Finance Minister: 50% of Russian economy owned by state

The state should reduce its share in the economy and continue privatisation, believes Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

"The state still plays an excessively important role in business," he said on Tuesday in his report to the Russian State Service Academy.

"If we count all the companies where the state owns over 50 per cent of shares, we will see that half of the Russian economy is owned or controlled by the state," the Deputy Prime Minister maintained.

"Consequently, being the market's regulators and participants today, we do not ensure its sufficient competitiveness," he pointed out.

In this connection, Kudrin spoke in favour of further privatisation. "Railway shipments, oil and gas production should remain under state control. But business that is less connected with infrastructure facilities should be privatised fairly soon," he believes.

An exception should be made for the defence industry, where the state should preserve its presence to ensure the country's defence readiness, the Russian minister pointed out.

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