‘Russia needs 3 to 5 years for an efficient economy’

Moscow, May 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia will need three to five years to exit stagnation and build an efficient economy, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin has said.

“Even if we roll up our sleeves and set to work right now, we’ll need from three to five years to achieve new elements of efficiency,” Kudrin said at an Open Tribune meeting held by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

He also said the ruling United Russia party must share responsibility with the government for the current stagnation in Russia’s economic development.

Russia’s GDP growth slumped to 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 from 4.8 per cent a year earlier, according to Russia’s State Statistics Service Rosstat.

In April, Russia’s economics ministry lowered its forecast for the country’s 2013 GDP growth from 3.7 per cent to 2.4 per cent, from 4.3 per cent to 3.7 per cent in 2014 and from 4.5 per cent to 4.1 per cent in 2015.

Most independent experts are more pessimistic, with some saying Russia is heading for a recession with GDP contracting in the second half of 2013 and at the beginning of 2014.

Kudrin said the performance of the Russian government led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was unsatisfactory.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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