A plan by President Dmitry Medvedev to make the flow of time smoother for millions of Russians on Wednesday won backing from an influential committee in the upper house of parliament.
Medvedev suggested in November that the number of now existing 11 time zones in the country should be reduced and the daylight saving time, introduced for six months every spring, should be scrapped.
Medvedev said in his state-of-the-nation address that multiple time zones complicated running businesses in the vast country and the switch between summer and winter time harmed people's health.
In the first move to carry out Medvedev's order, a group of lawmakers from the Federation Council upper house and the State Duma lower chamber have offered a bill scrapping daylight saving time in Russia.
"The bill was worked out taking into account the results of research proving that moving clocks forward one hour causes an increase in the incidence of disease, the threat of growth in road accidents and even the growth of suicide attempts," Valentin Zavadnikov, chairman of the Federation Council industrial committee said after hearings in the chamber on Wednesday.
The bill has still to be voted on in the lower house of parliament but the senators' approval could give the proposal fresh impetus.
The daylight saving time was introduced in the Soviet days to reduce energy consumption by making use of a longer day in summers. Russia changes to daylight saving time and back on the same date as Europe, moving clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday of March and back one hour on the last Sunday of October.
MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti)