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    LAWMAKERS URGE CABINET TO CLAMP DOWN ON UNAUTHORISED WOOD CUTTING

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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Maria Balynina) - The board of the Council of Lawmakers, which involves the speakers of all regional legislatures, adopted a decision, at a meeting on Tuesday, to recommend the Cabinet to toughen criminal punishment for unauthorised forest cutting.

    The lawmakers urge that the volume of unauthorised cutting subject to criminal prosecution should be lowered considerably.

    Moreover, the board members resolved to recommend the Cabinet to draft a new Forest Code, which would pay more heed to the provinces' relative interests, Aleksandr Torshin, Executive Secretary of the Council of Lawmakers, told reporters after the meeting.

    The council will also recommend the Cabinet to create a common information base on forestry enterprises' activities. This will help step up state control over logging, timber processing and sales, according to the board members.

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