The business community in Russia now has an open ear in government if it wants to question new laws that go against their interests.
The change comes as part of a decree signed by President Dmitry Medvedev that ensures businesses’ right to protest laws that stand in the way of investment and private activities.
A list of such laws has already been drafted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. It will now be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Development, which will revise all relevant documents. After the revisions, the Justice Ministry will oblige lawmakers to abolish or alter the laws in question.
The change is part of Medvedev’s modernization program. Speaking on March 30 to the Modernization Commission, the president stressed that businesses have repeatedly blamed the authorities for throwing sand in Russia’s business machine. The new law is aimed at tackling the unfavorable business climate.
Russian businesses have long been waiting to get involved in the lawmaking process, says Evgeny Kasevin, of the Kifir Finance Investments Market Players Club.
“Russian business experiences many problems on many different fronts which come from different ministers and institutions,” Kasevin told RT. “It is a good idea to make the Ministry of Economic Development and the Justice Ministry accountable to businesses, because they are part of the scene. Through them, businesses will reach bigger institutions.”
Other entrepreneurs say the change is unlikely to really help businesses.
“Although the reform is definitely a step in the right direction, many such laws are based on inconsistent federal legislation, which cannot be altered that easy,” the vice president of the Opora Rossii entrepreneurs union, Vladislav Korochkin, told the Rossiysksya Gazeta newspaper.