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Top Soviet planner admits lag in key areas of output

The Soviets will fall short of their 1981 production goals in the key areas of agriculture, coal, steel, and new construction, the nation's chief planner, Nikolai Baibakov, said. But Soviet leadership says it is sticking to its economic targets despite serious problems caused by the third poor grain harvest in a row.

President Leonid Brezhnev warned that food production is now the major economic and political problem facing the Soviets.

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He gave no figures for this year's grain harvest, usually a sure indication that output is embarrassingly far below the official plan.