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15 Jul, 2008 07:27

Small business keen on less administrative burden

Prime minister Vladimir Putin has called for the state to reduce administrative barriers for small and medium sized firms. He also called for a cut in the price charged for connecting enterprises to the power network and for a review of all by-laws affect

Vladimir Ismailov is the chief financial officer of a mid-sized company specializing in transport packaging. It’s been operating for 15 years but he says he's still waiting for the time when Russia's legal, infrastructure and tax systems pay as much attention to the needs of small and mid-sized businesses, as they do to those of large corporations. Among the worst, he says, are the endless audits.

Every audit takes a lot of resources. It's man power, its hours of preparing documents, reviewing them. Compared to large companies that have more manpower and expertise, for medium and small business it's challenging.

According to prime minister Vladimir Putin, different agencies hold around 20 million audits of enterprises annually, spending about seven billion dollars, which he says must change.

The planned audits should be held not more than once in three years, and mainly through the provision of documents without visits to the enterprise. As for extraordinary audits, they may be held only in cases there's a potential threat or real jeopardy to people's lives or the environment.

But small and mid-sized businesses are encouraged by the new trend to ease their lives.

I think the mentioning of the effort to make a more favourable climate for small and mid-sized business has taken place in the past. I'm glad to see that President Medvedev is keen on making this one of the key aspects of his economic policy. I think it's a good timing as well, for national economy, to focus on this sector.

Vladimir says although it's much easier for big corporations to survive in Russia's economy, his company doesn't have any plans to become a conglomerate.