Russia's socio-economic development scenario to be bettered?

Scenario conditions for the social and economic development of Russia can be upwardly revised by tenths of percent, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister Herman Gref told reporters on Tuesday. To him, the growth of the gross domestic product can be 3.6 percent this year and between 3.4 and 4.4 percent can be forecasted for 2003, 5.6 percent for 2005. A revision of the forecast indicators calls for tremendous efforts to be made by the government and all levels of power, stressed Gref. Such revision is not necessitated by pure administering, he specified. They are mere technical calculations relative to the bettering of the world economic situation, said Gref. Asked by journalists whether upping the GDP growth prognostication to 8-10 percent is a possibility, Gref said "I'd very much like to up them" to this level but "we are facing the task of setting real goals." The economic development and trade minister voiced the opinion that, declaring a need for more ambitious plans of the cabinet for economic growth, the Russian president "gives carte blanche for a more active conduct of reforms." In this situation, presidential backing is crucial, Gref is convinced.

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