The government says it plans to scrap most subsidies on food and consumer goods, causing prices to double or even triple, but it will also boost wages to make up for some of the higher living costs.

The move announced Wednesday would not create a free market; instead the cash-strapped communist government apparently is seeking to raise prices to cover production costs.Wages, pensions, children's welfare payments and other incomes will be increased to compensate for the higher food prices and about half of the other price rises, the government newspaper Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Izvestia gave few details and no effective date for the changes, which it said must be approved by the parliament and the Federation Council that includes leaders of all 15 republics.