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Abyzov Recommends Considering Price Cap on Official Cars

An expert group led by the Open Government minister has advised the Cabinet to consider a bill banning officials from buying cars worth more than 1.5 million rubles ($47,000), according to a statement published on the government's website Monday.

The decision to send the bill, proposed by Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny, to the government for discussion was taken after it gained the required 100,000 votes online, the government said in a statement.

The working group led by Mikhail Abyzov has advised the government to "consider the possibility" of setting a price limit for cars used by officials and state companies' employees and also for the cars' maintenance costs. The relevant decree should be issued by November and all decisions on the car price limits are to be taken by January 2014.

While 85 percent of cars purchased for Russian officials cost between 700,000 rubles ($22,000) and 850,000 rubles ($27,000), the annual maintenance costs may amount to several times more than the vehicle price, Abyzov said.

Abyzov, 41, ranked 83rd by Forbes magazine's 2013 Russia Billionaire List with a fortune estimated at $1.25 billion, was appointed minister for Open Government in Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Cabinet in May 2012.

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