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Maya DANILOVA: Our goal is to broadcast the best practices to improve the business climate throughout the republic

In anticipation of the announcement of the national rating of investment attractiveness in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), we have conducted their own ranking of municipalities by this indicator.

Maya DANILOVA, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), spoke about how the pandemic affected the national rating of the investment climate in the republic, what investment projects, including in the field of public-private partnerships, are being implemented today, and about the financing of the project of the bridge over the Lena River. ...

Maya DANILOVA: Our goal is to broadcast the best practices to improve the business climate throughout the republic
Photo: press service of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

- Maya Andreevna, the economy of Yakutia is gradually emerging from the pandemic, and to accelerate its development, the launch of new investment projects is required. Many of them are concentrated in priority development areas (ASEZ), will the ASEZ borders be expanded and what projects are considered as the closest to implementation?

- As we know, today in Yakutia, two territories of advanced socio-economic development have been created and operate, these are the Yakutia ASEZ and the Yuzhnaya Yakutia ASEZ. In the territories of these ASEZs, 40 residents operate, who are provided with sites with utilities and tax preferences. The projects of the TOP "Yakutia" are aimed at the development of local production - this is the production of building materials and equipment in the field of housing and communal services, the greenhouse complex "Sayuri" and the jewelry and cutting cluster. ASEZ "Yuzhnaya Yakutia" is focused on the implementation of investment projects in the mining, processing and other industries.

In 2020, thanks to painstaking and consistent work, resolutions of the government of the Russian Federation were adopted on expanding the boundaries of the Yakutia ASEZ for construction projects of the Zhatayskaya shipyard, a cargo terminal in the village. Nizhny Bestyakh and the project “Creation of a year-round children's camp“ Polar Star ”in Yakutsk. Expanding the boundaries of the TOP will allow our residents to take advantage of all the preferences and speed up the implementation process. When the facilities are put into operation, more than nine hundred jobs will be created in the field of shipbuilding, logistics, education and tourism.

The Yakutia ASEZ has been operating for more than five years, and during this period all conditions have been created for doing business at the ASEZ sites in Central Yakutia. We plan not to stop there and continue to work to expand the boundaries of the ASEZ. There are plans to expand the boundaries of projects:

- development of the timber industry complex in the village of Vitim, Lensky district;
- production of liquefied natural gas in the settlement of Nizhniy Bestyakh, Megino-Kangalassky region;
- construction of a waste transfer station in the city of Yakutsk;
- Creation of a creative cluster "Labor Quarter". 

- Yakutia is the only region of the Far East, included in the Top 20 of the National rating. How do you see the results of 2020, will the pandemic greatly affect the ranking result?

- The pandemic can very unexpectedly affect the results of the 2020 National Ranking, which will be announced in June this year. The year was difficult, tense, but this situation was in all regions. The task of the regional authorities was to respond quickly to the pandemic. Yakutia was among the first subjects of the Russian Federation to adopt an anti-crisis package of measures, which was then supplemented.

- Support for entrepreneurship in 2020 is estimated at 2 billion rubles, including federal measures - 715 million rubles, regional - 1,3 billion rubles. The regional budget also allocated more than 98 million rubles in subsidies, 912 entrepreneurs received support and saved more than 1500 jobs.

Thanks to additional financial support, in 2020, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund issued 391 soft loans for 584 million rubles. Tax breaks were provided to the affected industries.

Despite the negative manifestations of the crisis in 2020, full exemption from taxes for the second quarter and the provision of tax incentives, compared to 2019, the volume of tax revenues from special tax regimes - this is the simplified tax system, patent, UTII and Unified Agricultural Taxation - decreased by only 2% to 3,6 billion rubles, under the simplified taxation system increased by 5% to 2,8 billion rubles.

Federal support measures were significant - for example, more than 2.0 loans worth 800 billion rubles were issued to small and medium-sized businesses under the FOT 1,9 preferential lending program. These funds, while maintaining the number of employees from March 1 of this year. can be written off. In fact, this is a subsidy.

This year, the program continues under the name FOT 3.0 for the least recovered industries - catering, culture, sports, event management and tourism.

In March 2020, a moratorium on inspections was declared, which reduced the number of inspections by 40%. All scheduled inspections of SMEs were terminated, and serious restrictions were introduced for unscheduled inspections until the end of 2020. Unscheduled inspections could be carried out only on exceptional grounds and then, in agreement with the prosecutor's office. The republican control and supervisory authorities canceled 1300 inspections. On exceptional grounds, 1800 inspections were appointed, and in the overwhelming majority these are inspections of the UGSZhN - 1 711.

Thanks to timely measures taken, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is able to strengthen its position in the TOP-20 of the National rating. But we still have to do a lot of work in the field of control and supervision activities, government support measures, telecommunications services, licensing of certain types of activities for significant improvements in the business environment.

 - In 2020, Yakutia for the first time conducted a rating of the investment climate in the municipal districts and urban districts of the Republic. Tell us, which district became the leader of the rating at the end of 2019 and what does the victory in this rating mean? What is it for?

- Yes, last year, for the first time, an assessment of the investment climate of municipal districts and urban districts of the republic was carried out at the end of 2019. Based on the results of the analysis, a rating of the state of the investment climate of municipal districts and urban districts was formulated. The purpose of this rating was to assess the effectiveness of measures taken by local governments to create a favorable investment climate. The survey was conducted among entrepreneurs of the republic.

In general, the leader of the rating was the Tomponsky District. The second position was taken by the Amginsky region. Third - GO "Harvest". Entrepreneurs in the Tompon district highly appreciated the activities of local governments in issuing construction permits and the efficiency of connecting to the power grids, financial support measures, satisfaction with receiving consulting and educational services provided by organizations of the infrastructure for supporting small businesses.

Our goal is not just to rank municipalities, but to unite all levels of government, find the best practices to improve the business climate throughout the republic and broadcast them to other regions.

To achieve these goals, municipalities are developing an Action Plan ("road map") to improve the investment climate of the districts. The implementation of the measures shows that the municipality understands its tasks and effectively interacts with business, providing entrepreneurs with detailed information on support measures guaranteed by the state, analyzing and solving systemic problems in this direction.

But since the rating was held for the first time, not all districts were fully involved in the work. We have to intensify the work on coordinating the activities of local self-government bodies to implement measures to improve the investment climate.

The results of the rating will make it possible to conduct an analysis for timely decision-making by local governments in order to improve the investment climate - this is the most important thing.

 - The Ministry of Economy is the authorized body for the implementation of public-private partnership policy. How many facilities have already been commissioned? What is the advantage of a PPP mechanism over direct financing of projects?

- Currently, 22 projects for the creation and maintenance of 34 social facilities, 22 projects in the housing and utilities sector and 1 project in the transport sector - a bridge over the Lena River in the city of Yakutsk are being implemented in the republic under the mechanism of public-private partnerships and concession agreements.

To date, 23 facilities have been commissioned, 3 places have been created in kindergartens and 081 places in schools.

The advantages of using the mechanism of a concession agreement in the field of housing and communal services are obvious: this is the creation and modernization of communal infrastructure facilities at the expense of investors without investing budget funds, the concessionaire is guaranteed invariability long-term parameters of tariff regulation, tariff regulation rules, receipt of gross proceeds, as well as a concession allows you to preserve objects in state and municipal ownership and provides for the investor's responsibility for the implementation of measures for the creation and reconstruction of the object of the concession agreement, achievement of reliability and energy efficiency indicators of heat supply facilities.

The advantages of using the PPP mechanism in the social sphere for the investor: a stable and long-term business with predetermined conditions and state support, a guarantee of return on investment plus entrepreneurial profit, for the public side this is also an advantageous mechanism: a fixed cost of construction of facilities within the amount determined by the agreement, reduction load on the budget in a three-year cycle due to economies of scale, attracting extra-budgetary funds for the construction of a new state-owned facility, obtaining a public partner of ownership of the facility,The ability to monitor the implementation of the terms of the agreement, including the legally enshrined right of unimpeded access to the object of the agreement and to all documentation, the absence of expenses for current and major repairs.

The main advantage of public-private partnership is still a multiple increase in the number of commissioned facilities within one budget cycle. 

- In December last year, you signed a direct agreement with Sberbank of the Russian Federation to finance the project of a bridge over the Lena River. This was preceded by colossal work. Tell us about the work that led to the signing of this agreement.

At the initiative of the Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), in 2018, activities were resumed to develop feasibility studies for the construction of a bridge over the Lena River in the area of ​​Yakutsk. The federal center was provided with economic feasibility studies, as well as justifications for the effectiveness of the project, developed preliminary transport and financial models for the construction of a bridge over the Lena River. At the beginning of 2019, positive results were obtained at the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. According to the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the socio-economic effects from the implementation of the Project will exceed investments by more than 1,6 times. The State Development Corporation VEB.RF has confirmed the traffic intensity, the coefficient of advantage of the Project implementation using the concession mechanism (10%) and budgetary effects. The analytical center under the Government of Russia classified the bridge project as “life support measures”, and confirmed the effectiveness of the project. The bridge construction project received the support of the President of Russia V.V. Putin.

At the end of 2019, competitive procedures were held to determine the concessionaire for the project, and in February 2020, a concession agreement was concluded between the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Eighth Concession Company, representing the consortium of Rostec State Corporation and VIS Group. In December 2020, we signed a loan agreement with Sberbank of Russia PJSC.

At present, the design documentation for the 1st preparatory stage (removal of engineering infrastructure, construction of temporary roads, berths and construction sites) has been developed in full and is being considered by the Glavgosexpertiza of Russia. The approximate deadline for the issuance of the opinion is May 2021. The 2nd stage of design documentation (Main works) is now in development.

According to the plan, this year it is planned to enter the construction site. 

- The ministry traditionally puts before Agency for attracting investments and supporting exports of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) ambitious tasks to diversify the economy of Yakutia. However, it should be noted that many investment projects aimed at these tasks, including the creation of a timber industry complex and large objects of the tourism industry, are already close to launch and transition to the implementation stage. In your opinion, what new sectors of the economy can be promising in Yakutia and, accordingly, require attracting investors?

Due to the completion of several key investment projects supported by the Agency at once, the Agency was tasked with working out the creation of new secondary processing industries in Yakutia and enhancing the development of the service sector.

It should be noted that the Agency's approach to the formation of cluster strategies in the development of tourism, the gas processing market, liquefied natural gas and gas engine fuel in Yakutia is considered by the Ministry to be extremely promising with further replication in other industries. For example, it can be used to create a unified image of the city of Yakutsk and to define a number of spaces as promising sites for the implementation of investment projects and revitalization of abandoned, ineffectively used spaces within the city.

I would like to note that as part of the implementation of investment projects in South Yakutia, we see great potential and prospects for the creation of new industries, mainly in the railroad gravity zone. We can talk about both the development of new deposits and the processing of minerals for export to the domestic Russian market and for export.


Summing up, I want to note that the pandemic forced us to reconsider many things and overcome new horizons for which there was no incentive before. Due to the pandemic, many sectors of the economy have switched to remote work, this is education, science, trade and services. And for high-quality remote work, digital transformation comes first, both in the public and private sectors, as a result of which we can get a completely different economy, more rational, adequate to the needs of people.

And based on these conditions, given the time of new digital technologies and opportunities, it is important to convey your idea and be able to implement it.

September 27: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
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