Russia to abolish 100,000 civil service jobs: minister

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Russia plans to save 1.4 billion dollars by abolishing 100,000 federal civil service posts jobs by 2013, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Monday, as the government seeks to modernize the country's bloated bureaucracy.

"We expect that in the three years more than 100,000 federal civil servant jobs will be cut," Kudrin said in a televised meeting.

"The overall savings from this by the third year will amount to 43 billion rubles (1.4 billion dollars)," he added at the meeting chaired by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev had earlier this year ordered the government to draw up plans to cut the number of state officials by 20 percent, following similar plans to reduce the Interior Ministry staff as part of a reform of the country's police.

Speaking at the meeting Monday, the Kremlin chief stressed such action was necessary to keep a lid on Russia's largely inefficient bureaucracy.

"Our goal is not just to cut the number of civil servants by 20 percent," Medvedev said.

"The main thing, of course, is to increase the effectiveness of their work and of the government bodies where they work," he said, adding however that officials were resistant to change.

"We cut, half a year goes by and we see the same numbers," Medvedev said. "Periodic cuts are necessary so that the number (of bureaucrats) does not grow out of bounds."

Kudrin said the number of bureaucrats had swelled by 130,000 over the last four years, Russian news agencies reported.

"Over the four years, there has been an overall growth: the number of federal civil servants has grown by 19,000-20,000, on the regional level by 60,000 and on the municipal level by 50,000," Kudrin was quoted as saying.

© 2010 AFP

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