The Soviet Union has doubled the price of petrol and trebled the cost of coffee.?
GV: Moscow street scene.
CU: Man filling car with petrol, man paying money, cars filling up. (3 shots)
CU: Shop assistant weighing sweets. (2 SHOTS)
MV & CU: Women selecting clothes from rack.
SV: Men looking at shirts.
MV: Customers looking at reduced priced on TV sets in shop and man looking at small portable TV being demonstrated. (2 SHOTS)
SV: TV set being packed.
Western observes considered the commodity price rises as recognition that the Soviet Union's state-controlled economy was not immune to the forces of world inflation. However, Mr. Glushkov devoted much of his conference with foreign correspondents to stressing the stability of Soviet prices...emphasising that his country was the last in Europe to pass on world prices to consumers. He said petrol was going up largely because of the huge investments needed for oil exploitation in Siberia. He said the prices committee had also decided to satisfy the requests of "hundreds of people from the Soviet population who had written letters emphasising the unjustifiably price of petrol" in the Soviet Union
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Background: The Soviet Union has doubled the price of petrol and trebled the cost of coffee. In a package announced on Wednesday (2 March) the state committee on prices also revealed rises affecting alcohol, cocoa, jewelery, and other items. The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Nikolai Glushkov, said the increases were necessary because of rocketing commodity prices on the world market and the increasing costs of oil extraction. He emphasised that none of the rises affected primary necessities, and that ordinary citizens would not be inconvenienced.
SYNOPSIS: The overnight price increases had been preceded by a wave of rumours in Moscow, where shoppers had stocked up on items they though would be affected. The rise in petrol prices was obviously the worst for consumers. It doubled in price, going up to 16 and 20 kopeks a litre, (85 cents and 1.10 U.S. dollars per U.S. gallon).
And many luxury items were hard hit. The price of coffee trebled, and will now cost Soviet coffee drinkers 20 roubles a kilo (13.25 U.S. dollar a pound). But the prices committee chairman, Mr. Glushkov, said coffee was not a necessity, as Soviet consumers had a strong tradition of tea drinking. he insisted no staple items had been affected.
Mr. Glushkov said the petrol rise would still leave his country's fuel cheaper than in most Western European countries and emphasised the stability of Soviet prices.
And prices of some items were actually reduced by between 20 and 30 percent. Black and white televisions - less popular now that colour is available were to be reduced by 20 percent. Refrigerators, and some items made from synthetic fibres were also to be significantly reduced.