economic sphere and also the procedure of adopting priority draft laws in 2002.