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    Medvedev wants to rejuvenate Russia's civil service

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed setting the upper age limit for civil servants at 60, a Russian business daily said on Wednesday

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed setting the upper age limit for civil servants at 60, a Russian business daily said on Wednesday.

    Kommersant said Medvedev's bill, submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday, aims to lower the upper age limit for civil servants from 65 to 60 as part of the Kremlin-driven campaign to "rejuvenate cadres" across the country.

    The purpose of the bill is twofold - to cut down the amount of red tape which stifles enterprise and initiative and to press the ageing Soviet-era cadres through a modernizing sieve to form a new vibrant workforce.

    Vladimir Yuzhakov, head of the administrative reform project at the Center for Strategic Studies, said if passed, the bill would make it increasingly easier to sack ageing civil servants.

    Yuzhakov added that the bill is part of Medvedev's drive to see the number of civil servants reduced by 20% by the end of his time in office.

    In the State Duma, opinions differ as to whether the president's initiative may prove to be a successful remedy for Russia's ageing civil servants.

    A Just Russia party member Mikhail Yemelyanov gave the thumbs-up to the bill.

    "It is evident that the process of the cadres' rejuvenation will begin. I think it is appropriate because the management system has already petrified," he said.

    A nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) lawmaker, Vladimir Rokhmistrov, approved of the project, yet doubted it would be implemented properly.

    "A man can be old at 40, yet can be full of energy at 60," he said.

    The Communists opposed the bill, saying it would see the best men and women leave the service.

    "At 60, a man is only coming into his prime. There were many professionals who worked productively at 75," Communist lawmaker Vadim Solovyov said.

    MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti)

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