Government Raises Some Retail Prices

In the USSR State Prices Committee. July 1, 1979


Original Source: Pravda, 1 July 1979, p. 3.

In order to further regulate prices and normalize trade in certain goods, the USSR State Prices Committee has adopted a resolution that, as of July 1, 1979, raises the retail prices on jewelry made of precious metals (while maintaining the present prices of wafers used in dental prostheses and increasing the established subsidy for wedding rings), natural furs, fur goods and sheepskin goods (with the exception of children’s goods), carpets and rugs, furniture (certain types) and passenger cars.

In connection with the publication of the report on retail price changes for certain types of goods, a TASS correspondent asked N. T. Glushkov, Chairman of the USSR State Prices Committee, to comment on this report.

Question. -Tell us more specifically to what extent retail prices have been raised for certain items, effective July 1.

Answer.-The changes referred to in the report by the USSR State Prices Committee that was published today raise the retail prices of goods made of precious metals, carpets, rugs, natural furs and fur articles by an average of 50%, those of private cars-by an average of 18%, those of imported furniture-by an average of 30%, and those of Soviet-made furniture by an average of 10%.

Meanwhile, retail prices remain unchanged for wafers used in dental prostheses, children’s fur goods, rabbit-fur and sheepskin goods (excluding coats), and children’s furniture. In connection with the rise in the price of gold wedding rings, the subsidy that is paid upon registration of the marriage has been increased to 70 rubles per person for first marriages.

Evening prices in restaurants and cafes have been raised by 25% to 45%, depending on the categories to which these enterprises belong. The price of beer sold by public catering establishments has also been increased by an average of 45%.

Prices remain the same in the dining halls of enterprises, organizations and educational institutions; school food counters; dining cars; ship restaurants; snack bars; pirozhki and pel’meny shops-, and Dairy, lee Cream, Young People’s and Children’s Cafes. The current retail prices of beer in the retail trade network have not been changed.

Trade agencies have been ordered to adopt the necessary measures to improve the work of restaurants, cafes, bars and other public catering establishments and to raise the quality of customer service.

Q.-What brought about the price increases?

X. -As is known, our country has been and is doing a great deal to increase the production of various consumer goods. Suffice it to say that in comparison with 1970, the output of such durable goods as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, tape recorders, clocks and watches, furniture, carpets, and china and earthenware has increased by 50% to 120%. The production of all types of textiles, leather footwear and other goods has risen significantly. Just 10 years ago about 100,000 cars were sold to the population, and last year 1,170,000 were sold; 46,000 color television sets were sold 10 years ago, and 1, 900, 000 will be sold in 1979.

Despite these increases, the demand for a number of goods exceeds the capacity for their production. As a matter of fact, this is what brought about the decision to use the price mechanism, as a forced but necessary measure, to regulate the trade in jewelry, fur goods, carpets, cars and imported furniture. As far as a certain rise in the price of Soviet-made furniture is concerned, this is attributable to a substantial updating and improvement in its assortment, and also to a considerable increase in the costs of logging.

As is obvious from the published list, the change in retail prices pertains to an extremely limited range of goods and does not affect the basic foodstuffs and nonfood items. The state retail prices for these goods have remained unchanged for many years. The same thing also applies fully to the rates that are charged to the population for electricity and gas and other municipal services. Rents have stayed the same for more than 50 years, although apartment buildings have improved considerably during this period.

It must be stressed as explicitly as possible that there will be no rise in the retail prices of goods other than those indicated in the resolution of the USSR State Prices Committee that has been published in the press today.

Source: Current Digest of the Soviet Press. Vol. XXXI, No. 26 (1979), p. 4

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