|Saturday, 25 July 2009 14:56|
Russian Government Submits Trade Law To State Duma
MOSCOW, July 15 (Itar-Tass) -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a resolution ordering the draft federal law “On the Main Principles of State Regulation of Trade Activities in the Russian Federation” to be submitted to the State Duma.
According to the prime minister’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Stanislav Naumov has been appointed to be an official representative of the government in the State Duma during the consideration of the draft law.
The government has earlier approved the draft law on state regulation of trade.
“It will be corrected today and tomorrow and then submitted to the State Duma within two days,” First Vice Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said.
He said the future law “is consistent with the tasks the prime minister spoke of: a balance of interests was ensured along the line using market regulation mechanisms”.
The law specifies “the period of time during which a payment has to be made for food supplies, imposes a direct ban on the use of unfair practices by trade networks and unacceptable actions, but at the same time it limits control over trade activities and allows entrepreneurs and legal entities to start certain trade activities by simply notifying authorities rather than obtaining their permission”.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, “Our goal is to build balanced and civilised relations along the entire chain from the producer to the store, and bring order to such a sensitive area as food trade.”
“It is necessary to eradicate the practice of discrimination of producers, stop long delays in payment for the products supplied, and put an end to all sorts of charges, or, as market players call them, ‘bonuses’, without which even quality and needed products will have no chance to get to the shelves of big trade chains,” he said.
On the other hand, producers should learn “to meet the highest quality requirements, improve efficiency and reduce costs”, the prime minister said.
To this end, legislation will introduce “directly applicable norms regulating the deadlines for payments for food products and banning discrimination of their producers.”
“It is necessary to step up antimonopoly regulation. I know of the discussions in the government, and if these rules are not cut into the trade law, I think it could be possible for these norms to be included in the law on the protection of competition,” Putin said.
He also believes it necessary to use “self-regulation mechanisms allowing producers and retail networks to jointly work out fair ‘rules of the game’.”
The law will also “clearly regulate the powers of all levels of the government in the field of trade and remove excessive administrative barriers”, he added.
“We have no illusions of course that by adopting this law we will solve all trade problems, but the first step has to be taken,” he said.
Experts said the trade law should protect people from unjustified prise rises.
"This means first of all the protection of agricultural producers and buyers from the arbitrariness of retail chains," Federation Council deputy speaker Svetlana Orlova said earlier.
Deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agro-Industrial Policy Sergei Lisovsky said retail chains were using exorbitantly high mark-ups for domestic products.
Antimonopoly Service deputy head Andrei Tsyganov supported the law. Over 100 cases were opened in 2008 for antimonopoly legislation violations. In 2009, the service has registered "restrictions on the movement of goods and an upsurge of this practice again after a brief pause".
Territorial divisions of the Federal Antimonopoly Service "working like a fire team will respond to such practice immediately".
Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexander Petrikov is convinced that this law can limit "the growth of arbitrary mark-ups and therefore retail prices of food products".
It was decided to set up a working group of Federation Council members, officials from associations of food producers, regions and ministries.
At the beginning of March, First Vice Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said the government would resume debates on the trade law in the summer or autumn of 2009.
He said the Agriculture Ministry had submitted a draft law, but the Industry and Trade Ministry said it was still too raw and suggested setting up a joint working group with the Agriculture Ministry in order to "draft proposals that would satisfy the Industry and Trade Ministry".
"The trade law is needed and will be adopted," Zubkov said. (END/2009)
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