Party Criticizes Shortcomings, Corruption in Grain Industry
Apr. 08, 1987
MOSCOW (AP) _ The Communist Party on Tuesday responded to a rash of consumer complaints about the availability of good bread in the Soviet Union, which until recently was a bright spot in this land of chronic shortages.
A brief announcement in the party newspaper Pravda reported the minister of grain products, Grigory Zolotukhin, 75, was retiring, and it was followed by a long article on shortcomings and corruption in the ministry. Alexander Budika, 60, was named to replace Zolotukhin.
After years of no price increases, the price of bread was raised slightly late last year. The most common loaf of bread available now costs the equivalent of about 30 cents.
Ministry officials said new and better kinds of bread were being introduced, but consumers have complained about the quality.
Pravda said the Communist Party Control Commission, which investigates how party directives are being implemented, found sloppy work, thievery and bribe- taking in the Ministry of Grain Products.
It also said the commission pointed out to Zolotukhin serious insufficiencies in guaranteeing the grain supply and its quality.
Over the past 2 1/2 years, the equivalent of $10.5 million ''of commodities and materials have been lost due to insufficiencies, spoilage and theft,'' Pravda said.
It added that more than 2,800 crimes had been uncovered by authorities, including 214 considered ''particularly large'' crimes.
The worst situation was in several provinces of Kazakhstan, according to the newspaper. It said problems also were uncovered in the Russian republic, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Turkmenia.
Pravda reported ''numerous complaints'' about bread quality in many Soviet republics and added: ''The quantity of rejected products in a series of bread factories reaches 30-40 percent and more, leading to a significant loss of resources.''
It said the ministry's first deputy, I. Shtodin, was strictly warned about the poor quality of grain and other ministry officials also were chastised.