Role of Party and Government Bodies
As of mid-1989, the HSWP was the dominant political
institution in the government and the ultimate authority
political, economic, and social issues
(see Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
, ch. 4). The party's leading organs passed
resolutions that functioned as basic guidelines for
bodies making economic decisions, and party leaders also
exercised formidable informal influence. Primary authority
with the Politburo and the Secretariat (particularly the
committee for economic and social welfare policy, the
group for economics, and the department for economic and
welfare policy). In the 1980s, the party assumed a lower
in economic decision making than it had before the reform,
consulted more with ministers, enterprises, and other
and economic organizations.
The Council of Ministers was the government's highest
administrative decision-making body. Its State Planning
concerned itself with long-term economic issues. The
Economic Committee oversaw the economy's day-to-day
(see State Apparatus
, ch. 4).
The government consolidated the ministerial structure
late 1970s and 1980s in order to reduce the ministries'
on managers of enterprises. In 1989 four branch
industry, agriculture and food, construction, and
-set policy, assisted in allocating resources (especially
investments), promoted development, and ensured
export targets. Hungary's functional ministries were the
of Finance and the Ministry of Trade. The Ministry of
supervised the banking system and worked out many of the
regulators that guided the economy. The Ministry of Trade
developed and implemented foreign and domestic trade
granted export and import licenses and certain subsidies,
controlled the balance of payments.
The National Planning Authority and the National Price
acted much like functional ministries. As with traditional
centrally planned economies, the National Planning
one of the most powerful economic organs in the
participated in almost all of the central government's
decision making, and its chairman presided over the State
Planning Committee. After the NEM was instituted, however,
planning authority has focused primarily on medium- and
planning. Prices were supposed to reflect "justified"
enterprises had to report price increases to the National
Office, which could intervene formally or informally if it
a price increase unjustified. With the Council of
approval, the National Price Office could issue
commands to enterprises in case of actual or possible
disruptions. However, the National Price Office usually
persuasion or adjusted one of the economic regulators to
implement its decisions.
In the late 1980s, to oversee economic policy the
Assembly had committees on planning and finance, industry,
agriculture, and commerce
(see National Assembly
, ch. 4).
assembly's role in economic policy making was growing, but
still far less important than its Western counterparts.
Data as of September 1989