MIL-OSI Russia: Yuri Trutnev took part in an interdepartmental meeting on the protection of business from administrative pressure

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

An extended interdepartmental meeting was held in Vladivostok, organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East in conjunction with the General Prosecutor’s Office.

The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister – Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev, Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Dmitry Demeshin, Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexei Chekunkov, prosecutors and governors of the Far Eastern Federal District, heads of development institutions, representatives of federal authorities, public organizations …

They discussed measures aimed at ensuring legislative requirements for the implementation of projects in preferential regimes in the territories of advanced socio-economic development (TOP) and the free port of Vladivostok (FPV), reducing administrative pressure on the economy and combating corruption.

The Prosecutor General’s Office analyzed the state of legality in the implementation of projects in preferential regimes. Thanks to the system of state support created in the Far East, the implementation of more than 2,600 new investment projects has begun. The residents of the ASEZ and FPV attracted 6 trillion rubles of investments into the economy of the region, of which 1.8 trillion rubles have already been actually invested. More than 70% are investments in non-resource enterprises that ensure economic diversification, the development of modern technologies, and an increase in the competence of employees. For the first time in many years, a positive influx of young specialists in the age category from 20 to 24 has been recorded. The investment climate has improved: 10 out of 11 subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District showed an increase in the ASI’s national rating.

According to Yuri Trutnev, there is some movement in terms of reducing administrative pressure on business. In 2017, the Far Eastern region ranked last in terms of administrative pressure. Now it ranks sixth. However, often unjustified control measures continue to disrupt the rhythm of the development of the Far Eastern economy. So in 2020–2021, more than 400 thousand inspections were carried out in the Far East, of which only 4% were planned, 96% were unscheduled.

“Administrative pressure, endless checks and nagging, indifference and, even worse, selfish behavior of a number of officials significantly reduces the effectiveness of the economic policy pursued by the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation. The largest number of unscheduled inspections is carried out by Rospotrebnadzor, Rostrud, EMERCOM of Russia, Rostekhnadzor. Speaking about unscheduled inspections, I want to emphasize that they are often carried out on the basis of requests prepared by competing structures or by the inspectors themselves. Also, the checks use the expansive principle, that is, they come out on one specific topic, and they begin to check on the entire range of issues before finding any clue. We also need to analyze this practice and, in my opinion, stop, ”Yuri Trutnev noted in his speech.

The Deputy Prime Minister recalled the norm in the legislation requiring the approval of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East for unscheduled inspections of the residents of the TOP. Noting that so far, based on the results of this work in 2020, out of 309 requests for permission to check in 90% of cases, this permission has been received.

“Despite the dynamically changing legislation towards business support, a number of problems require additional efforts and concerted actions on our part to solve them,” Dmitry Demeshin said in his speech.

According to him, business continues to face bureaucratic obstacles. The regulatory authorities violate special requirements for conducting inspections of legal entities working in ASEZ and FPV. In a number of cases, the proper functioning of the PDA infrastructure facilities, budgetary funding for their creation are not ensured. There are complaints about the work of some controlling structures. “For example, Rospotrebnadzor regularly does not comply with the deadlines for making decisions on the establishment of sanitary protection zones, their change or termination. Some investors, despite the statutory period of 15 days, wait for such an agreement from one to two years. And here there is a complaint to prosecutors: where is your reaction? ” – said the Deputy Prosecutor General.

The head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexei Chekunkov, also spoke about the increase in the number of checks at the regional level. If in 2018 the enterprises of the Far Eastern Federal District were checked on average 1.7 times a year, then in 2020 – 2.3 times. “Red tape has not been defeated. Some investors have to wait up to two years for the approval of changes in the boundaries of sanitary protection zones, without which it is impossible to issue a construction permit, commissioning of an object. Several years ago, we introduced an Internet service for aquaculture investors in the Far East, which allows online selection and registration of a section of the sea area for doing business. But even digitalization does not allow raising some bureaucratic barriers. For example, many aquaculture enterprises face difficulties in passing the state ecological expertise. The volume of procedures and documentation is such that the preparation of materials takes more than a year, and the costs are from half a million rubles. Moreover, mariculture is not a capital-intensive business, ”said the head of the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East.

Surveys of entrepreneurs show that the share of companies that assess pressure from regulatory authorities as significant is estimated at 29%. This means that one in three businesses is under pressure.

Dmitry Demeshin told the meeting participants that the basic requirements of the federal law on state control will come into force on July 1, 2021. Any visit by the inspector will be possible only with the consent of the prosecutor. Along with other innovations, the law significantly expands the arsenal of measures and control and supervisory measures. In addition to traditional inspections and test purchases, such formats as monitoring purchases, sampling, and inspection visits are established. This will not interfere with the work of the business. The entire system of control and supervisory activities will be based on a risk-based approach. For organizations with a low level of risk, audits will be carried out no more than once every few years. Thanks to the portal, synchronized with the public unified register of events, entrepreneurs through their personal account will be able not only to track information about upcoming inspections, but also to challenge them.

Alexey Chekunkov announced the need to strengthen the work of the interdepartmental working group for the protection of investors’ rights, which includes representatives of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East proposed to jointly develop a mechanism for coordinating the actions of various inspection bodies, synchronizing inspections, optimizing their number and duration, so as not to block the work of enterprises.

The Ministry is actively involved in legislative work aimed at protecting investors. A package of amendments developed by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East has been submitted to the State Duma, which contains several important innovations for the TOP and FPV. In particular, the principle of granting resident status is being changed: the regime “you can do everything that is allowed” is transformed into the principle “you can do everything that is not prohibited”. This innovation will expand the circle of residents, eliminate uncertainties associated with different interpretations of norms and regulations. Several residents will be able to combine customs zones, which will reduce the cost of their equipment. The interaction of residents with the management company is being simplified – it will be carried out through an electronic platform.

One of the issues on the agenda of the meeting was related to the protection of citizens’ rights to a safe environment. “The Far East has wonderful nature, clean rivers, green forests. At the same time, more than 2 million people live in cities and villages with high air pollution, or more than 24% of the population of the Far East. The cities of Chita, Ulan-Ude and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are regularly included in the list of cities in Russia with the highest air pollution. In Ulan-Ude, the average annual maximum permissible concentrations of benzopyrene were exceeded 12 times, suspended solids – 1.5 times, formaldehyde – 1.2 times. All this leads to an increase in the morbidity of citizens, to difficulties in solving the task set by the President of the Russian Federation – achieving an average life expectancy by 2030 up to 78 years in every Far Eastern constituent entity of the Russian Federation, ”said Yuri Trutnev.

The main sources of pollution in the listed cities are heat power plants, transport and stove heating. In Ulan-Ude, the number of individual houses with stove heating increased by 2.3 times over 4 years. The number of vehicles in recent years has increased by 1.7 times. High rates of air pollution in Vladivostok, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Ussuriisk. In a number of cities, the problems with the provision of clean water have not yet been resolved. For example, in the Republic of Buryatia, more than 25% of the population, and in the Trans-Baikal Territory, 29% of the population is not provided with water of adequate quality.

According to Dmitry Demeshin, regional government and local authorities are taking insufficient measures to implement federal and regional programs for the construction, modernization and reconstruction of treatment facilities. Enterprises do not always use the latest means of cleaning emissions into the atmosphere, reconstruction of existing equipment is not carried out in a timely manner, which leads to an excess of permissible concentrations of pollutants. There are frequent cases of non-compliance with the regime of sanitary protection zones.

“The Government of the Russian Federation is ready to jointly consider the financing of the necessary measures, but I think that action plans to reduce atmospheric pollution, to build modern water treatment facilities should be formed in the territories under the leadership of governors and heads of settlements,” Yuri Trutnev emphasized.

Based on the results of the meeting held in Vladivostok, a set of measures will be developed for the development of ASEZ and FPV, countering violations of investor rights and strengthening the rule of law in this area, and environmental protection. The participants of the event expressed confidence that the joint work of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the General Prosecutor’s Office will increase the efficiency of work aimed at comprehensive protection of business from administrative pressure and at removing obstacles to attracting investment and accelerating economic development.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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