Putin is no authority for bureaucrats

Everywhere, everybody unites: politicians create blocks and parties, and businessmen create business clubs. Russian society supported this tendency and replied with the Civil Forum. While Small-scale business united this autumn in an organization called the Union of Business Organizations of Russia (in Russian “OPORa”, which means “support,” though whose support, that is the question).

Now, in Moscow, the new organization’s forum takes place. The day before, the prime-minister talked to the owners of restaurants, hairdressing saloons, and other small enterprises, while today, the president decided to pay attention to small-scale business’s troubles, the main one of which is high taxes. In addition, the businessmen will ask the president to protect them from all possible controlling bodies.

It is really interesting. For so many years, the power structure was practically annihilating small-scale business, though it has survived.

Well-known Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovski dreamed about extirpating bureaucratism. Today’s continuer of his ideas, German Gref, head of the Russian Ministry of Economical Development, tries to simplify the citizen’s contact with functionaries, while he is acting in the channel of state policy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supposes the state should gradually limit its superfluous meddling in business.

Therefore, what practice is suggested? Foreign experience in this field confirms the superfluous state control of private business to be negative. For instance, in the Netherlands, licensed kinds of activities have been reduced from 80 to 8; while in Japan, from 5,000 to 120. However, this reduction cannot be carried out so quickly. Especially taking into account that the question is about Russia. According to the recent federal law “About Licensing Some Kinds of Activities," different bread productions need not to be licensed. This law comes into effect only next February. Therefore, in the Kaluga and Kursk regions, actions were brought against bakery owners. The same facts were reported by Bakery Guild of Chuvashia and by businessmen of Stavropol region.

Licensing can not improve bread quality and increase its quantity, which would need much time and money: to visit several offices, to draw up about 20 documents, and to spend on average 17 thousand rubles. Therefore, the prime cost of a bread loaf would increase by 3 percent.

Who is the winner? Only the functionary threatening with fines and criminal cases.

“License” means a permission, but at the same time, permissiveness, so this last significance seems to be more suitable for Russian regions. It is, however, interesting that nothing of the kind takes place in Moscow.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/05/34551.html