Economic Development Ministry opposes redistribution of powers in privatization

Russia's Economic Development Ministry does not support proposals to redistribute powers in the area of privatization in favour of the Kremlin administration.

The head of the Kremlin's legal department, Larisa Brycheva in November sent the government draft amendments to the law regulating privatization of state and municipal property and to the decree on procedures for making decisions on the management and disposal of federally owned stocks.

These amendments are being proposed "so that the president, the presidential administration could set additional conditions in the formation and implementation of the plan for privatization," Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov told reporters.

He said such measures are now widely used and "we use this provision in regard to strategic companies."

"In light of this, we believe this provision is superfluous, because if some company has strategic value and it is necessary for it to be controlled by the president upon privatization, there is nothing to prevent it from being included in the privatization list. Therefore we are very wary of this initiative of the presidential administration because we believe it could significantly complicate the privatization process for small companies in particular that do not have any strategic value," Belousov said.

The Economic Development Ministry and Finance Ministry were supposed to respond to the proposed amendments by Dec. 14, Kommersant reported last Thursday. The government is preparing a polite rejection of the Kremlin legal department's proposals because they are aimed at expanding the president's powers in management of federal property, which the law "On the Government" reserves for the Cabinet, the paper reported sources as saying.

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