The President of “OPORA Russia” Alexander Kalinin in an interview with RBC at the Sochi forum said how the authorities react to complaints of the business when economic growth begins, and why Vladimir Putin needs to go for a fourth term
We had a business meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, what are its main results? You have presented your plan and proposals in terms of economic growth? How they reacted?
— “Support of Russia” conducts its study, calculates the index of expectations of small and medium business. According to our research, the economy is now in stagnation. What good is stagnation? We do from minus moved at least to zero. But this situation can not long continue, and we must move to increase or again to fall.
Now the hot spot for business is the value of money. Yes, we have now inflation of 5-6%. Indeed, the great merit of monetary and fiscal policy. But, sorry if we have made already such interest, why is the Central Bank discount rate of 10%? Accordingly, we all, including consumers, pay these additional costs.
Central Bank rate must be reduced. It will be a positive signal for the economy. Because with the rate of 15%, for example, invest nobody wants, only working capital is the money you take. We have, for example, from small business, according to our research, only one in five wants to take the credit. And only every tenth. Business doesn’t want these rates to borrow and banks are reluctant to lend in this situation business.
In anticipation of the weak ruble
— It was discussed at yesterday’s meeting?
— It was discussed at all venues, including at yesterday’s meeting. The second point. Of course, the business is concerned about the increase in the purchasing power of the ruble and the decline in the competitiveness of our exporters. The budgeted rate of around 65 rubles per dollar. And there are failures on 58 RUB Naturally, exporters are worried, as they have quite a long production cycle. The Ministry of Finance introduced a new rule for the purchase of currency. Accordingly, the Ministry of economic development and the Ministry of Finance said: wait, this applies just three weeks. We believe that the parity of our currency returned to the level of 62-64 RUB in the next few months.
They also discussed specific issues. Today it has established institutes of development of small and medium-sized businesses. But the national credit guarantee system, including the program “to 6.5” (allows you to get loans at 6.5%. — RBC) works with sums of 10 million rubles and above. And the average check for micro enterprises that work with these loans, somewhere in the 9 million rubles. That is, the bulk of loans for microbusiness in the program misses. Our proposal is that this program started to work with 5 million rubles. And up to five years instead of up to three investment loans, because today the profitability of the business falls.
Guarantees to legal entities
— Do you have feeling in the end? You heard?
I hope that the decision of the [small business loan] can be taken in the next two months. Head of SME Corporation Alexander Braverman said, “the Only thing we have to do is to coordinate these decisions with the government and the Central Bank”. We did it yesterday because the Prime Minister instructed to amend the Protocol, and the meeting was attended by the Deputy head of the Central Bank.
Another point is the insurance of deposits of legal entities for small business. Sole proprietors insured account balances, 1.4 million rubles, legal entities — not. The revocation of the Bank is immediately killing micro. Then such enterprises will lose everything; as a rule, 80% of them just cease to exist. The will of the government and the Central Bank for the introduction of this rule is, we discussed this issue with the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina [Nabiullina]. She said that no technical problems. The DIA has enough resources.
The third sentence of the “Support of Russia” is subsidizing domestic flights. Today we have subsidized the flights to 3 billion RUB a year, which is very little in this regard, we have and domestic tourism is poorly developed. We believe that subsidies should not be 3 billion and 30 billion rubles. Because when a ticket in Sheregesh, for example, costs 20 thousand rubles, and a ticket to Austria — 12 thousand, then naturally people will fly to Austria.
— I want to ask about one of the main proposals of business to Medvedev, nanoradian or, perhaps, easing the fiscal burden. How do you think the authorities are ready in terms of a permanent reduction of budget spending and revenues to take this step?
It is not about reducing the General tax burden, but about two things. The first tax maneuverability. The Ministry of Finance says that if we reduce, then we must increase because the social obligations of the budget has not been removed. And the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of economic development propose to reduce the load on the payroll for business (we support this with two hands), but to raise the VAT.
Naturally, we want the load on the wage Fund has been sharply reduced. Also available in the “21 vs 21”. Generally it is better than it is now, much better. First, the funds still paid for by the state. Second, by whitewashing income much more money will go to municipal and regional budgets, because there is credited to the personal income tax. Third, reduce the burden on the state budget sector because 30% of the population works in the public sector, and these contributions primarily pay the public sector and state corporations. Fourth, it would be beneficial for exporters, who refunded the entire VAT.
Photo: Eugene biyatov / RIA Novosti
Stagnation and fourth term
— As you mentioned, the economy is in stagnation. But the authorities constantly declare that growth is about to begin, have already begun. Entrepreneurs are preparing for new challenges, or maybe all over?
— There are two issues here. The first I mentioned. Growth will not, if the money will not be significantly cheaper and more accessible. The second point. We have a very different situation in the regions. Some have long economic growth, and in some regions (almost half) continues to decline. It is alarming, because the same small businesses may leave, for example, Chelyabinsk oblast and move 200 km away in the Sverdlovsk oblast, and differentiation in the regions will grow even more. We hope that with the launch of project offices and “road maps” of the Agency for strategic initiatives, the situation will even out.
— Your colleagues from the RUIE and then you spoke in support of Vladimir Putin, in support of the nomination for a fourth term.
— In your understanding Putin to become any kind of guarantee of improving the conditions for business now? Because you, in General, have listed quite a lot of business problems, and they arose during the work of the current leadership of the country. What now needs to change?
Well, first, during the reign of the current leadership small business has increased at least twice, even more. We have the quality of life has improved. We actually live in another country now than in 1999. A strong middle class, a strong small and medium business, especially small. The indicators on the micro level of the best countries. There are problems of the average business, certainly, but nevertheless. Over the past two years the dialogue was very intensive. And started it is the President. Two years ago, we most concerned about press for control and supervision, which increased sharply in early 2010. After that, a completely different concept was adopted: the controller as a consultant. We were concerned about the growth of tax and non-tax payments. The President has ensured the permanence of the tax burden. And, what’s more, it launched a tax reform. We are all concerned about the availability of money, and I think there will be progress in this direction.
We always said that we have a huge domestic market, and we have, on this occasion, sanctions, counter-sanctions, to regain the domestic market. Such purchases from the state-owned corporations, state — about 2 trillion rubles a year, but not before. It appeared last year and will only grow from year to year. That is, the relationship between business and government is changing radically. It is clear that we cannot be complacent, but we believe that the continuity of the course, especially for small businesses, is now extremely important. We live in a world where we are no gifts is not going to do.