Premier calls to take urgent measures to settle metallurgic industry problems

The government should take urgent measures to settle the problems in Russian metallurgic industry, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov stated on opening the government session Thursday. According to him, 1.5 million Russians are employed in the Russian metallurgic sector, who provide for 8 percent of the GDP and 16 percent of industrial output. As many as 3,500 metallurgic enterprises operate in Russia, 75 percent of which are city- constitutive. Back in 2000 the Russian metallurgy developed quite successfully - production growth rate was registered at the 15-percent level. However, already in 2001 growth in the non-ferrous metallurgy dropped to 5 percent and that in the ferrous metallurgy stopped altogether. Kasyanov named the development of competitive environment and raising labour efficiency among the key tasks for successful development of the industry. He also noted the uneven production concentration in the sector and overproduction in its certain part. The premier noted that special attention should be paid to the export component of industry development. Among the problems in this sphere Kasyanov named serious dumping actions on part of other countries in relation to the Russian market, as well as "our outdated measures" to limit exports, including in the form of duties on export of products.

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