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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

FAS rebuked the Russian authorities in the excessively bloated public sector

The Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) on Thursday informed the government about the state of competition in Russia. Although such reports are prepared for the tenth consecutive year of positive, frankly, not increased. “The document is frankly unflattering nature, but we are grateful to the government that it had agreed to listen to us”, – told reporters the head of Department Igor Artemyev. However, the presentation was closed to the press: to listen to unpleasant things under the gun cameras of the courage of the officials is still not enough.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The main claim of the FAS to the authorities — bloated public sector. Now the government and state-owned companies control 70% of the Russian economy. This trend is especially actively developing the last several years, and now, if to call things by their proper names, in Russia there was state-monopoly capitalism.

Thus once again sharply increased the number of state and municipal unitary enterprises (in 2013 there were 11 thousand, and now more than 23 thousand), and the number of small and medium-sized businesses, on the contrary, decreased. “In industries occurs primitive resources “under the table” when you don’t know how to solve the problem create the state Unitary enterprises. And the rate include 500 bottles of wine and diamonds” – complained in an interview with reporters Artemyev.

All the major competitions, according to him, the recent also benefit the Corporation. The difference between the starting and final value of the contract is often no more than 1%.

Dmitry Medvedev in his opening remarks, also acknowledged the existence of the problem. “While, according to Russian entrepreneurs, the competitive environment, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. The main obstacles are the presence of significant public sector, inadequate regulation, inadequate development of small and medium-sized businesses, which leads to the dominance of large corporations, ” said the Prime Minister.

What prevents the government to deal with problems (and all of the above is the introduction of the Cabinet), the LADIES, unfortunately, not explained. But a sign of its failure was considered premature. According to him, the government understands the role of “healthy competition” in building an efficient economy and trying to move in the right direction.

The next step on this thorny path should be a national plan for the development of competition, the adoption of which at the end of a Cabinet meeting, announced Igor Artemyev. He says that it’s “not another blah-blah-blah”. “We will try to make it just as specific to figures. We will ensure that these figures in the case of non-compliance with the governors and the Ministers to be removed from office”, – said the head of FAS, noting that the importance of the plan on competition will be considered a national plan to combat corruption.

This is nothing conceptually new in the document, for which the Antimonopoly office was given two months to make, not assumed. It still is a reduction of the public sector in the economy, removal of superfluous administrative barriers, development of small business etc. Just now in front of each item will give the target and each artist. “Competition will be forced to implement!” – concluded the head of FAS.

A separate section of the plan will be devoted to import substitution. But then, said Artemyev, the main thing is not to overreact: “If a foreign supplier is willing to supply us with the drugs for 1 billion cheaper — this is a real example I now cite — than domestic producers, then why are we throwing it from the auction?” The import substitution program, which was adopted in haste as “our answer to Chamberlain” and, according to the FAS, has already led to higher prices for food and medicines, in the preparation of the plan will undergo adjustments.


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