Governor Sumin calls for action plan

Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin took part in the recent Greater Urals Interregional Association for Economic Cooperation’s meeting in Yekaterinburg.

In his speech, the Governor gave his vision of how the Association could help overcome the recession as quickly as possible, reminding the listeners of its success in the early nineties when Russia was fighting another crisis. Sumin said the Ural regions needed an action plan aimed at a fast and painless economic recovery through the banking sector development and tax relief for businesses willing to invest in upgrades and energy-saving know-hows.

The executive also suggested passing a federal bill that would make the owners of unprofitable enterprises personally responsible for their companies’ failures. He mentioned Zlatoust metallurgical works, the business deserted by its proprietor and only saved by the state authorities, who managed to have the wage arrears paid off and to get the plant working again.

Next, Sumin spoke about the need for more economic diversification in the Urals. Chelyabinsk Region, for one, raised its SMEs’ share of the GDP to over 26%.

‘This proves that even an economically homogeneous region can turn into an economically diverse one,’ he added.

Then, the Governor announced that 150 investment projects were launched or developed in his region in 2009, regardless of the crisis; however, these projects did need more state support, especially in terms of long-term loans and guarantees.

Finally, Petr Sumin mentioned the irregularities of tax refund procedures. Chelyabinsk Region, for instance, reimbursed over 10 billion RUR to local enterprises in the first half of 2009. Sumin declared these procedures had to be done much more carefully and following a detailed accounting audit. The spokesperson for the Governor reports most of the Greater Urals Governors agreed with him on this point.


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