Desperate for cash, the Russian government named a new tax chief Tuesday, a man who must try to quickly boost revenues despite the country's severe economic crisis.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov indicated just how great the challenge will be when he announced that government tax revenues in September were only half of what had been hoped for, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.The premier, who gave no figures, planned talks with some of Russia's largest companies, which have not been paying their taxes in full.

The government's inability to collect taxes has played a major role in the current economic crisis. Russia has been running a large budget deficit for years and regularly lacks money to pay millions of state workers on time.

The government still does not have a detailed plan to combat Russia's economic crisis but will unveil one by Oct. 8, government spokesman Andrei Korotokov said Tuesday.

The latest man to take on the unenviable job of tax chief is Georgy Boos, 35, a member of the parliament's budget affairs committee and the moderate Our Home Is Russia faction.

Boos replaces Boris Fyodorov, who was dismissed by President Boris Yeltsin on Monday. Fyodorov, a strong proponent of free-market reforms, advocated tough monetary policies and has taken tough action against tax dodgers in an effort to boost government revenues.

Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov said tax revenues were up in September.