Talia Minullina — about the work of industrial parks: “Is it ok that we criticise ourselves?"

The head of the Investment Development Agency of Tatarstan urged to transfer the industrial sites inefficiently working in districts into private hands

Talia Minullina — about the work of industrial parks: “Is it ok that we criticise ourselves?
Photo: tatarstan.ru

Tatarstan has the largest number of industrial parks — 100, which are only 60 per cent full, and in some areas they do not have a single resident. At the same time, the overwhelming number of investors choose SEZ or PSEDA for their business location not only because of the possibility of receiving federal benefits but also because they have created more comfortable working conditions, the head of the Tatarstan Investment Developemnt Agency noted in the State Council of Tatarstan. How to increase the attractiveness of industrial sites, why private parks work more efficiently than public ones, and whether such a large amount of real estate is needed were discussed at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on economy, investment and entrepreneurship, which was also visited by the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya. Along the way, the deputies “suppressed” a draft bill to ban the sale of alcohol in the residential complex but approved restrictions on sound advertising near residential buildings.

Industrial parks are 60 per cent full

Industrial parks for the economy of Tatarstan are a growth point for attracting businesses to municipal areas: they not only provide jobs, replenish the tax base, but also give the opportunity to launch a business without unnecessary delay, first Deputy Minister of Economy of Tatarstan Rustem Sibgatullin said at the meeting.

The first industrial parks — KIP Master, Khimgrad Technopolis, Agroprompark — appeared in 2007. And since 2014, the paradigm has changed — on behalf of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan, industrial sites have been created in municipal districts. Today, there are 100 industrial parks in the republic with a total area commensurate with the territory of the city of Chistopol. They employ more than 1,500 residents, providing jobs for more than 32,000 people, and out of 100, only 18 objects have state investments, and the rest have their own owners.

“Tatarstan's experience in creating industrial sites in municipal districts has become an example of the practice that formed the basis of the My Business Park direction of the national project 'Small and medium-sized businesses: support for entrepreneurial initiative'," said Sibgatullin.

Not only can the region create a base for the development of small and medium-sized businesses for relatively small state investments, but it is also possible to get very decent funds for construction under the programmes of various departments. For example, under the national project, one can apply for a federal subsidy of 250 million rubles for one industrial park. However, one has to build in a year, and if the object is large one — then in two.

Industrial parks for the economy of Tatarstan are a growth point for attracting business to municipal areas, according to first Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustem Sibgatullin. Photo: tatarstan.ru

Thus has been commissioned three sites this year — in Bogatye Saby, Tyulyachi and three buildings in Khimgrad. They will accommodate 76 residents and create almost 1,200 jobs.

However, Sibgatullin critically noted that the appearance of industrial real estate in each municipal district does not mean that it is automatically filled. Currently, the average site occupancy rate is about 60 per cent, and there is a question of effective management of these facilities. Due to empty areas, not all industrial park management companies are self-sufficient.

So that suburban residents don't overload Kazan

But here is the paradox: with such an abundance of industrial parks, businesses, according to the first deputy minister of economy, are complaining about the limited rental space and can't build something of its own because banks do not lend such investments. But there is a way out.

Sibgatuliin said that a special programme has been launched in Tatarstan for managing companies and residents of industrial parks, who will have the opportunity to get loans for the construction and modernisation of buildings and engineering infrastructure.

The maximum loan amount is 30 million rubles, which will be provided at 5% per annum under the guarantee of the Guarantee Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan. At the moment, 11 applications have already been submitted, and the first loan will be issued this December. According to the deputy minister, the merchants are planning to build modular buildings instead of capital structures.

Besides, Sibgatullin said that on behalf of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan, sites are being selected for the construction of new industrial parks near Kazan. They are going to be located near large residential complexes to avoid commuting and the residents to work where they live, thus relieving public transport and roads to Kazan.

Three sites have been commissioned this year — in Bogatye Saby, Tyulyachi and three buildings in Khimgrad. They will accommodate 76 residents and create almost 1,200 jobs. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

“Who said there should be 100 of them?"

Head of the Investment Development Agency Talia Minullina has another view of the problem. She immediately said: since “the meeting is internal, is it okay that we criticise ourselves?". The head of the agency honestly admitted that the two curators of the direction do not always understand each other. “There are no plans for investment development of industrial parks in the republic, it is unclear how to build economic ties, but residents should be put there, and the agency that I head is responsible for this," she said. Minullina also questioned whether Tatarstan needs 100 industrial parks.

“Tatarstan is the only region of Russia, for a moment, in which there are seven federal zones — two special economic zones and five territories of advanced development and 100 industrial parks — one hundred! In general, there is no such thing anywhere else in our country. First, why are there 100 of them? Who said there should be 100 of them? Because the 100th anniversary of the TASSR? But this is not an economic justification that there should be 100 of them. Why there are 100 of them — no one in the republic can answer this question in any way. It's very bad. Because we don't understand outselves what we are doing," she shared her thoughts.

According to Minullina, the working group of the agency inspected 12 industrial parks and among them, there are those that do not have a single resident. At the same time, 90 per cent of investors who are shown sites for possible placement of their business choose SEZs or PSEDA not only because of the possibility of receiving federal benefits but also because there are comfortable working conditions.

The head of the agency stressed that the analysis allows us to say that private parks work more effectively than public ones, especially when the object is supervised by a large enterprise. For example, the industrial park M7, supervised by Kazanorgsintez, or the industrial site of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

The head of the agency stressed that the analysis allows us to say that private parks work more effectively than public ones, especially when the object is supervised by a large enterprise. Photo: expertrt.ru

According to her, it seems that this proposal is already being implemented. Recently, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov has approved the transfer of 13 state industrial parks under the management of the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan.

“Maybe because the state parks do not have KPIs, motivation, interest, maybe some incentive measures are needed. Maybe because their salary is there any way: there will be a resident, there will be no resident, they will still get their penny… Therefore, the problem requires some system solutions," Minullina stressed.

In particular, the agency proposes: first, to analyse the necessity of keeping all 100 industrial parks, it is better to leave 20, but working efficiently, and second, to develop a strategic investment plan, subject to the availability of current and future residents, third, to consolidate the supervision at the level of large enterprises and to define a single operator, which would coordinate the work of all industrial parks, fourth, the transfer of management to private management companies that do it well is possible, fifth, it is necessary to increase the level of service, providing legal, financial, consulting services, staffing at the local level.

Marat Akhmetov: “If we want to secure people in the districts, such industrial sites are necessary.” Photo: tatarstan.ru

Deputy Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Marat Akhmetov, positively assessing the audit of industrial parks, still objected to Minullina that such sites are needed in municipalities because every day 3,000-5,000 people from one rural district go to work in Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny.

“If we want to keep people in the districts, such industrial sites are necessary. I'm not saying that they need to be more of them, but there should be some structure that would monitor the work of industrial parks on a daily basis," Akhmetov concluded.

Agricultural Park analogues will appear in rural areas

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan Rishat Khabipov noted that a great achievement of the republic is the creation of the Agricultural Park, which has all the conditions for processing and selling agricultural products. And for customers, it has become a popular retail outlet, which is visited by more than 150,000 people every month.

An analogue of the Agricultural Park was created in the Zainsky district, and project documentation is ready for the construction of such facilities in the Sabinsky and Alekseyevsky districts.

Marat Galeyev noted that it is wrong to create only large agricultural parks, we need small sites, as in Europe, where farmers could process and immediately sell their products. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Deputy Marat Galeev warned from being forced to drive residents into industrial parks. He cited the example of the farmers' movement, which also took quite a long time to develop, but is now thriving. “Everything must mature, we must not rush, drive efficiency," he stressed.

The parliamentarian noted that it is wrong to create only large agricultural parks, we need small sites, as in Europe, where farmers could process and immediately sell their products.

The chairperson of the committee, Lutfulla Shafigullin, closing the discussion, noted that if China has enough hotels, roads and the Internet to attract investors, then we need more: prepared infrastructure, good transport logistics, government support, tax incentives, additional services, assistance with personnel, a comfortable environment, etc.

“If the product is competitive, then further success depends on the management company's activities. This is the third component of attracting investors. We need to work in parallel in all directions, then there will be a result," Shafigullin stressed.

Chairperson of the Committee Lutfulla Shafigullin summed up the discussion. Photo: tatarstan.ru

You can sell vodka in the residential complex but you can't make noise

A lively discussion in the committee was also caused by a bill introduced by Deputy Ildar Shamilov on a complete ban on the retail sale of alcoholic beverages in shopping facilities located in apartment buildings.

This issue is causing heated debates within the walls of the parliament for the second convocation. The adherents of the ban appeal to numerous requests from citizens, opponents — to negative economic consequences: reducing tax revenues to the budget, increasing unemployment, closing retail outlets that receive up to half of their income from the sale of alcohol, as well as increasing the number of low-quality and counterfeit products, and as a result, poisoning with surrogates.

Since we are talking about about 2,900 objects of trade, if such decision is made, up to 30,000 people will instantly become unemployed, revenues to the republican budget in 2021 will be reduced by 580 million rubles, in 2022 — by 680 million, in 2023 — by 800 million rubles. It is no coincidence that Shamilov's initiative received negative conclusions from all interested departments, as well as the Office of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

A lively discussion in the committee was also caused by a bill introduced by Deputy Ildar Shamilov on a complete ban on the retail sale of alcoholic beverages in shopping facilities located in apartment buildings. Photo: tatarstan.ru

Only two members of the committee, Alexander Komissarov and Roman Mugerman, supported the draft bill. The owner of the Bakhetle chain, Muslima Latypova, whose six stores are located on the first floors of residential buildings, offered to send it for revision.

But the deputies unanimously supported the initiative of the Duma of Astrakhan Oblast, which establishes a ban on the use of sound advertising near residential buildings. Broadcast through powerful sound amplifiers, although it does not exceed the maximum permissible noise level, it is very annoying for local residents who have to listen to it all day.

By Eleanora Rylova
Tatarstan