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  Thursday, February 2, 2023
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German Gref accuses State Duma deputies of lobbying major companies' interests
Russia's economic development and trade minister accuses State Duma deputies of lobbying major companies' interests. The minister voiced his accusations at the Conference for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses held in Krasnodar (in southern Russia). German Gref told the conference participants how difficult it was for the ministry to push its draft laws through the Duma. He mentioned, in particular, the draft law for abolishing the licensing of certain types of activities: should the draft law be passed, the number of the licensed types of activities is to be reduced by half. The proposal to abolish the licensing of the building activities met with the strongest objections on the part of the deputies. The minister stressed that less than 1% of the licenses were revoked today in this sphere. This means that this instrument does not work in actual fact. Instead, there are eight other mechanisms for controlling the building activities. German Gref was surprised that the deputies were against his ministry's amendment to the draft law on state purchases. The ministry proposes that 10-15% of all state purchases should be first given to small business. "Obviously, there are some other interests behind this resistance," German Gref concluded. "I voice my complaints publicly for the first time, but next time I will voice them with names and surnames," the minister stressed. German Gref also pointed out that the deputies made hundreds, even thousands of amendments to the draft laws concerning the interests of business. He even joked: "The Patriarch brings the draft laws 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' and 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' to the Duma and the deputies propose 2,000 amendments to them." "We have a similar situation there now," German Gref said in conclusion.
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