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    PRESIDENT PUTIN CRITICIZES EXCESSIVE INVOLVEMENT OF GOVERNMENT IN ECONOMY

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    MOSCOW, February 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Oleg Osipov) - The excessive involvement of the government in the economy leads to a number of negative consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed at his meeting with authorized representatives.

    First of all, officials continue to fulfill in the name of government numerous unnecessary for a tax-payer functions - permissive, licensing, observing - which result in suffocation of the business initiative, bribe-taking and abuse of powers, Vladimir Putin stressed.

    In his opinion, the efficiency of the state machinery still leaves much to be desired.

    "Many reasonable proposals bog down in the bureaucracy of formalism and incompetence," Vladimir Putin said.

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