Johnson's Russia List
21 November 2003
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A CDI Project
Russian Presidential Report Shows Administrative Barriers Remain for
Moscow, 19 November: No significant changes have been made to remove
groundless administrative barriers to the development of medium, small and
individual businesses. This is the conclusion of a report by the main
control directorate of the Russian president submitted to President
Vladimir Putin after an inspection of the organs of power responsible for
overseeing legislation to limit administrative meddling in the work of
The head of state has asked for the report and proposals of the main
control directorate to be sent to the Russian government for examination
and for taking the necessary measures.
The report notes that "in many regions because of tough and legally
groundless administrative regulation over market mechanisms the economic
and psychological preconditions have been created for the break-up and
disappearance of small businesses from the market".
The main control directorate's report says that there has been no proper
analysis of the legality of the functions of executive power empowered to
carry out state control, and how to maximize and reduce their functions and
that they continue to duplicate the work of organizations responsible for
monitoring and supervision.
"As a result, businessmen, as before, are feeling the excessive burden of
repeated inspections," the report says. In many cases the monitoring and
supervision work is followed by violations of existing legislation, abuse
of power and extortion.
The main control directorate says that often policemen get involved in
inspections which are outside their area of work resulting in large numbers
of complaints by businessmen.
"As before, there have been numerous cases of administrative persecution of
businessmen by the organs of executive power and bodies of local
self-government," the document says. "There is widespread practice of
taking illegal payments from businessmen in exchange for documents and
permits crucial for the survival of their business."
The report notes the need for improving the regulatory and legal base and
also drafting bills for reducing administrative restrictions and
considerably simplifying procedures for obtaining permits thereby
eliminating the contradictions with the existing legislation.