Romania, traditionally one of the most centrally controlled economies in the Eastern European bloc, has announced a sweeping reorganization of its system under which individual enterprises will be given a much greater degree of autonomy.
State subsidies to companies will be halted and the enterprises will be expected to pay their own way by gearing their output to demand, Romanian news media said.
The changes were adopted Thursday by the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. According to the official news agency Agerpress, the revisions are called to New Mechanism.
Incentives for workers are to be introduced in the form of bonuses "in line with the contribution made to the fulfillment and over-fulfillment of the . . . production plan," Agerpress said. "There is no ceiling" to the amount that could be paid, the agency reported.
Analysts inside and outside the U.S. government said the growing importance of trade with the West may have been a factor in the decision to ease central control. In recent years Romania's trade with the non-Communist world has been greater than that with Communist states and, as one analyst put it, "quality rather than quantity has become more important."
In the decade 1965-1974 the growth rate of Romania's gross national product has averaged 8 percent, higher than any other country on the European continent and higher than all but a handful of countries elsewhere in the world.
The growth has been fueled by a policy of reinvesting 33 percent the gross national product in industrial development. That system, one analyst said, may have reached the limit of its effectiveness.
The New Mechanism emphasizes the need for enterprises to gear out-put more closely to demand, and this raises speculation that the Romanian consumers may benefit by finding more goods produced to satisfy their desires rather than the demands of a central planning organization.
While nothing signs of consumer dissatisfaction in Romania, notably the lengthy miners' strike in western Romania last summer, the analysts expressed doubt, that the new plan was designed to please consumers. The government of President Nicolae Ceausescu, they said, has not had a history of responding to popular demands.
Announcement of the new economic program makes clearer, the analysts said, the recent far-reaching reshuffle of top personnel in Romania's planning and economic departments. Some 23 officials were changed, including several Cabinet ministers.
The changes move Romania closer to the Hungarian and Yugoslav economic models, the analysts said. While the Soviet Union had indicated uneasiness when some of the bloc countries moved to decentralize authority, the analysts do not see any problems of Romania in this instance because of the obvious continuing dominance of the Communist Party there.
President Ceausescu, who has long followed a foreign policy line independent of Moscow, is to visit Washington April 12-17. Informed sources in Europe said he will be asking President Carter for a renewal of U.S. support for that policy.