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    ECONOMICS MINISTER PROMISES SIMPLER PROCEDURES OF OBTAINING BUILDING PERMITS

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Russian acting Economic Development and Trade Minister Herman Gref said to reporters on Tuesday that he advocated simpler procedures of obtaining building permits.

    Mr Gref said his ministry was drafting a town planning code. The government will consider the draft in June, while the State Duma, parliament's lower house, will do it during the fall session.

    "The key element of the town planning sector must be a new concept of development control, the switchover from overall planning to the zone control scheme, from the permissive to the prohibitive arrangement," said Mr Gref. The acting minister also promised new building restrictions.

    Moreover, the procedure of allotting land plots, of the conformance of requirements and other permissive procedures will be streamlined too. "We will try to facilitate communication between investors and officials," added Mr Gref.

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