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6 Dec, 2006 09:17

Russia looks at tighter controls on food markets

Russia looks at tighter controls on food markets

The Russian Government is considering plans to regulate food markets across the country. The bill, currently going through the State Duma, would mean the government has more say about who works in an area dominated by migrant traders.

Food markets have long become one of the most popular shopping destinations among Russian consumers. At present though, there's no law to regulate Russia's markets. The new bill introduces definitions for a market, and defines its participants

Russians are also used to the fact that most of the market vendors are migrants from Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and other former Soviet states. A lot of them work as dealers, reselling products they buy cheaply from farmers. Now the government is planning to redress the balance to help Russian producers. In November, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov started a process that will eventually reduce the number of foreigners in the retail sector to zero.

The move can't help but affect consumers as well. Some fruit and vegetables may not just grow in price, but completely disappear from the markets.