RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO FREE BREAD PRICES AS OF OCT. 15

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO FREE BREAD PRICES AS OF OCT. 15

The Russian government has decreed that bread prices can only be freed after Oct. 15, the government press office reported Monday.

A government decree on Sept. 27 abolished state subsidies for the grain used for the production of bread flour, and stated that, starting Oct. 1, bread prices on the territory of the Russian Federation would be determined on the basis of the actual price of grain.The government-set price of 55,000 rubles ($47.09) for each metric ton of bread grain was scrapped. Currently, the price of such grain averages about 70,000 rubles a ton on the domestic market.

However, the presidential decree that followed a few hours later introduced bread subsidies for pensioners and the unemployed. The decree also stated that bread prices would be freed when the necessary funds for bread subsidies are transferred by the federal Finance Ministry to regional authorities.

The Finance Ministry has reported that it transferred the funds to regional authorities on Sept. 30, allowing the government to state that bread prices in Russia will be determined by the free market starting Oct. 15.