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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 12, 2004, /RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT/ -- President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation ordered his Government to reduce inflation down to ten percent this year.

    We intend to reduce inflation this year, so that it would total ten percent, Putin noted. Such inflation levels are also substantial; still this task is quite feasible, all the more so as we heed objective parameters of the last few years, Putin said, as he opened a traditional Monday conference with members of his Government here today.

    We can't slow down; we must expedite our work in spite of difficulties, the head of state told those present, adding that this concerned economic-growth rates, industrial-growth rates, as well as other macro-economic parameters and inflation.

    The same concerns efforts to ensure a labor-productivity increment, Putin told his audience. Greater labor productivity facilitated a rise in popular incomes last year for the first time. We must retain this positive trend, the Russian head of state went on to say, and adding that all this was being done in order to solve social problems.

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