Monday, Oct 21 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'A quarter of the world's timber grows within Siberia’s boundaries'
W.Bruce Lincoln

First glimpse at the ideas to boost the economies of Eastern Siberia and Far East?

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 April 2012

Radical plans to boost the economies of Eastern Siberia and the Far East are emerging in Moscow, say news reports. Tax breaks, softened visa regimes for foreigners, and hefty relocation incentives to move to east of Russia are included in draft legislation which would set up a giant State Corporation covering as many as 16 regions and 60% of the entire country's territory.

Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia, was founded in 1661, and now has 600,000 people. Picture: Irkutsk-350.ru

The new body would be partially exempt from federal laws — including on natural resources and employment, and subordinate only to the president, suggested Kommersant on April 20.

President-elect Vladimr Putin has made the development of these regions a top priority of his new term starting in May but his spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated the final shape of the proposal is still under discussion, emphasising 'no such decision was made'.

If the plans emerge as suggested they would represent a huge economic shift with large political consequences for the included regions, notably an evident loss of power for top local officials. 

The corporation has already gained the nickname of 'Far Eastern Republic', signifying the scale of the proposed changes. 

One expert Rostislav Turovsky, vice president of the Centre of Political Technologies, claimed in The Moscow News that the move represented a 'parallel government' while senior officials were said to privately describe it as a 'state within a state'.

The move could give Putin, as new president, powers over virtually two thirds of the country which would limit the sway of his prime minister Dmirty Medvedev, it was claimed.

'The country will be split into two parts, just like under Ivan the Terrible, with the Zemschina and the Oprichnina. One part will be run by Medvedev, and the other by this state corporation', Turovsky was quoted as saying.

If it goes ahead, the move would exempt Eastern Siberia and the Far East from swathes of red tape in bid to encourage both Russian and foreign investment to speed economic growth across regions including those bordering China.

The new corporation would have powers to distribute mining licenses bypassing state tenders, obligatory elsewhere in the country, it is reported. 

This evidently includes many prominent ore deposits, among them Sukhoi Log, Russia's largest gold deposit.

It would enjoy massive tax breaks and receive shares of other state companies as investment, reported RIA Novosti.

Kommersant indicated its assets may amount to R500 billion rubles ($17 billion) in shares.

The Audit Chamber will be responsible for seeing there is value for money, but other federal or regional bodies will be ring fenced from touching it.

Top officials of the corporation would be hired and fired by the president. 

The move is said to be the brainchild of outgoing Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu. The proposals were submitted to the Energy Ministry, the Natural Resource Ministry, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, it is claimed.

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR71.13USD63.95GBP82.51Other...