Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, colleagues,
Yesterday, the President chaired a meeting with government members, and they discussed a number of issues. For example, they discussed the Bashkir Soda Company. The state now has a majority stake in this company. Over 50 percent of its shares will remain federal property. Acting on the President’s instructions, the Government will cede the company’s controlling interest, or 38.3 percent of its shares, to the Republic of Bashkortostan for subsequent management. The republic will own this 38.3 percent stake, as well as another 11.7 percent plus one share. Agencies fully controlled by the Government of Bashkortostan will facilitate trust management. This decision will help streamline corporate governance.
The President has emphasised that it is necessary to ensure the cost-effective operation of the enterprise. This company employs thousands of people. And, of course, it is important that it works stably, develops and provides the region with income.
Colleagues, I am asking you to promptly draft all the essential documents for the transfer of the corporate shares to Bashkortostan and to conclude an agreement between the Government and the republic on specific plans, including production and investment volumes. It is also necessary to stipulate a mechanism for monitoring the use of state property. It is important that the authorities of Bashkortostan pay special attention to production modernisation, the provision of raw materials and workforce retention.
Meeting participants also discussed additional support for the regions. The President instructed the relevant officials to determine the parameters of such assistance within two weeks. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Government adopted a number of measures for reducing the load on regional budgets. This yielded good results, and the situation was normalised. Today, the incomes of most regions have started growing again. It is now necessary to consolidate these trends. Additional steps are needed. The President has instructed the relevant officials to prepare specific proposals on restructuring regional debt and developing infrastructure.
We have to do everything as quickly as possible, so as to ensure the stability of regional finances, in the first place. This is needed to develop the regions of the Russian Federation and the entire country, to attract investment in new projects and to achieve national goals. Government members are now discussing a proposal on establishing a new mechanism that will facilitate the development of the regions’ infrastructure. It stipulates the allocation of federal funding that obviously needs to be repaid, and it is also necessary to monitor the disbursement of this funding.
Mr Khusnullin (Addressing Marat Khusnullin), I would like to ask you to speed up the finalisation of this proposal, and I would like to ask Mr Siluanov to complete the discussion of the regional debt restructuring parameters.
Let us get down to the agenda of the Government meeting.
The Government is simplifying the procedure for paying taxes, fees and insurance premiums for businesses. Now organisations and individual entrepreneurs will have access to a single tax payment. That is, you can pay not only taxes or arrears with one order, but also make advance payments and pay off debts on fines, which means you can fulfil all obligations at the same time. And the Federal Taxation Service will carry out all the transfers.
People have been using this mechanism successfully for more than two years. They pay property taxes on cars, land plots and other real estate with one sum, at any convenient time. Now this will be available for businesses as well.
Another two bills concern the housing and utilities sector. They are aimed at attracting private investment for the heating and water supply system as well as wastewater disposal. Now organisations leasing such infrastructure for less than a year will be able to sign concession agreements with the state to further manage it without competitions. At the same time, they must completely fulfil all responsibilities to attract investment to update the infrastructure.
In addition to this, in small towns with a population of up to 50,000, specialised concessions will be exempt from value-added tax.
We hope these decisions will help upgrade utilities infrastructure and improve the quality of services for people and businesses.
The Government continues the reform of regulatory and supervisory activities. Today we will discuss amendments to the bill adopted by the State Duma in the first reading.
Over 125 sector-specific laws are being amended, including those regulating road safety, sanitary and epidemiological and environmental oversight, land supervision and many other areas that are important for doing business and directly influence the quality of life.
An entire range of measures has been designed. Conditions will provide for a single register that lists the types of regulation. It is important to reduce the administrative burden on entrepreneurs, eliminate duplicate functions, and also to make it possible to evaluate the supervisory authorities’ work more effectively.
The new model of their activities envisages applying a risk-oriented approach to all types of regulation and prioritising the prevention of potential violations over punishment.
Let me note that this bill is a key normative act prepared as part of the regulatory and supervisory reform. For the first time in the last two decades, all the legislative acts regulating the state and municipal control are being unified. This is very important for Russia’s entire legislative system.
Now to the next issue. The Government will continue to support innovative industrial projects. It is our strategic investment in the future that boosts the socioeconomic development of the regions, creates points of growth and jobs, and contributes to increasing people’s income. These are the goals the President set.
Today we will allocate one billion roubles for co-financing innovative projects selected by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on a competitive basis. The funds will be distributed among 25 Russian regions. This decision will expedite the modernisation and development of industrial facilities and stimulate scientific research and development. This effort will add to the competitive ability of Russian industrial companies in the long term. I’d like to ask the Ministry of Industry and Trade to make sure this mechanism of government support is indeed efficient and produces specific results – primarily in the form of new types of innovative products.
Another bill is designed to simplify remote participation in court hearings.
The Government is making changes to the proceedings pertaining to arbitration, civil and administrative litigation, the areas accounting for a substantial amount of cases concerning property disputes and a number of other important legal issues. Eventually, people will be able to participate in a court hearing via videoconference using their own mobile devices, including smart phones or tablets.
The option of contacting judicial authorities remotely will also be included in the law. A person will be able to file an application with the court as well as receive messages about a court hearing and its agenda via the unified government services website and other information systems designated by the Supreme Court. This will save time and money for all court hearing participants, especially if the hearing is held in a different region.
The next issue is tourism and hospitality grants.
The results of the first competition for public
and entrepreneurial initiatives focusing on domestic and inbound tourism have
been announced. We have 474 winners representing 74 Russian regions. Their
projects cover key areas of the industry’s development, including new tourism
routes, equipment for comfortable recreation and digital technology (mobile
apps and audio guides). Each of the finalists will receive a grant of 90,000 to
3 million roubles. The Government will allocate over 1.245 billion roubles for such
projects in tourism and hospitality. This measure will help increase the
quality and diversity of tourism services and create new jobs in the regions.