President Vladimir Putin: I think it is time to wrap up It is quite clear, it is obvious to everyone, that one of the main tasks in the economic sphere is diversification. In this sense, of course, a very important area is supporting and creating conditions for the development of information technology, and in general high technology in the wide sense of this word. Everything that we talked about today is related to solving this task.
It is also understood that we need to create favourable conditions in this country in general, which our colleagues from the Finance Ministry insist upon quite justifiably. And at the same time, in solving these tasks, we must not allow the situation to become worse for certain sectors, including for our high-technology companies that are already functioning today. From what we discussed today, it is clear that all our efforts are directed towards creating new elements of this infrastructure: scientific, technical and production.
When we discussed this in Moscow, our position was that if we are talking about creating special zones, then we would proceed from the ideas contained in the draft legislation proposed by the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade. I would very much like for those who work on these legislative documents to take into account today’s discussion, and its results, paying attention to the concerns that were expressed, including by representatives of fiscal organisations, which is extremely important.
And of course, while investigating and establishing order in the sphere of tax administration in extractive industry, we must not create anything that would hinder the development of the economy in processing industry, and above all the high-technology sphere. This should be a favourable administrative system with a restriction on the abilities of supervisory organisations. The restriction is not designed to deprive the state of control, but to create normal stable work conditions for business in the high technology sphere, so that people are not bothered by inspections of the health or fire service every week. At the same time, I stress once more, this does not mean that there will be no control at all.
This concerns the creation of a special administrative regime, a special regime of taxation with a reduced tax burden in general. I won’t talk about details now – income tax or the unified social tax. For these technologies, above all, the unified social tax is important. I would ask the appropriate ministries and departments, the Finance Ministry, to determine as quickly as possible what the bar will be. So that we do not do any harm to people working in this sphere, from the viewpoint of ensuring their retirement rights. When we talk about the unified social tax, we mean that the necessary allotments for people should be made to the accumulative part of the pension, to the common part of the pension. And if we are talking about this possibility and agree to set the rate of the unified social tax at 14%, then I agree with Minister Gref that the regressive scale should be maintained that exists for the system of calculating prices that should be applied this year.
We are talking about special customs conditions and co-financing of all these programmes, including by the state. And of course, it is very important to create stable conditions of work in these sectors over quite a long period, so that the state does not have the ability to worsen the legal or economic situation for participants of this process, and for those who will be registered in these zones as residents. These are the main areas of our activity in the near future.
Of course, it will be necessary to work with the heads of regions where the development of these zones is planned, because a great deal will of course also depend on governors and presidents of republics in the Russian Federation. This must not be imposed from the top, but supported by local legislative powers and governors. Without this, it will be virtually impossible to do anything.
And most importantly, last of all: when will all these problem issues be agreed on, and when will you submit this bill (talking to Mr. Gref)?
German Gref: Vladimir Vladimirovich, I think that if in the first half of the year we…
Mr Putin: No, more precisely, can you name a month?
Mr Gref: By the first of March, I think, we should submit it to the Duma.
Mr Putin: Fine, that’s agreed then. We will submit the law by the first of March.