State companies are obliged to increase purchase rate of the small business

In December 2013 the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev has enacted the list of decision documents for Russian representatives in the Board of Directors of companies with state participation and which procurement activities fall within the scope of the federal law regulating the state procurement. The approved rules were developed by the Ministry of Economy and Development and extend on all individuals, including state officials and international experts promoting interests of the state in Supervisory Boards of Open Joint-Stock companies with state share of more than 50%.

In accordance with passed amendments, members of Supervisory Boards of state corporations-customers are now obliged not only to outsource the representatives of small and medium businesses for the purchase audit but also to be promotive of their efficient participation in tenders. First of all, customers should return the charge to procurement participants of small and medium businesses for tender security for the period of no more than one week. Secondly, they should sign a contract with the winner of the tender during 20 days. And thirdly, they should pay for contactor’s work within 10 days from the date of signing of all the necessary documents. Besides, the representatives of the small and medium business will be entitled the right to choose between bank guarantee and cash security for the charge payment for tender security.

However, both representatives of state corporations and of the small business are not pleased with current developments. According to experts, the main problem for the moment is non-transparency of the state contracts. Thus, as for calculations of the experts of the National Association of Purchasing Institutes, out of more than 200 tenders with a total cost of 0.5 trillion rubles, a minority may be considered fully transparent. In most of cases the difference between the state contract maximal price and “competitive” offering is less than 1%. Experts see the reason to this in orientation of the tender documentation for the specific supplier. At the same time, 57% of state contacts are concluded with the singular supplier.

The main goal of the proposed developments is to increase the purchase rate that is accounted for by the representatives of the small and medium business. The Prime Minister states that for the moment the specific weight of the small and medium businesses in these purchases amounts to 10%. That doesn’t show its role in country’s economy. In accordance with the orienting points containing in the «roadmap», by 2018 its share in the purchasing structure must be amounted to minimum 25% and direct purchasing share (without any middlemen) must increase from 2 to 10%. According to Dmitry Medvedev, corresponding measures allow to make the purchasing system of the largest companies more transparent.

Federal loan guarantees for small business owners were given the green light

It is no surprise that small and medium-sized business in industrially developed countries plays a key role in the contribution to the development of the GDP (gross domestic product). The establishment of this form of business activity historically began in Russia relatively recently and, generally speaking, the management of our country didn’t pay close attention to this question. The situation has begun changing recently for the better, they recognize in the governmental authorities that small economy and private initiative must play increasingly greater role.

Even today the government has granted two-years tax holidays for organizations of high-technology sector; it was expanded the range of entrepreneurs who can buy back leased premises into the ownership; at a regional level it was established the guarantee fund for credit arrangements, that mainly helped many companies survive during the financial crisis in 2008.

On the other hand it must be admitted, that the final consensus for small business promotion is not reached between different governmental blocks. It was admitted by the Minister of Finance Alexey Ulyukaev in the Gaidar Forum hold in the middle of January: according to his words, the legislative amendments passed the year before, which caused the increase of social transfers for the business, led to the closure of more than 500 000 small enterprises. As the result it was got a doubtful economic effect by problems apparent for all.

Increase of tax burden or business promotion – this is the key task, which has to be completed in the coming years.

According to words of the Chairman of the Government of the RF Dmitry Medvedev visited the Gaidar Forum, the Cabinet has been already instructed to expand the successful regional experience and create the Federal guarantee fund for credit arrangements for small and medium-sized enterprises, which resources will act not only as a guarantee towards third party creditors, but also be used on a repayable basis for companies themselves.

In view of the fact that the oil and gas sector doesn’t ensure high economic growth rates yet, such initiative looks fully justified. The idea of the Fund by itself must finally lead to that money will work for the economy, in contrast with the «hoard for a rainy day» - the Reserve Fund.

In the Forum, on top of everything else, it was heard an idea to grant tax holidays not only for entrepreneurs of high-technology sector, but also for other small companies. The business has to reach break-even point, before making returns to the treasury – this practice is widely used in the world. Such brave suggestion, in view of the recent increase of social transfers, most probably won’t be understood by the ministers, but for carrying out of so called economic diversification, which has been talking about for many years, it will be necessary to renew this subject some day or other.