By Svetlana Andreyeva
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the 2013-2015 budget statement which emphasizes the need to ensure openness of the budget for the society, setting up a Russian financial agency and working out measures that should provide adaptation for Russia’s joining the World Trade Organization.
“We must use the advantage of opening markets to promote goods of local producers, and at the same time, we must minimize possible risks to our business linked to joining the WTO. We have long handled this issue, and our experts have held negotiations for almost 17 years to join the WTO. We have done our best to get the maximum benefit out of this. Nevertheless, fears expressed by businessmen and officials of the real sector of the economy have been justified, and we must think over this situation. In view of this, I believe that there is a need to provide the necessary measures in the three-year budget that will help our economy to adapt to the conditions of joining the WTO,” Vladimir Putin said.
The President also emphasized that the toughening fight for investment demands that Russia be a competitive country in all aspects, especially concerning investment environment.
“The quality of investment environment depends on our economic policy and our actions in the budget area as well as stability and fairness of the country’s tax system, which not only fulfills a fiscal function but also helps to diversify the economy and stimulate business activity. By taking into account our dependence on raw material export, I believe that it will be correct not to increase the tax burden on the raw-material sector and leave the existing level unchanged. It will be a short-sighted move to put an additional burden on this sector, and it’s irrational and dangerous, the President added.
Vladimir Putin also insisted on the need for controlling the government’s capital investment which should not substitute or supersede private investment.