Check out.Premier allowed small traders not to use cash registers

23 april 2009 года

Rossiiskaya gazeta
Central issue № 4895 dated April 23, 2009
Elena Kukol, Pierre Sidibe


Before arriving at the All-Russian Forum on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises organized by the Russian Economic development  Ministry, VEB and OPORA RUSSIA, Vladimir Putin approved measures for supporting business at a closed session. The next day the Premier had good news to share with the Forum’s participants.

But at first he explained the meaning of this variety of business for the state - “flexible, mobile, capable of adapting rapidly to changing market demands and being a large part of the Russian economy”. But most importantly, it is individual businessmen who, in the Premier’s opinion, form Russia’s massive and sustainable middle class. “It is obvious that in order to retain and boost this substantial potential we must provide you with substantial support, the Prime Minister was in no hurry to announce new measures. Before revealing all his anti-crisis cards, Putin reminded of increasing financial support for small enterprises – 30 billion rubles will be committed through Vnesheconombank and another 10.5 billion rubles - from the federal budget. Internal affairs agencies’ excessive powers were abolished and legislators also passed a law on the protection of legal entities’ and individual businessmen’s rights upon exercising state control which is to be put into effect not from July 1 as it was planned but from May 1 as  This initiative, by the way, was launched by Putin himself as he was delivering his report before the State Duma.

The first and one of the most effective measures that won the audience’s applause was a decision to grant a right to use a simplified taxation system to enterprises with incomes up to 60 million rubles. Now this simplified system is applicable only to an income of 30 million rubles. “There is no doubt that this measure is associated with certain budgetary losses of about 100 billion rubles. Moreover, there is a threat of business fragmentation. Nevertheless, we have to take this step”, said Vladimir Putin. The increased threshold, in his opinion, would compensate business for costs, which will arise since 2011 as a result of transferring from the uniform social tax to insurance premiums, with the rate to be increased to 34 percent from the current one of 26 percent.

Moreover, businessmen paying imputed tax will be allowed not to use cash registers. “Because in our country sometimes a cash register costs more than a product on sale”,  believes Putin  adding that we can defend consumers’ rights by using simpler equipment or writing a cheque by hand. The government and the State Duma will finish working on this draft law till July 1.

The Prime Minister called on speeding up work to place state auctions into electronic auctions and on reducing requirements for securing applications for small enterprises’ participation in them. Natural monopolies’ and state corporations’ standards for procurement activities would be reviewed substantially, with preferences being given to suppliers of Russian products”, the Premier sad.

At the same time, the Government will lease out premises that are not efficiently used by state unitary enterprises to companies at affordable rates. Having moved to new premises, businessmen will obtain preferential tariffs on having their equipment connected to electrical power lines. Under the regulation Putin signed a day before upon connecting a capacity of up to100kW businessmen are allowed to make only advance payment in the amount of 5% of the service value with a right to interest-free deferment for a period of 3 years. And connection is to be made within half a year.

By the way, this is not the last problem in the problem list. Perhaps, the main obstacle to the advancement of small enterprises remains to be poor availability of credit resources. The reason for this state of affairs from Mr. Putin’s point of view is the lack of the collateral base. That is why the govern- ment decided to commit 15 billion rubles in addition to 3.5 billion rubles committed before to replenish regional guarantee funds. In addition to the said funds 1.5 billion rubles will be committed to subsidize interest rates on credits to be extended to small enterprises. As a whole 20 thousand enterprises will be able to obtain credits up to 1 million rubles per each if they are covered by the microfinancing program. On top of all this, the authorities intend for the first time to extend grants or in Putin’s words – gratuitous subsidies to 15 thousand businessmen starting their own businesses – 300 thousand rubles per each businessman.

Vladimir Putin also stressed that high interest lending rates make small enterprises default on their debt payments. While there are no problems in the banking sector that can’t be addressed, the number of bad credits is sure to grow. So, the government would insist that interest rates should be reduced, especially by the banks that receive state support. And interest rates of 25% should be ruled out altogether. “In the long run we must create an integrated system of providing financial support for businessmen –from grants to bank credits”, Putin said promising to explore possibilities of introducing new tax reliefs for small enterprises in three years’ time. The audience applauded.


Some measures for supporting small enterprises would be launched even earlier than planned. As early as on May 1 rather than on July 1 the law providing for inspecting small enterprises will be factually put into effect, promised First Deputy Premier Igor Shuvalov.

Almost all member of the government responsible for economic policies joined a dialogue with business yesterday at the All-Russian Forum on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. Many issues were addressed straight off. For example, representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises will be able now to be members of tender committees responsible for awarding state and municipal orders. Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina and Federal Antimonopoly Service Head Igor Artemjev favored this proposal made by businessmen.

Such cooperation between business and authorities would reduce corruptibility and secretiveness in the operation of tender committees and increase businessmen’s chances to win orders. And a lot of money is at stake. By Nabiullina’s estimate, thanks to access to state and municipal orders small enterprises will be able to earn up to 1 trillion rubles.

The Law stipulates that small enterprises are to account for 20 percent of state and municipal orders.

And by Artemjev’s estimate small enterprises will be able to win 80 percent of such contracts. It is not improbable that as early as this year another regulation will be approved which will give small enterprises access to orders. Tenders for natural monopolies’ orders will be held like the ones for government procurements. The Economic Development Ministry’s Economic State Regulation Department Head Andrei Sharov believes that small enterprises would be able to earn another trillion rubles on these orders.

As far as inspections are concerned, under the Law inspectors are to visit small enterprises not more than once in three years and out of schedule inspections are to be carried out only with the prosecutor’s authorization. Business is looking forward to seeing this law become effective and it has overloaded the Prosecutor’s General Office with complaints about the excessive number of inspectors. So, the Prosecutor’s General Office decided on getting down to performing its functions on authorizing inspections as early as in May. Special working groups responsible for tracking down the situation have already been formed in the regions said First Deputy Prosecutor-General Alexandr Buxman. And he added that the Prosecutor’s Office would maintain a register of inspections starting next year.

We are bound to receive signals that the situation has improved for small enterprises in the coming months, Igor Shuvalov hopes.

And there is disciplinary punishment for negligent bureaucrats whose actions or inaction are detrimental to business. Officials will be simply disqualified and prohibition for a public office may be imposed for a period of several years, warned Mr. Shuvalov.

But the situation is not so bright. “Everybody wants to support small enterprises. But the situation is not developing the way we would like it to. Our wishes fail to transform into rapid development of small and medium-sized business” said Andrei Sharonov,a addressing these words to Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich. In his turn, Mr. Dvorkovich singled out three obstacles that hinder the development of small enterprises

The first problem is that there are a lot of so called reference rules in applicable legislation. This means that there are laws, they are good laws but there are a great number of regulations, instructions which prevent laws from being put into effect to the full. The second problem is a response to signals sent by authorities. After the President had called on regulators not to give business nightmares the situation improved for a certain period of time. But after some time they appear to have forgotten this signal. Thirdly, we should create incentives for business to be motivated to grow and expand. At present, as soon as an enterprise grows to a certain level its tax base increases immediately. By the way the President has already ordered to work out a transition period and compensation measures for small enterprises operating under simplified taxation schemes, given that the uniform social tax is replaced with insurance payments, said Mr. Dvorkovich. And finally we have to exercise control over the implementation of decisions made. Here, we are already correcting mistakes. Just recently the President ordered to inspect executive authorities responsible for exercising control over business for corrupt links. Dvorkovich added that in the most immediate future proposals for optimizing regulatory authorities’ functions will be made so that they do not duplicate each other and hinder business.

But in any case if small enterprises are to develop they need money, businessmen said. This year the amount of support provided to small enterprises through Vnesheconombank has been increased threefold from the previous year to 30 billion rubles. So far, Vnesheconombank hasn’t received this money. But Vnesheconombank Chairman said that they were preparing a decision that would help businessmen. According to him, without waiting for this money to be transferred from the federal budget, VEB will turn for this money to the Central Bank. Mr. Dmitriev believes that businessmen will be able to obtain credits from these funds at a rate of 16-17 percent per annum. In total, the amount of support for small and medium-sized enterprises with VEB’s participation could be 100 billion rubles.

First Vice Premier Igor Shuvalov summed up the results of the Forum’s discussions. Recently, strenuous efforts have been made to support small and medium-sized enterprises and we shouldn’t lose the momentum. The government would exercise control over the implementation of the decisions made. And by tracking down the situation on a regular basis the government would identify next steps that have to be made to support business, Shuvalov promised.

We are going to carry on discussing taxes. But Shuvalov didn’t try to reassure businessmen with plans to reduce fiscal burden. In this respect our objective is on the one hand to create a more transparent and universal fiscal systeml and on the other to expand the list of activities to work on a patent basis. According to Mr. Shuvalov, in the long run we’ll have to move to such generally accepted in the world forms of supporting small business as subsidizing interest rates on credits and extending grants.

Elena Kukol


Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman Anatoly Tikhonov’s Interview to Rossiiskaya Gazeta

27 february 2009 года

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Federal issue № 4858
February 27, 2009
Elena Kukol


Olympic Stake

Vnesheconombank is now tasked both with financing sports facilities and exercising control over their construction

State Corporation ‘Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)’has assumed new functions. It will be responsible not only for financing Olympic facilities but also for inspecting work progress at construction sites.

VEB’s Management Board Member, Vnesheconombank First Deputy Chairman Anatoly Tikhonov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta about why this decision was taken and what was going to happen to the Bank’s other projects.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta: New functions with regard to the Olympics have been transferred to VEB quite recently. Earlier, expenses on the 2014 Olympics were supposed to be divided equally between the state and business. Is now the state going to incur all expenses?

Anatoly Tikhonov: In fact, the state’s role in the Olympic construction is on the rise. But the private public partnership scheme is still in place. So, Vnesheconombank is not supposed to replace private investors, it is becoming their investor. As a result of the world financial crisis, many investors came up against objective difficulties. As early as a year ago, all Olympic projects were seen optimistically and many banks were happy to lend companies. But today these projects do not look as attractive as they did before and, above all, because of long payback periods. That was the reason why a decision was made to include Vnesheconombank into the Olympic scheme.

But our participation is provided for by certain terms and conditions. First, the Bank is to extend credits (from its own and raised funds) only for projects of national significance. We are not to finance commercial-only projects – building of entertainment or shopping malls and hotels. Second, we have to observe the following proportion: 70 percent of Vnesheconombank’s borrowed funds, 30 percent of investors’ funds. And finally, VEB will control not only financial flows but also physical construction volumes. We should be well aware that earmarked money would make it possible to meet deadlines set by the Olympic calendar and won’t, figuratively speaking, go down the drain. Basically, we are going to perform functions that used to be performed in the Soviet times by Promstroibank. In the history of modern Russia this is the first case when financing and inspection functions are performed by one and the same institution.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta: Have you already determined the amount of your “Olympic portfolio” and loan rate?

Tikhonov: This year, financing amount for Olympic facilities is expected to be 29 billion rubles. For the most part this is transport, power engineering infrastructure, sports facilities, for example such facilities as the Roza Khutor Alpine Ski Complex, a port in Imeretin, the Sochi airport. As far as a loan rate is concerned, in each case it will be set on an individual basis with due regard to specifics and significance of a project. Our principle is that a project should be beak-even and the Bank’s operational margin will be minimal.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta: It was not only investors who came up against problems. What’s the future of the Investment Fund’s projects in which VEB participates, did some investors refuse to participate in them?

Tikhonov: We haven’t had such precedents so far and we hope we won’t have them. Nevertheless, in some cases the situation forces us to reschedule dates of projects implementation. For example, the program of the Lower Angara Area Development provides for the construction of an aluminium factory. But aluminium prices fell and it makes no sense to speed up the construction of the factory. A decision was made to move its commissioning dates from 2010 to 2012 although its construction is not to be frozen. The Orlov tunnel in Saint Petersburg is also to be commissioned later than planned; this tunnel is to be built on concession principles. The project’s financing is to begin in 2011 rather than in 2009.

At the end of the last year, we inventoried 21 projects of the Investment Fund, which had already been approved by the Government. We don’t have any doubts about 15 projects. They are sure to be implemented in 2009. They will carry on implementing projects where construction work has already begun and investors have confirmed their obligations. These are, above all, infrastructure projects that besides purely economic objectives also address employment problems. For example, the implementation of the selected projects will make it possible to create up to 20 thousand jobs for a period of construction. And ten out of these projects will be implemented in the regions where the situation on the labor market has already deteriorated.

All this does not mean that other projects won’t be implemented. They are very important and work on them is in progress. But the current situation makes us reconsider their formats. We have to reconfigure each of these projects, reschedule their construction and commissioning date in order to leave financial burden till later without sacrificing the main objective.


Rossiiskaya Gazeta: Has the crisis changed principles VEB adheres to in working with the Investment Fund

Tikhonov: Up until now Vnesheconombank has participated in some of the Investment Fund’s projects as an investor and consultant. Lately a decision has been made that in order to support business within the Investment Fund, we can also use a scheme similar to the Olympic one, under which Vnesheconombank lends investors. But in this case, a total amount of funds of the Bank and the Investment Fund should not exceed 75 percent. I think this is a reasonable limitation. Otherwise we’ll have “public-public” partnership rather than private-public partnership.

I’d like to remind you that at the end of the last year Vnesheconombank was appointed as a consultant to the Government on the Investment Fund’s projects. We are responsible for examining and monitoring how investors fulfill their obligations. Besides, a decision was made that all investors should open their accounts intended for financing projects with Vnesheconombank. On the basis of data on cash flow in investors’ settlement accounts we’ll be responsible for monitoring the spending of money and submit financial statements to the Ministry of Regional Development. This decision, by the way, is not related to the crisis, it was made to secure transparent relations between the state and business.

Rosiiskaya Gazeta: Has the crisis had a considerable impact on Vnesheconombank’s loan portfolio?

Tikhonov: Our loan portfolio was planned to amount to 270 billion rubles by the beginning of 2009. The crisis made it more difficult for us to operate but now we are close to this amount. More than 70% of our loan portfolio accounts for mid and long-term credits and most of them are intended for the development of innovations and infrastructure. Unfortunately, we had to leave some projects till better times but at the same we made a decision to expand some programs and introduce new lines of activity.

Our brand new line of activity is to provide support for agriculture. At the moment, we are considering projects worth more than 100 billion rubles and the amount needed to finance them in the year 2009 is 60 billion rubles. We have already started to finance some of them and we are going to start financing other projects in the near future. These projects are based on advanced technologies with long payback periods. They provide for creating a single processing flow from manufacturing products to their final processing.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta: Traditionally, Vnesheconombank cooperates with foreign banks. Has the crisis closed this niche?

Tikhonov: Even today we maintain partner relations with foreign financial institutions. At the end of the last year we entered into an agreement with a number of leading international banks on raising a syndicated loan of 335 million euros. Japanese banks expressed their readiness to lend the construction of mineral fertilizers manufacturing complex in Tatarstan worth 800 million dollars. We have also signed an agreement with the China State Development Bank and the German Bank KfW. This sort of cooperation allows us to raise not only money but also receive new technologies and equipment, which have no analogs in Russia.

We are also starting to work with international financial institutions including a group from the World Bank. We hope that they will help us to raise “long” money for regions to finance water supple, energy efficiency, ecology and waste recycling projects.

Rosiiskaya Gazeta: An economic forum opens today in Krasnoyarsk. Its participant will, among other things, will look for an answer to the following question: who and how are we supposed to rescue with the help of the state’s money. How would you answer this question?

Tikhonov: We should stake on promoting new projects and new sectors and on highly efficient companies. It’s very important today that anti-crisis measures should not hinder development. The Bank should not finance “catching up” projects. We’ll give top priority to unique, niche projects that would allow us to make a real breakthrough. And we can find them in virtually all economic sectors. 


Электронный офис клиента в разработке

Write a letter
The following required fields are missing: Your name
The following required fields are missing: Your e-mail
The following required fields are missing: Your message
The following required fields are missing: CAPTCHA
Your message has been sent.
Leave feedback

It is important for us to know your opinion about the bank in order to make our work even better.

The following required fields are missing: Your name
The following required fields are missing: Your company
The following required fields are missing: Your e-mail
The following required fields are missing: Your message
The following required fields are missing: CAPTCHA
Your message has been sent.