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Funded Commodities

FUNDED COMMODITIES

Funded commodities were a category of commodities considered so critical to the success of the annual plan that allocation was tightly controlled by Gosplan and the USSR Council of Ministers.

Soviet central planning aspired to comprehensive coverage of the supply and demand of all commodities and services in the economy. As there were millions of transactions in an economy the size of the USSR, this was not a realistic ambition. The system of materials balances was designed to replace market forces of supply and demand in attaining equilibrium in each market. This enormous task was subdivided by category in order to decentralize the burden of achieving balances to various administrative and territorial planning units.

Funded commodities represented a restricted list of critical commodities that were under the direct control and allocation of the Gosplan and required explicit approval by the USSR Council of Ministers. The number of commodities in this category varied considerably over time, reflecting various reorganizations of planning procedures, changes in priorities, and attempts to reform the process. According to Paul Gregory and Robert Stuart, the number of funded commodities varied from 277 in the beginning in 1928 to as many as 2,390. During the 1980s, the number was approximately 2,000. About 75,000 other commodities were also specifically planned and controlled either by Gos-plan in conjunction with various centralized supply organizations, or by the ministries without explicit central oversight.

See also: fondoderzhateli; gosplan

bibliography

Gregory, Paul R., and Stuart, C. Robert. (1990). Soviet Economic Structure and Performance. New York: Harper Collins.

Nove, Alec. (1965). The Soviet Economy, An Introduction, rev. ed. New York: Praeger.

James R. Millar

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