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    GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE CONTROLLING TARIFFS OF NATURAL MONOPOLIES' SERVICES

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 16 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The government will not weaken control over the tariffs of the natural monopolies' services in order to keep inflation in 2004 within the set framework - no more than 10 percent, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov told the State Duma deputies.

    He pointed out that in 2003 the government and the Central Bank succeeded in keeping inflation under control and for the first time fulfilled the forecast for the year - no more than 12 percent. This was achieved due to two factors - greater demand for the national currency which reduced the speed of money circulation, and retaining the growth of tariffs of the services of natural monopolies.

    "The tariffs' growth rates reduced almost by 50 percent compared to previous periods of time. We are not going to weaken control over the tariffs in the future as well," Kasyanov stressed.

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