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Russia's government reform was not an end in itself
Russia's government reform was not an end in itself, stressed President Vladimir Putin while in conference with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov. It preceded tomorrow's Cabinet session, which will sum up a final reform stage. The President asked Mr. Zhukov about principal government goals. The Vice-Premier said to that: "Tomorrow, we shall analyse key aspects of the current budgetary reform. We have four central targets here-to improve the nation's quality of life, offer prerequisites for quicker economic progress, provide worthy conditions for the generations to come and, last but not least, guarantee national security. "Every ministry is to clearly see what it can do for those goals. Tomorrow's session will discuss respective ministerial initiatives. "We shall evaluate every ministry's work proceeding from indices of the sphere it rules." It is essential for taxpayers to see how this country is spending its budget money, pointed out President Putin. "We used to talk a lot about cutting the administrative staff, yet the people-in-the-street cannot properly see how the personnel reduction is working. We may dismiss twenty redundant functionaries in one office, thirty in another, and hire a hundred for still another. What are the standards from which we proceed in those changes? How will new administrative patterns help to improve management of social and government finance?" he asked. "To reduce the administrative personnel or report about government expenditures is not what the budget reform is about. We must highlight socially essential achievements and announce what the government has done so that every man and woman would see the purpose of government expenditures and what every person stands to gain with it," replied Alexander Zhukov. The government has not done enough within recent years to provide due publicity of its work. "It is to show to the entire nation just where we are now, and what has been done within, let say, four or five preceding years," stressed President Putin. "Objective statistics must be announced on basic indices to clearly see actual achievements and make an unbiased evaluation of particular offices' work over the years. This will come as a revelation to the public, I expect." "We have never done so before, and I also think it will be something of a revelation," agreed the Vice-Premier. "We must necessarily bring the indices in the dynamism down to each and every-the nation must know how its life was changing within recent years. "We have calculated those basic indices, and we shall announce them. Further on, the changes will give a good chance to evaluate the progress of the entire government, and the efficiency of every particular ministry, which is also essential for our administrative reform."
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