Top officials met with the business community on Russian Entrepreneurship Day
The problems and requests of business to the authorities on the Day of Russian Entrepreneurship were discussed at several venues at once. Vladimir Putin's meeting with Delovaya Rossiya was reduced to solving practical issues related to difficulties in supplying goods to the state, developing new markets, and lacking incentives for investment and innovation under conditions of uncertainty. At another meeting, with Opora Rossii, a discussion involving representatives of the Central Bank and the government's financial bloc revolved around the reasons for the stagnation of small businesses and ways out of this situation. Although the authorities at such forums promise to help businesses, the limits of their participation in the coming years will be limited by the budget. In such a situation, the concentration of resources on the projects necessary for the state is inevitable.
On the Day of Russian Entrepreneurship, senior officials met with the business community - the conversation between members of Business Russia and Vladimir Putin became central. The discussion showed that the business problems caused by the sanctions have not gone away - in particular, they talked about the cancellation of deliveries due to the severance of trade relations with partners, about difficulties with logistics and risk insurance. As these problems are solved, new challenges are added that are already associated with the development of new markets. This, for example, is the lack of a friendly infrastructure in such countries and the unwillingness to work with Russian goods.
These inconveniences, entrepreneurs, never tired of talking about the beneficial effects of sanctions due to new opportunities that have opened up, asked to be compensated by regulatory and financial measures. It was, for example, about extending the moratorium on fines for violations of currency control. The President was ready for this, he agreed with the need to extend the moratorium, asking the government "to respond to this in an appropriate way." The chairman of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, who was involved in the discussion, supported the extension of the moratorium. In addition, business has also requested relief for work on government orders - for example, the government is already considering the possibility of replacing delivered goods in the event of force majeure.
The main request of medium-sized entrepreneurs (they are primarily represented by Delovaya Rossiya) is related to an increase in financial support: many companies lack funds and need cheap subsidized loans, including for import substitution and export expansion. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov said that the government had taken an inventory of export support tools and added new measures - it remains to decide on their financing from 2025 (money for these purposes is not provided for in the current budget).
To stimulate the investment activity required from business, it was once again proposed to revive the mechanism of investment tax deductions (it allows companies to reduce the amount of income tax in exchange for investments, and the federal budget partially compensates for the resulting loss of regional revenues). It should be noted that recently the government's economic bloc proposed creating a mechanism for long-term budget credits instead of direct subsidies from the regions. This approach does not suit the Ministry of Finance: the head of the department, Anton Siluanov, warned about the risks of subjects being indebted.
“Our regional debt has already begun to grow, it is not yet critical, but in a number of subjects it is approaching 100% of its own income. And this is already the limit value according to the budget legislation,” he noted.
Economics Minister Maxim Reshetnikov did not share these fears and, in response, referred to the economy's need for additional investment to achieve "technological independence" in the amount of up to 2 trillion rubles. in year. As a result, it was proposed to decide the fate of investment deductions at the government site.
Another not entirely festive discussion took place at the Opora Rossii Council of Regions. Representatives of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Federal Tax Service, the Federal Customs Service and the Parliament spoke with smaller businesses. The absence of the Ministry of Economy in this list of departments, which just sets the direction of state policy in terms of the development of SMEs, looked strange. The discussion of investment mechanisms rather quickly turned into a dispute about the systemic problems of the sector: its participants admitted that, despite the growth in the number of SMEs, their contribution to Russian GDP remains unchanged at 20%. The sector is predominantly micro-enterprises, and the few medium-sized companies rarely grow large enough to leave and become large.
The head of Opora, Alexander Kalinin, proposed raising the thresholds for the number and turnover of SMEs - this will allow a greater number of organizations to apply for state support and adapt to new conditions.
The Ministry of Finance is not ready for such innovations, they note the risks of splitting the business to move into more attractive tax regimes. At the same time, the department does not refuse to discuss the topic - changes are possible for certain types of activities, but, according to Anton Siluanov, who also came to this meeting, it is necessary to understand what the budget will receive from such changes.
It should be noted that it is precisely the possibilities of the current budget deficit that can become a limiter in the implementation of new measures requested by entrepreneurs. In such a situation, the authorities, most likely, will concentrate resources on the projects necessary for the state.