Small business plays key role in streamlining economic structure - Mikhail Kasyanov

Small business plays the key role in streamlining the structure of the economy; "big economy" does begin with small business, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said at a Russian government session.

He pointed out that 13 million of this country's citizens are employed in small business at present (17 percent of all the people employed). They account for up to 20 percent of the country's GDP, he added.

"Small business means jobs, and a diversification of the economy, and the formation and consolidation of the middle class in Russia, that is, an improvement of this country's social and political stability," Kasyanov said.

Small business has enjoyed privileged taxation since the beginning of 2003, and a three-year moratorium has been imposed on the regular inspections of such companies.

However, in the premier's opinion, administrative barriers are still high, and there is no clear procedure in place for their access to production infrastructure, including first of all energy and transportation. Credit resources are not easily available either.

He pointed out that the majority of innovations in the world are introduced by small companies, meaning they are the driving force of scientific and technological progress there.

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