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Russia: Federation Council Says Government Work 'Inadequate'

Moscow, 10 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia's Federation Council has strongly criticized the government's work and is urging President Boris Yeltsin to make radical improvements to the cabinet's efficiency.

After Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promised today to pay all overdue wages to state employees by the end of the year, a Federation Council resolution said the government actions were inadequate to the situation in the country and in society

Chernomyrdin says the equivalent of $1.4 billion (7.9 trillion roubles) has been earmarked to pay government salaries this month. The figure includes $118 million (650 billion roubles) for the coal mining industry, hit by strikes since December 3.

Chernomyrdin's address to the Federation Council today followed worker protests throughout the country over unpaid wages.

Chernomyrdin said the envisaged two percent annual rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), would be possible if inflation is kept under 11 to 12 percent a year. He again categorically dismissed the idea of printing money as a way of solving the back pay crisis, saying it would only increase debts more rapidly.