The Russian government admits that administrative barriers in the sphere of small business and entrepreneurship have not been removed; the number of such barriers has even increased of late.
Herman Gref, Russia's economic development and trade minister, said this Thursday, after a government's session convened to adjust the medium-term programme of the country's socio-economic development for the 2002-2004 period.
At the session, Herman Gref presented the results of a survey which was conducted by the World Bank recently and covered about 2,000 small businesses. "The results are not at all positive for us: as regards all kinds of inspections, there was no decrease, and in some cases, even an increase in the number of inspectors, inspections and violations of legislation in this sphere," Gref said. The minister pointed out in this connection that the government clearly realised the need for radical measures which would help to "restore the status-quo and put an end to the bureaucratic sway." Herman Gref said that, as a result of adjusting the medium-term socio-economic forecast in keeping with the president's Address to the Federal Assembly, the government proposed amendments to 16 items of the development programme. In particular, amendments are to be made in sections related to the removal of administrative barriers, the administrative reform and the acceleration of social reforms, including the introduction of medical insurance and the improvement of state property management.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969