Medvedev announces 10 investment initiatives
President Dmitry Medvedev has listed ten investment initiatives to eliminate three key business problems in Russia. The three areas of concern to business being the growing tax burden, corruption and administrative barriers.
The ten initiatives announced yesterday through the Itar-Tass agency are:
- The government is to draft proposals by June 1 on how to reduce mandatory insurance premiums from the current rate of 34 percent to a new rate closer to the previous ones. This will come in to effect from 1st January 2012.
- From May 2011, the Prosecutor General will introduce new mechanisms for considering complaints against activities or inaction of government authorities which involve charges of corruption.
- The Ministry of Economic Development will be given powers to advise the Justice Ministry to abrogate acts that complicate entrepreneurial and investment activities.
- A new Investment Commissioner will be created to assist companies in their implementation of private investment projects.
- A raft of measures to be introduced to reduce the ‘excessive’ influence of state-owned companies on the investment climate. These include a schedule of privatisation over the next three years, an end to the practice of appointing ministers to boards of directors of companies, and the publication of information on planned public purchases and signed contracts. The President has warned ministers and government officials not to take their removal from boards personally or to ‘bear grudges’.
- In future, minority shareholders of public companies will be able to gain access to information about their operations.
- A fund run by international specialists will be created by late summer 2011 for direct investments using Vnesheconombank’s assets. The fund will have two billion U.S. dollars capital funding initially and this will be increased to ten billion U.S. dollars in the future. The President wants the fund to attract foreign investments of ‘at least five times its own size’.
- Reduction in the powers of the government commission for overseeing foreign investments in strategic sectors.
- Officials to be appointed at the level of vice-prime ministers who will scrutinise the work of supervisory and audit bodies.
- A mobile reception office of the President of the Russian Federation to start working in the Russian regions in May 2011 to deal with complaints against those authorities who fail to act or act against the interests of companies.