The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

Address by Oksana Kozlovskaya at the 18th Session
of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast(March 28, 2013.)

Oksana KozlovskayaThe Speaker opened the 18th session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast with her traditional address.
Summarizing the results of the past month she highlighted a number of important events of global scale such as economic crises in the eurozone and the international community’s response to them; election of a new Catholic Pope who proclaims humility and self-giving as the pillars of the modern Catholic Church as opposed to the consumer society; natural disasters in Europe; a decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to create a two-eparchy metropolis in Tomsk Oblast and elevate Rostislav, archbishop of Tomsk and Asino to the rank of metropolitan.
She also spoke about the forthcoming melting of snow: the meteorologists predict that 2013 will be a year of great spring floods in Tomsk Oblast.

“The Oblast deputies must not sit idle in these circumstances! Let us all study the situation in our constituencies and put forward proposals what else can be done to ensure safety of people.”

Another important highlight of March was a cooperation agreement signed between the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast and the Legislative Assembly of Novosibirsk Oblast. There is something to learn from every region, including the legislative experience. The Novosibirsk law-makers have a lot of interesting experience in supporting agriculture or building rental housing for young scientists. The two Dumas agreed to combine efforts in dealing with challenges in education, small business, and public utilities. The Novosibirsk deputies took a keen interest in the Tomsk Oblast law on public-private partnership.

A sore spot is still the problem of massive sole proprietorship closures induced by more than doubled insurance contributions (last year it was 17,000 rubles per year, now it is 36,000 rubles).

By that initiative the Ministry of Finance expected to bring 40 billion rubles to the Russian Pension Fund. Instead, it forced 317,000 sole proprietorships to close in 2013, according to the Federal Tax Service. Russian media have even coined a term “the new poor” and created a rating of Russian regions to identify top regions for the number of closures. Fortunately, Tomsk Oblast has no reasons to appear on that rating yet.

The People’s Front and Opora Russia, a non-governmental organization of small and medium businesses proposed an initiative to revise the insurance contributions for entrepreneurs. The proposal is based on an idea of a phased increase in contributions. Russian President Vladimir Putin talked to Russian Ombudsman for Business Rights Boris Titov and asked to “recalculate” once again the rates introduced in 2013. Yesterday the Ministry of Economy proposed a potential solution to the problem. For sole proprietors with annual turnover below 568,000 rubles the rates will be taken back to previous levels. For those with annual turnover above that level, a higher rate will be applied. This proposal was backed by the Federation Council and a number of regions. The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also approved it.

Given the importance of the issue, Oksana Kozlovskaya suggested adopting at this session a request of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast to the Russian Government on reducing the rate of insurance contributions to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for sole proprietors.

The Administration will conduct an integrated monitoring of the situation in municipal entities and provide necessary modifications to the currently running small and medium business support programs. We should be able to understand how our actions would work out if the rates are reduced.

And finally. In March, Russian Bortnik Fund established a Viktor Gunter Award. Viktor Gunter is a prominent scientist and a founder of the Tomsk innovation company Micran. For the first time in the history of Russia an award has been named after an innovator from Tomsk!

The award is 1 million rubles. It will be provided to the best Russian start-ups in super-high frequency radio electronics.

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