The economic reforms of Kremlin leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev will fail unless the Soviet Union cuts the huge subsidies that cushion its people against rising prices, a senior official said. A newspaper article by Valentin S. Pavlov, head of the State Commission for Prices, set out the theoretical basis for a Communist Party decision to brave popular discontent and raise prices on food and other products in 1990. "It is perfectly clear that the price system, in place with minimal changes for a protracted period, must be replaced," Pavlov said in Kommunist, the party's main theoretical organ. Soviet citizens have voiced alarm about the politically sensitive pricing plan.
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