Sep 8, 2022
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The abolition of stupid laws in the economy and cheap loans can create a miracle

In the photo: businessman Arkady Rotenberg at the plenary meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum 2021

In the photo: entrepreneur Arkady Rotenberg at the plenary meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum 2021 (Photo: Vladimir Smirnov / TASS)

In order for the Russian economy to adapt to the current crisis, it is necessary to remove regulatory barriers that stand in the way of business, the businessman said. Arkady Rotenberg at the Eastern Economic Forum (WEF).

“If we just removed the regulators a little, let people go, they would find everything, they would do everything, everything would be much faster,” Rotenberg told RBC. “We have a lot of Kulibins, they will quickly do something themselves.”

“We don’t need to draw checkers, but go. And for this, you just need to systematize everything that we have, for each item, and everyone really wants to do it. Create the most favorable conditions for business in order to eliminate unnecessary barriers,” he explained.

Calls for the release of a business initiative, a kind of NEP 2.0, are becoming commonplace. Talked about it the other day Oleg Deripaska. But there are also many skeptics. Thus, the majority of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses do not consider the crisis to be a time of opportunity.

The authorities seem to share the thesis of economic freedom. The Prosecutor General’s Office, together with the government, is working to ensure that most inspections of businesses whose activities are not associated with the risk of damage are canceled forever, the Prosecutor General said at the WEF Igor Krasnov.

However, is there an attempt by officials to give business freedom, as in the 1990s, to evade the need to re-industrialize the country?

“I absolutely support the proposal of Arkady Rotenberg on the need to “let people go” for a breakthrough in Russian business,” says politician, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Sergei Natsievskiy. – With two hands. SMEs need security and access to cheap money. Then the business can do a lot. And if they also remove administrative obstacles, remove unnecessary checks, this will provide an additional opportunity to develop. Although you can’t overdo it either. For example, in food production, quality control is important. In general, the abolition of barriers has been discussed for many years on various economic platforms.

Six months have already passed since sanctions were imposed against us, and no one in the country has really been engaged in import substitution, and is still not engaged in it. They hope that small and medium-sized businesses, having gained freedom, will close some positions. Maybe. But he will not be able to make engines for aircraft and ships. For the production of such complex, serious products, state support is needed. Moreover, in my opinion, it itself should do it. Why not now create a company that would start building the factories necessary for import substitution?

“SP”: – President Putin at the WEF noted that Russia is holding up well, the Western economic blitzkrieg failed …

– It’s like that. But we must understand that we are holding on due to the fact that our oil and gas continue to be bought for the time being, and energy prices have jumped. Because of this, revenues from fuel exports almost doubled. But the rest fell apart. We, of course, will “overlap” with oil and gas revenues, but what will metallurgists do? Now they are all “sagging”. Ahead of us is a severe shortage of components, spare parts in almost all industries, because over the past years we have not built anything of our own, but bought everything in the West.

How will we get through this path? As I understand it, our officials have great hopes for China, but it is not certain that China will be able to help us in all areas. And this is just the beginning of the sanctions. They’re designed for the long game. So far, thank God, we are not falling as much as we predicted at the beginning. But if the Americans succeed in introducing a ceiling on prices for our oil, it will be a serious blow (they also discuss the ceiling on gas prices – author). And if they still refuse gas or we turn off their gas ourselves, then incomes will be reduced very seriously. How will we survive?

“Freedom for business and industrialization of the country are not mutually exclusive things,” continues economist Vladislav Zhukovsky. “Now we have neither freedom nor industrialization. There is a primitive raw material export model of the economy and state-monopoly capitalism with hints of feudalism. There is a concentration, centralization of capital, small business is bent against the background of a declining sales volume due to a decrease in the standard of living of the population. This has been happening for a long time. It is not surprising that this year the number of closed enterprises is 370,000 more than the number of newly opened ones. Another 112 thousand bankruptcies of individuals and individual entrepreneurs. Growth by 40%!

But there is no industrialization either, because there is no proper management system, there is no responsibility for the goals and tasks set. No one has lost their posts for the failure of the election promises of the president and the party in power. Remember the priority development goals of 2006, which the Deputy Prime Minister was then instructed to fulfill Medvedev or Strategy 2020 of 2008, which promises industrialization, innovation, encouragement of initiative, an average salary of 2.7 thousand dollars per person, 100 square meters of housing for a family with a child or May 2012 decrees with 25 million new jobs, increasing investment in the economy, halving poverty etc.

Therefore, Rotenberg’s words must be assessed as ordinary verbal interventions. It is necessary to say something, they say. They feel that people have a demand for new industrialization, import substitution, so they talk about it. According to United Russia, the head of the budget committee of the State Duma Makarovaup to 2 trillion rubles have been invested in import substitution. But there is still no decent result. However, the minister of industry Manturov elevated to the rank of Deputy Prime Minister, Reshetnikov, Siluanov in their places. But most importantly, the economic model does not change. It is still concentrated around big business oligarchs, former officials.

And if in the West the accounts of our oligarchs are arrested, and the yachts are taken away, then inside the country they are not touched, the topic of privatization, loans-for-share auctions are not even raised, excise taxes have been increased, fees like the PLATON system have been introduced, pension reform is not canceled. The oligarchs, who have enriched themselves in recent years, have much to lose and continue to fight to keep the lion’s share of Russia’s economy in their hands. They do not focus on domestic demand, but create rent for themselves. For them, WEF is just a PR platform for themselves.

The intention of the Prosecutor General’s Office to permanently cancel most business inspections was appreciated by a former employee of the supervisory agency, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation Yury Sinelshchikov.

– Of course, I would like to ease the pressure on business, but … This, apparently, is possible in terms of scheduled inspections, when prosecutors, who have nothing to do, go, look, write reports. By and large, such checks are illegal. But what about statements about violations of the law, about all sorts of outrages that come to the prosecutor’s office?

For example, a small enterprise in the Moscow region for the production of milk works with broken treatment facilities. And at night it dumps sewage into the river. The signal about it came to the public prosecutor. Isn’t he going to check? He will come, see everything with his own eyes and give them a warning, explain that the violations must be eliminated, otherwise the businessmen will go to jail.

“SP”: – It turns out that a differentiated approach is needed?

– You can completely refuse scheduled inspections. And besides, from inspections for minor violations. In the case of such signals, the solution of the problem can be transferred to the regulatory authorities. The law allows it. Then they will inform the prosecutor’s office about the results. But some of the business offenses that require the attention of the prosecutor’s office still remain.

Otherwise, prosecutors should be reduced and the prosecutor’s office should be deprived of such a function as general supervision. This will turn the prosecutor’s office into a body of only criminal prosecution. This is the case in many countries. But this is a very serious change, one might say a revolution, and will require significant amendments to the law on the prosecutor’s office. This should be discussed in the State Duma. I doubt that Parliament will agree to this.

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