ANDREY TSYGANOV: OUR JOINT EFFORTS TOWARDS DEVELOPING COMPETITION WILL ENABLE IMPORTANT SOCIAL RESULTS
Deputy Head of FAS had a meeting with the Government of Khakassia
On 2 July 2018, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov took part in a Coordination Council on economic development of the Khakassia Republic and had a working meeting with the Head of Khakassia, Victor Zimin, onimplementing the National Competition Development Plan and the Orders of the President of Russia issued following the State Council. FAS and Khakassia Government also Government signed an Agreement on Cooperation.
“In the past six months the President of Russiagave serious consideration to competition development twice: a Presidential Order1 was issued on priority measures towards developing competition in Russia – a most important document that specifies the main goal and objectives facing all of us. Not only FAS should develop and support competition, it is an objective for all authorities. Because competition is a constitutional value”, started his speech Deputy Head of FAS.
The second important event for competition development was the State Council of the Russian Federation, following which specifics instructions were given to Governors, Heads of political parties and factions in the State Duma.
“The task is not only to pointedly work on competition development at the national level the federal ministries and department. These ideas, the main operation indicators should sprout to the regional and municipal levels of administration. The point is that the main competition development indicators should be devised in each subject of the Russian Federation by the leading sectors of the economy”, continued the speaker.
To motivate the authorities and local self-government bodies and further evaluate their performance, the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Economic Development are ordered to include competition development targets and execution of the Road Maps for competition support of the KPIs of Governors.
Andrey Tsyganov emphasized that although FAS is assigned as the key body and the main executor of the National Competition Development Plan, it does not mean that FAS will control every regions in Russia for “putting commas correctly and hitting the target percentage”.
“Our main job is to cooperate exactly within the framework and on the grounds of the Agreement on Cooperation. I.e., behave as equal partners. I wish very much that the regions of Russia, the people that work at the Khakassia Government and municipalities see that FAS are their partners, team-mates “in a common cause”.
Andrey Tsyganov also discussed monitoring of Action Plans for developing competition in regions that will be pursued jointly by FAS regional Offices and regional economic regulators. An integrated information system for monitoring and the best practices exchange will be created.
“Regions have very varied and diverse experience: eliminating administrative barriers, new interesting methods of attracting Russian and foreign investors to the key markets. In our opinion, it is very important to expand the scope of information that can be obtained by market participants, regional authorities and entities that provide methodological support to these measures”, emphasized Deputy Head of FAS.
Andrey Tsyganov outlined the key issues inevitably facing the task of competition development: state monopolism trends, competition restrictions by actions and decisions of the authorities and local self-government bodies, the so-called regional protectionism, tariff discrimination and cartelization of the economy. He listed measures employed by the Antimonopoly Service to counter them.
FAS controls not only violations of the antimonopoly law by economic entities by also the authorities, local self-government bodies and their officials. The number of such violations is reducing year-on-year but the figure is still several thousands.
According to Deputy Head of FAS, only 1.2% of such violations are committed by federal bodies and their officials. The remaining 98.8% are actions of municipalities and regional authorities.
“For several years FAS has been collecting and summarizing the best and the worst practices of the regions, local self-government bodies and compiling the so-called Black and White Books that are published on FAS web-site to know who works and how”, commented Andrey Tsyganov.
To prevent antimonopoly violations, FAS has drafted guidelines on implementing antimonopoly compliance at all levels of the authorities.
“It is a system of inner procedures that prevent antimonopoly violations. It includes staff training so that officials, especially those making decisions on public procurement and money allocation, particular state support or prohibitions or restricting actions with regard to market players do not commit antimonopoly violations. They should know the substance of norms and prohibitions and behave accordingly”, explained Andrey Tsyganov.
To avoid tariff discrimination, FAS is gradually shifting to benchmark tariffs.
“Step-by-step, we are undertaking measures that will inevitably level the conditions of doing business across the entire Russia, or at least, at in most part”, statedDeputy Head of FAS.
“We very much hope that the measures to be taken in the future in pursuance of Presidential orders and the decisions of the State Council will allow achieving significant social-and-economic results, increase consumer satisfaction, expand the range and quality of goods, ensure acceptable prices for the goods, enhance economic efficiency due to technological progress that is inevitably generated through vivid, effective and fair competition. This way, it will help achieve sustainable growth and development of mixed Russian economy and the economic breakthrough, to which the Orders of the President of the Russian Federation direct us”, summed up Deputy Head of FAS.
“Presidential Orders determine competition development as a very important priority. Competition reveals the best and efficient producers and suppliers on our markets. The most essential, it ultimately benefits our population who can get high-quality products and services at the optimal prices. For businesses, fair competition is an incentive to develop”, stressed Victor Zimin.
Khakassia has fulfilled all main requirements of the Competition Development Standard. The plan is exceeded on the market of social services for the local population: the share of entities of other types of property increased from 8.3 % to 12 % in 2017. The targets are also exceeded for developing competition in public and municipal procurement. In 2017 the share of procurement from SME in the overall annual costs of procurement under the Federal Law “On procurement of goods, works, services by particular types of legal entities” was 26 % (instead of the planned 20%).
During the working visit to the Republic, Andrey Tsyganov had a meeting with Chief Federal Inspector of the Offices of Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy in the Khakassia Republic, Nikolai Kholodov. In particular, they parties discussed implementation of the National Competition Development Plan and the Orders issued following the State Council in the Republic.
Andrey Tsyganov also visited Khakassia OFAS and discussed with its staff some aspects of their work.
Deputy Head of FAS Foreign Investments Department, Grigory Karakov described the ten-year practice of applying the Law on foreign investments and discussed the prospects of improving the legislative framework in this field, emphasizing the main tools for suppressing violations that OFAS officers should pay attention to, investigating merger petitions.
1 No. 618 Order “On the fundamental directions of the state policy towards developing competition”