RUSSIA'S PLANS FOR REFORM

A stepped-up privatization effort is the key to the Russian government's updated reform blueprint.

According to the plan outlined by Acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar last week, the consumer sector and small industry would be privatized by 1994. By 1995, more than 50 percent of companies should be in private hands, he said.

The government also aims to cut inflation, which some Western experts estimate at 1,000 percent for 1992, to 3 percent monthly by the end of 1993.

Leading economic indicators are expected to fall for the next two years, with industrial output dropping an estimated 15 percent this year and 5 percent in 1993. The upturn is projected to begin in 1994.

"It will be impossible to radically improve the economic situation" over the next two years, Mr. Gaidar said, adding that by the end of 1993 Russia's economy should attain "the level of Eastern European countries."

The government hopes the plan will help clear the way for a $24 billion Western aid package, which has been held up by doubts over Russia's commitment to reform.

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