24 february 2010

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov chairs a meeting of the Commission for the Development of Small and Medium-Size Businesses


The meeting was attended by Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko; Igor Artemyev, Federal Anti-Monopoly Service head; Mikhail Mokretsov, Federal Tax Service head; Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare; Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov; Ivanovo Governor Mikhail Men; Sergei Borisov, president of the OPORA ROSSII small and medium entrepreneurs' organisation; Alexander Shokhin, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; and Yevgeny Primakov, president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as representatives from ministries and agencies that are members of the commission.

The government commission heard a statement from an Economic Development Ministry representative on the basic indices measuring the development of small and medium-size businesses and the implementation of decisions to support those businesses in 2009. The commission noted that the number of such businesses grew by 2.8% last year, despite the crisis.

In 2009, the federal government took essential steps to increase small businesses' access to federal and municipal government supply contracts and streamline the procedure and grounds for sales of federal and municipal property to leaseholders. Moreover, the number of inspections on businesses was reduced spectacularly. The second half of last year saw slightly more than 1.2 million inspections, not including financial and police checks, compared to more than 20 million in 2006, not including police and customs checks. The list of products requiring compulsory certification was drastically cut and the applicability of declaration of conformity expanded.

The commission supports the Economic Development Ministry suggestion of allocating an extra 15.4 billion roubles from the federal government this year, including 8.4 billion roubles to support the constituent entities. The other seven billion will increase the capitalisation of the Russian Development Bank, allowing it to make more loans, to innovative businesses in particular.

The commission also approves the ministry suggestion to reduce interest rates on loans to small and medium-size businesses.

The commission ordered federal executive bodies to draw up regulatory acts reducing small businesses' tender security to 2% and exempting federal and regional programmes' support for small and medium-size businesses from taxation.

The commission has decided to draft a law that would extend until 2013 the Federal Law on the Procedure of the Sale of Government Property owned by the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation and Municipal Property Leased by Small Businesses, and exempt small and medium-size businesses purchasing said property from value added taxation.

The commission ordered the continuation of support for small innovative businesses-in particular, tax holidays-and leasing property without contests.
Finally, the commission recommends that the executive bodies of the constituent entities to establish free consultation services and legal support for newly established businesses.