Authorities now take migration problems more seriously
The official statistics is wrong! According to official data, there are 26 million of jobless people in Russia, which means each third able-bodied citizen of the country. Meanwhile, about 12 million of foreigners and people without the RF citizenship are living on the territory of Russia. This is the highest ratio in the world, analysts from the Russian Federation Interior Ministry say.
As for the capital of Russia, Moscow, the situation is even worse. According to official data, the number of foreign workers in Moscow is 83 thousand people, but Interior Ministry analysts say that in fact the showing makes up more than a million of people. On average, every foreigner working in Moscow sent $3 thousand to his family last year. The total damage caused to the Moscow budget through non-payment of taxes for foreign workers is estimated at 3 billion rubles.
170 large markets of Moscow have the annual turnover of 300 billion rubles, but the sum of taxes transferred by the markets to all kinds of budgets hardly makes up half a billion rubles. What is more, analysts of the RF Interior Ministry say that workers from foreign countries (mostly CIS countries) seriously beat down the prices on the labor market. As for construction business in Moscow, legal workers are underpaid 5-6 thousand rubles because they suffer from competition with foreign workers. In general, every illegal migrant working in Moscow causes the damage to the city budget at the rate of 15-18 thousand rubles per month.
The facts were the basis of a closed report submitted to Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov. The report is the first attempt of the authorities to consider the problem of illegal migration in Russia. In March 2003, the government adopted the Concept of migration regulation in the Russian Federation. But judging by the experience of the previous years, the Russian society treated the document as just another tide of populism which might result only in increase of corrupt officials profiting from illegal foreign workers. But within the past months since the Concept adoption, the Interior Ministry has demonstrated that it is going to take the problem very seriously.
In addition to the above mentioned report, the government has been also informed of a range of top-priority measures that may help stabilize the situation in the nearest time. The report of the Interior Ministry mentions the traditional penalties that are applied to illegal migrants and also focuses on the humanitarian aspect of the problem. It means that the ministry must work to stimulate legal migration. It is recommended that an inspection for migration problems must be created in Russia like in majority of civilized countries. It is for the first time that the Moscow legislation draws a clear distinction between illegal migrants from other countries and Russians coming for work from other countries.
According to sources of MK, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov submitted to the Presidential Administration a draft national program for voluntary resettlement of ethnic Russians from former Soviet republics. The most modest estimations say that there are over 10 million of people left to the mercy of fate in CIS countries. If President Vladimir Putin approves of the draft program developed by the Interior Ministry, budgetary financing of the program will start in 2004. Resettlement of Russians from Central Asia, from Turkmenistan first of all, will be the top-priority of the program.