Minnikhanov to businesses: 'Everyone should get support — not even money, but so that there is no hindrance'
The president of Tatarstan has discussed pressing business problems with entrepreneurs of Naberezhnye Chelny
Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov met with entrepreneurs of Naberezhnye Chelny and answered many problematic questions on business preservation in the conditions of anti-Covid-19 restrictions. The conversation lasted for an hour and a half on the territory of the Master KIP. Already during the meeting, the head of the republic gave several instructions to ministries and departments, stressing that it is necessary to work with SMEs with trust, and not complicate their work and not make impossible promises. For example, Minnikhanov asked the head of the Investment Development Agency of the Republic of Tatarstan, Talia Minullina, to cancel the decree that makes it difficult to register land plots for industrial parks, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the republic instructed to provide small businesses with the necessary industrial oxygen for production. About these and other problems of SMEs — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
Businesses need oxygen
During the two pandemic years, the business community has to overcome many obstacles that do not pass without a trace, Rustam Minnikhanov said, opening the meeting with the businesses of Naberezhnye Chelny:
“When making any decision, we proceed from that we do less harm to businesses, but so far it is taking its toll. But there are some types of businesses that moved up seriously on this.”
As an example, he cited e-commerce and food delivery companies, stressing that “if not for the pandemic, I think e-commerce would never have had such results”.
Sergey Mayorov, the head of the machine-building cluster, was the first to tell about the problems of the businessmen in Naberezhnye Chelny. Sergey Mayorov said that the increase in the incidence of coronavirus and the high demand for oxygen in Covid-19 hospitals provoked a shortage of industrial oxygen. This is the first time businesses have faced such a problem in many years. As a result, productivity decreases, enterprises are forced to reduce staff, since revenue has already decreased by a third.
In its production cycle, this gas is used daily by more than 100 enterprises of Naberezhnye Chelny — about 150 tonnes are needed for all of them a month. As a way out of the situation, Mayorov suggested that the republic join the federal programme, under which subsidies for the purchase of equipment for the production of medical oxygen are issued from November 1. However, the Tatarstan Ministry of Healthcare reported that Tatarstan was not included in this programme, since it is aimed at the regions where there is a constant shortage of this resource. Nevertheless, answering the president's question, the ministry is ready to “prepare an appeal for your signature to the federal centre and work out the issue of inclusion in the federal programme”.
Albert Karimov, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, was appointed n charge of solving the problem. Rustam Minnikhanov instructed him to find a reserve for small businesses:
“Find a limit for industrial enterprises, increase the limit. There is no need to teach you here. 150 tonnes a month — what is it? 3-4 tonnes a day is nothing. We need to find businesses to work. Or arrange with major manufacturers to expand their capacities — they will do it faster. Fifteen days will pass, this issue will go away, we see throughout the country that stabilisation is underway. But there is the problem, and we must be ready for the future.”
Entrepreneurs immediately asked for the creation of a platform for the rapid processing of applications for state support measures. Today, some of the documents are still submitted on paper, so Kazan businesses are in a better position, since it is physically closer to state agencies — those who apply faster are lucky. Although the Ministry of Finance announced its product for business “My Subsidies”, it does not have all the support measures, the public representative of the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mikhail Kuznetsov, complained. The head of the republic called on the representative of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Tatarstan to account:
“We should be ashamed that we cannot complete this work. Therefore, decide what is needed for this. We have already passed through the 'personal homestead', I think this platform can be used for others. How much time do you need for this?"
According to Deputy Minister Albert Yakovlev, the platform is already operating and there are 19 support measures in it, the My Subsidies application has been downloaded 4,500 times. With its help, more than 54,000 applications have been considered, state support was provided for 300 million rubles. The speaker said that by the end of the year the application will be supplemented with 36 services, noting that the most expected are measures from the Entrepreneurs Support Fund and microloans.
Rustam Minnikhanov instructed the Ministry of Digitalisation, together with the Ministry of Economy of the republic, to organise training for entrepreneurs to work with this platform to immediately find out what the application lacks and how convenient it is:
“It [the application] would remove the bureaucracy, corruption component. We can see from the village that it works.”
If this problem can be solved promptly, then federal forces and State Duma deputies will have to be involved in the issue of extending the term of granting microloans for SMEs. Previously, a loan with a low rate was given for 3 years, now the terms have been reduced to 2 years.
The business community appealed to the president with a request to help make the term of microloans five years.
“Changing the rules of the game is not very nice, but at this time, not for 2 years, maybe for 4 years, on the contrary, it should be done — 10 even better. The question is very correct. We are ready to appeal to the government, but I think we need to at least return the horison that we had," said Rustam Minnikhanov.
“I am ready to fight for this cause”
Another difficult issue, the solution of which is beyond the power of local authorities, is the reduction of insurance premiums for residents of PSEDAs. After three years of work, residents are deprived of preferential 7,6% of insurance premiums and, as Anatoly Golovchak-Freize, the director of one of the resident firms that manufactures parts for Haier, noted, “interest in working is lost”. According to him, this benefit is one of the main ones, especially at the initial stage of the project.
The head of the republic agreed that the grace period is really too short, and he intends to defend the interests of PSEDA residents at the federal level.
“Let's work with the Ministry of Economic Development. I'm aware of this topic. I solve this issue from different doors and in different ways — both through the president and through the prime minister. It is necessary to show in detail what PSEDA is, what it gives, and what will happen if we do not find support measures. Probably no one will give us directly. But when certain parameters are reached — investments, jobs, I think this topic can be raised again. I am ready to fight for this cause. The topic is very necessary — we see how today PSEDA is a serious tool for attracting investments.”
The importance of these territories was also highlighted by Mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny Nail Magdeev. According to him, today there are almost 40 residents in the PSEDA of Naberezhnye Chelny, where 6,2 thousand citizens work, and the volume of investments over 5 years amounted to 21 billion rubles.
They also discussed other problems. Entrepreneurs have made claims against the regional operator Grinta — the bills come regularly, but the garbage remains untouched, director of the early swimming centre for children Veronika Krasilnikova complained. Besides, the charges exceeded the standards, and Rospotrebnadzor issued fines for the garbage that was not taken out in time.
The discussion of the “garbage” problem took almost 20 minutes. The Ministry of Construction of Tatarstan and the head of the republican UFAS, Airat Shafigullin, also joined the matter. As a result, Rustam Minnikhanov instructed the antimonopoly authorities and the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Tatarstan to resolve the issue taking into account the interests of businesses. The problem is relevant not only for the automotive city, which is why it caused such a heated discussion. According to Business Ombudsman Farid Abdulganiev, out of 2,5 thousand appeals of entrepreneurs to the hotline, every tenth is associated with a charge for MSW removal.
“Who are we protecting? An entrepreneur," the president addressed. “Okay, we'll figure it out. There is a topic, we need to develop it. Let the lawyers take a look and everyone else.”
“If we don't trust each other, nothing will work out”
On the spot, they resolved the issue with the complex procedure of transferring land plots to residents of industrial parks. It takes almost 2 months for enterprises to register a plot of land — to go through the bidding procedure and consideration at the investment council with the participation of the president. Previously, everything was simpler, Ruslan Mustafin, a businessman from Naberezhnye Chelny, resident of Razvitie industrial park, drew attention to the problem.
As the head of the Investment Developemnt Agency of Tatarstan, Talia Minullina, explained, such measures had to be introduced by her department due to the bad faith of some entrepreneurs who transferred the plot to sub-lease to third parties. To which Rustam Minnikhanov retorted:
“Will we consider each resident? Do we have nothing else to do? There are also unscrupulous among us, are we better? We have to trust them. If a management company violates, then it must be decided with it. We have 100 sites. There is no need for this, it is not necessary. If there are violations, it's okay. The prosecutor's office is there, then it will figure it out, they also need work. We cannot make filters so that the law enforcement system remains without work. Let's not complicate things. Moreover, we want to move on. You bring me a paper, I sign it for you. I trust you. If you let me down, I'll either give you a promotion or fire you. There are always risks. In general, the resolution should be cancelled, and that's it, forget about it. Talia, you're doing great, but we're big players, if we don't trust each other, we won't succeed. It's just that the price of a bribe will rise.”
Intercity carriers were also looking for the involvement of the pesident of Tatarstan in their troubles. They expressed their indignation against illegal competitors who work without a license, endangering the lives of passengers. According to the traffic police, in 10 months 135 accidents occurred with their participation, where 217 people were injured and 9 died. In response, the head of the republic proposed to organise a service following the example of the Eco-Patrol project, so that the residents of the republic themselves would report illegal transportation. The republican traffic police is already preparing a proposal for a draft bill on licensing passenger transportation and if it is about five or more passengers. The president approved the idea.
Concluding the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov noted:
“Probably it is more useful for us than for you. You are in the thick of things and bring forward the most pressing issues for discussion. Every time I meet with you, we find some solutions. In any case, 7,6 percent on insurance premiums is probably a bit complicated, but the rest of the issues are not so complicated. They can be solved. It is a challenging time. Large, medium, small businesses, personal farmsteads — everyone should receive support — not even in money, but so that there are no delays, hindrance.”