MOSCOW, April 16 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov proposed to change the current aid eligibility criteria for small and medium-sized businesses (SME) affected by the coronavirus pandemic based on the sphere of economic activities they are engaged in, when addressing an online meeting of regional business ombudsmen.

According to Titov, the current requirements contain a number of formalities and invalidate the scale of potential state aid.

Many problems, the business ombudsman believes, arise because the list of economic activities defined as those most affected by the pandemic is compiled too formalistically; therefore certain businesses engaged in activities similar, but not precisely the same as those on the list, are refused aid.

Titov proposes the respective criteria need to be changed to the effect that all enterprises, irrespective of their activities, are to be defined as affected in case their proceeds fell not less than 30% in comparison with the figures registered over the same period of the preceding year. The second requirement is to be that businesses keep not less than 90% of jobs; the Business Rights Commissioner is sure these proposals, if implemented, will manifold raise the efficiency of state support.