Soviet Planning in the North

  • K. de la Barre
Keywords: Active layer


It was decided at the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union held in 1966, that over the next ten years there should be a considerable increase in the exploitation of oil and gas reserves and of mineral and forest resources. Obviously, therefore, the importance of the North to the Soviet economy was to increase substantially. Although the industrial expansion was to be capital intensive, it was expected that there would be a substantial overall growth in the population of the North, and this would have to be complemented by vastly improved living standards and working conditions - in fact, it was recognized that only a strong bias in favour of the North in terms of greatly improved benefits would attract the stable work force required from the developed parts of the U.S.S.R. Against this background, the bulk of the volume here reviewed is concerned with the questions of industrial complexes in the North, the associated human problems of improving living standards and local services, and the development of consumer-oriented industries. ... This volume of Problems of the North is an interesting summary of a set of issues facing Soviet planners in the North. The main issue appears to be a failure to attract the badly-needed, stable work force for the large-scale developments planned. A secondary issue is the necessity to provide in the North, a supply of consumer goods and services above the national average, without disrupting the country's other social investment priorities. It is not evident from a reading of the present volume, that these critical development problems are really on their way to being solved.