Russia’s President instructs to expand list of industries affected by pandemic
MOSCOW, June 1 (RAPSI) – President Vladimir Putin has issued an instruction to expand the list of the sectors of Russia’s economy most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by adding to it passenger railroad transportation and inland water transport.
At the end of March the President entrusted the government with specifying the sectors most affected by the pandemic. At that time he also ordered to organize an ongoing monitoring of the economic situation in Russia so the said list could be timely updated.
In his report submitted to the President Business Ombudsman Boris Titov proposed to adopt an alternative criterion triggering state support for the enterprises affected by the pandemic: a decline in proceeds at or above 30% throughout a reference period; at that, the aid was to be provided not only as concerned core activities, but also auxiliary ones pertaining to those on the list of most affected industries the enterprises registered in the Russian National Classifier of Types of Economic Activities. Among the measures proposed by Titov were loans at 2% interest aimed to save jobs, which could be provided to form 60% to 90% of the affected companies.
The Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, in his turn, has earlier noted that an expansion of the list of the sectors of Russia’s economy most affected by the pandemic resulted in provision of support to 1.4 million employees of small and medium-sized businesses.
According to Reshetnikov, the ministry is monitoring the efficiency of the measures and if they are available to individuals and businesses; if banks offer support to those eligible, and if these activities bring the desired results. The monitoring has shown that one of the most pressing issues, which has been frequently under discussion, is the application of the Russian National Classifier of Types of Economic Activities; the fact that small and microbusinesses could use not only their core activities, but also auxiliary ones entered in the Classifier, to obtain aid resulted in a significant increase in the number of the participants of the said programs.
Although the government has already undertaken a range of measures to support the most affected industries, they need to be extended to all small and medium-sized businesses, even if it is clear that such a development will require the amount of the aid to be increased two- or threefold, auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Danil Shilkov has said addressing the State Duma.
Businesses are seriously concerned with the problems they face as concerns the types of activities in the Classifier eligible for state support for the industries most affected by the pandemic seeking help from ministries and agencies on their initiative.
Meanwhile, President of Russia’s OPORA lobby group, which represents the interests of domestic small and medium businesses, Alexander Kalinin is of the opinion that basing on the threshold of provision of aid set at a 30% decline in proceeds from the types of economic activities defined as the most affected ones as per the Classifier only 1.5 million of entrepreneurs from their total number of 6 million will be able to receive the aid.