Vladimir Putin has highlighted the main problems facing small business in Russia. Opening the State Council presidium's meeting in the Kremlin, the Russian president said that the first thing to do is to understand the fact that in Russia there are different kinds of "small businesses". He explained that for 13 per cent of people this is an occupation "that helps them survive and provides them with food and clothing". If the state interferes with these people, Putin emphasised, it is "undermining the social foundations of life". For another group of businessmen, in, for example, the fuel industry, construction, and high technologies, this is a "success niche". The president emphasised that the state must take into account the interests of both groups. Besides, the head of state said, it is necessary "to create an understandable and transparent environment for the development of small businesses". He indicated that they are "most defenseless" in face of local legislation. Putin considers it necessary to analyse the legal and tax framework of small entrepreneurship. He also emphasised that "arbitrary official practices continue across the country as a whole". The head of state called attention to the need to create a system of accreditation of small businesses and give them access to fixed assets. The president pointed out that today these are the "most acute problems" of small business, recognising that their actual number is "much greater".
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