President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Igor Ivanovich [First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov], I’ve given two instructions to the government. The first was regarding small business. I requested that a package of measures be taken to improve the situation in this sector. The second was about the board of directors of state-run companies. Please, report on what has been done.
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov: Dear Dmitry Anatolyevich, under this presidential decree, which you signed on May 15, the government cabinet was requested to develop a package of bills and then submit it to the State Duma within two months. These bills would promote the development of small- and medium-size businesses making life easier for those who are engaged in them.
In general, we have accomplished this work. On Monday, July 14, the cabinet’s presidium will meet to review this package of bills. It will then be submitted to the State Duma. We believe the Duma and the Federal Assembly could endorse this package before October.
(Shuvalov went on to give details of the bills which will provide for the opening of certain types of business by notification, limit the rights of internal affairs departments to conduct inspections, introduce liability insurance replacing a licenses for certain types of activities, and a declaration of compliance instead of mandatory certification for certain goods, plus new privatization and renting rules for small and medium-sized companies).
We have discussed all drafted bills with the following public associations: the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium Business – OPORA RUSSIA, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. We have also held hearings in parliament. We believe we enjoy public support on these issues, which allows us to fine tune these bills, and even encourages us to introduce beneficial changes in the bills which are basically ready.
Dmitry Medvedev: You should pass this package first, because small business has been waiting for too long. You should do it quickly, and once this is done, we will decide what changes are necessary.
Igor Shuvalov: Dmitry Anatolyevich, I would like to reassure you that the cabinet
has drafted this package of bills in a timely manner as directed by your May 15 decree. These instructions will be fully carried out.
Now I’d like to tell you how we have carried out your instructions on the board of directors. We were told to do this promptly. We have worked with 11 joint-stock companies with 100% state capital. In line with your instructions, we saw to it that joint-stock companies should be headed by a government member, or high-ranking official of the Presidential executive Office; we made sure that all other directors were either professionals or work under contract with the Russian government or represent some other public organizations. Above all, we wanted to make sure these officials were independent, that they would care for their joint-stock companies, and that there would be no conflict of interest, that they would not be affiliated with competing businesses. A list of such individuals has been compiled and approved by the government cabinet. We have talked with these people, and they have agreed to work with the government. We have suggested their appointment to the board of directors of the joint-stock companies.
Dmitry Medvedev: You may choose them from among some excellent professionals who know the market well, or who are experienced in related areas. You may also look at former government officials with an impressive service record, who are now working in public associations or business. We should use their experience because this is our “golden fund.” Please, think about the final version of this list.
Igor Shuvalov: We will then make decisions on the joint-stock companies, which do not yet have a new board of directors, and I will report to you the results in the next few days.