Russian investment protection bill to attract $535b

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PSKOV: The bill on protection and promotion of investment that has passed the State Duma’s (lower house) first reading, can attract about 33 trillion rubles ($535 bln), State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Saturday, adding that the document would be considered in the second reading only after consultations with experts.

 

“We are currently discussing a very important bill (‘On protection of investments and promotion of investment activity’ – TASS). Business representatives are waiting for it. Hopefully tens of trillions of rubles will be attracted through that instrument. <…> According to Russia’s Finance Ministry, the issue is about 33 trillion rubles. The bill on protection and promotion of investment needs refining,” he said, adding that “the second reading will only be held after consultations with representatives of the expert community.”

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the government and lawmakers to speed up the adoption of a package of draft laws on protection and promotion of investments. He noted that the tax conditions for large significant projects should be unchanged for up to 20 years, while the requirements and standards for construction of production facilities should be set for three years.

 

The State Duma adopted the bill on protection and promotion of investments in the first reading on December 10, 2019. The bill provides for two investment regimes: general and project. The general investment regime implies a three-year postponement for enactment of any norms that worsen the terms of investment activities in the country.

 

The project regime is focused on large investment projects and guarantees stable tax conditions (on income tax, property tax, transport and land taxes, terms of payment, and the VAT refund procedure) for a period of 6 to 20 years.

 

The project regime has an access threshold. For example, the minimum amount of own investments is set at 250 mln rubles ($4 mln) for healthcare, education, culture and sports projects with a total budget of at least 1 billion rubles ($16 bln).

 

For projects in industrial sector, agriculture and the digital economy, the minimum amount of own investments is 1.5 bln rubles ($24.4 mln) (if the total budget is at least 7 bln rubles, or $113 mln). For projects in other sectors of the economy, it is at least 5 bln rubles ($ 81 mln) (with a total budget of 25 bln rubles, or $406 mln).

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