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    Deputies slam government and Central Bank for inaction on inflation

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    MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - The head of the parliamentary committee for budget and taxes said Wednesday the government and the Central Bank are doing nothing to fight inflation.

    "The Central Bank and the government are passive in the face of inflation, which mostly affects poor people," Mikhail Zadornov said to deputies considering the committee's position on the Central Bank report for 2004.

    According to Zadornov, the current inflation rate "is not only the responsibility of the Central Bank but also of the government."

    He said the Central Bank should stick to a clearer position in its inflation policy.

    Zadornov described inflation increase as "alarming," adding that the trend towards lower inflation had been reversed.

    According to Zadornov, in the first six months of this year, inflation has already hit 8%, topping the projected annual rate. Earlier this year, the government raised the projected rate of inflation to 10%. Last year, the figure was 11.7%.

    Pavel Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Duma committee for credit organizations and financial markets, said the Central Bank does not bear complete responsibility for current inflation.

    According to Medvedev, "inflation is determined by the investment climate."

    He compared the Central Bank to the springs of a car driving fast along a road.

    "The car is our country, and the road is our economy," said Medvedev. "If the springs break down, the car will not run even on a smooth road."

    Medvedev, however, said the Central Bank dealt with economic fluctuations quite successfully.

    "The Central Bank did quite well in easing the fluctuations," he said.

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