Boris Titov: ''The state will make the number of hoodwinked investors increase itself''

The business ombudsman: about the consequences of the transition to escrow accounts, the creation of a pledge fund and the problems of self-employed

Boris Titov: ''The state will make the number of hoodwinked investors increase itself'' Photo: Sergey Tuganov

On 13 February, Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov arrived in Kazan for a working visit. One of the goals of his trip was a meeting with entrepreneurs of the republic. During a coffee meeting with businessmen, Titov talked not only with entrepreneurs, but also with journalists. Realnoe Vremya publishes the full text of the conversation.

''The largest number of jail sentences in the country — for deceiving equity-shared investors''

I am approached by a lot of developers who have hoodwinked investors. Some of them do it from jail. Because the largest number of jail sentences in our country — for deceiving equity-shared investors. Maybe some of the development and construction companies tendered too much, but they sincerely believed that all apartments would be given to investors and wanted to earn honest money. The question is that the construction permit takes not several months, but several years. There are a lot of problems with the infrastructure connection, its acceptance. I had a case when completely move-in ready houses in Moscow Oblast were demanded a bribe for connection to infrastructure. The houses were not connected for six months, and people could not move in. In this situation, not only business is to blame, the government also makes a serious contribution. But they put all blame on businesses.

We still have a task to increase the volume of construction, to bring it to 120 million square metres. But there are serious concerns that this task is unrealizable because mortgage is growing. As a result, the cost of apartments increases. It is necessary to work with demand, to subsidize the mortgage rate. According to our calculations — by 5%. This requires about 170 billion rubles. In this scenario, the volume of construction increases twofold. We will just reach the figure of 120 million.

''We still have a task to increase the volume of construction, to bring it to 120 million square metres. But there are serious concerns that this task is unrealizable because mortgage is growing. As a result, the cost of apartments increases.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Departure from shared-equity housing construction — a huge number of developers won't be able to cope

Another problem — developers are switching to escrow accounts, as a result of which the price of apartments will grow. Now those who have completed 70% of the construction work, who have a lot of shared-equity investors, are invited to stay on using the old system of shared-equity construction, and all the rest to switch to escrow accounts from July 1. But as a result, we will see that the conditions for receiving a loan, the cost of a loan for the developer will change. Escrow accounts will increase the cost of credit resources by 7-10%. With such conditions, a huge number of developers will not be able to cope. That is, the government will make the number of hoodwinked investors increase itself.

Again, we should get out of the situation not only at the expense of businesses, but also seek resources from the state.

About establishment of a bail fund for arrested businessmen

There are a number of entrepreneurs who have confirmed their participation, including with financial resources, in the creation of such fund. The only question is that very few judges apply this pre-trial restriction. For example, in the case of Dmitry Kostygin (the beneficiary of Ulmart) they applied 20 million rubles of bail. But he is an established entrepreneur, he could do everything without us. Moreover, he is now involved in our programmes and is even ready to help us. But such cases are very few. Therefore, today we are working with the state, with the Plenum of the Supreme court, explaining to the judges that bail should be applied in the first place.

''In the case of Dmitry Kostygin, they used 20 million rubles of bail. But he is an accomplished entrepreneur, he could do everything without us. Moreover, he is now being involved in our programmes and is even ready to help us. But there are very few such precedents.'' Photo: Sergey Konkov (dp.ru)

Moscow has most number of self-employed

As far as I know, about 3,000 self-employed people are registered in Tatarstan. In general, Moscow is still the leader in Russia. We think that the figures are quite convincing now. At least, it cannot be compared with the previous ''law on governesses''.

The programme is working with difficulties so far, it is tedious to use it. Registration is still okay, but then one needs to enter each operation, almost manually. Few can do this, and not everyone can make it. There's a lot to do here.

Moreover, it is important to understand what incentives people have to get out of the shadow economy. In the shadow economy, the access to financial resources is limited. There are only two options: relatives or friends or consumer loans. This is a very expensive financial cost. Therefore, there is an incentive to come out of the shadows. Today we are meeting at a board session of the ministry of economy, in which the president of Tatarstan participates. There we will advise on how to find ways through special development institutions to give access to financial resources for self-employed.

About the London list

It includes only three people. They do not go for personal reasons, but intend to. We are working on this list with law enforcement agencies. For a certain number of people there is another order of the president of the Russian Federation.

''As the commissioner for entrepreneurs' rights, I understand that young businessmen are a target. Not to give our werewolves to make money here, of course, we should protect them.'' Photo: Sergey Tuganov

''We are still quite weak in the republic''

We are running for governors, we hope to get one place in the State Duma. We are going to form positions to the State Council in Tatarstan. But we are still quite weak in the republic, other parties are strong here. In addition, the economic situation here is better than in other regions. After all, we are an economic party and we know how to make the economy grow. In Tatarstan, the need for this is less than in other regions. But still, I hope that we can have representation in the State Council.

''The younger generation probably does not even know the word 'offshore''

We meet with young entrepreneurs because in many ways we learn from them. The younger generation probably does not even know the word 'offshore', do not know how to avoid paying taxes. Now they go through many schools even before they start doing business. They know how to work on the Internet, what marketing, company management are. Therefore, it is an interesting communication for us. On the other hand, as the commissioner for entrepreneurs' rights, I understand that young businessmen are a target. Not to give our werewolves to make money here as well, of course, we should protect them. The state cannot disappoint the younger generation of entrepreneurs.

By Alina Gubaydullina
Tatarstan

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