Alexei Kudrin. Source: Evgeny Biyatov/RIA Novosti
Russia may see a growth and develop every sphere of public life even under the sanctions, said Committee of Civil Initiatives Chairman Alexei Kudrin.
"There is always a wish to have a simple recipe: five steps that can make a great change. I have to admit there is no such recipe. Systemic transformations will require a higher level of confidence between the government and the public. The effect of reducing confidence in Russia in the world will do more harm than the direct effect from sanctions," Kudrin wrote in his article published by Vedomosti on Friday.
In his opinion, the damage will be intolerable if there is no trust inside the country, between the authorities and the public, the authorities and business.
Confidence of business may be regained with such steps as the restoration of pension savings, the allotment of additional powers and financial resources to regions and real steps towards equal rights in elections, Kudrin pointed out.
He thinks that another important step could be a decision to freeze an increase of taxes, a ban on raising taxes for a long period with the exception of strictly defined cases.
"There is a need for de-regulation: we can easily suspend a significant number, whole packages of restrictive and controlling functions of the government. Some procedures can become notification requirements and fire safety, sanitary-epidemiological and technical control can be limited with emphasis put on monetary liabilities for violations. The capacity of officials to come and extract money from enterprises should be considerably reduced," he said.
In addition, Kudrin called for the spelling out of the notion of "political activity" in the context of the law on "foreign agents", cancelling excessive filters in regional and municipal elections and stopping the selective use of laws against protesters.
"An attempt to regain confidence should be based on the modern and world-tested institute of public openness and the elaboration of a policy in collaboration with society and in transparent procedures. Monopoly power and the law enforcement authorities, which are not controlled by the public and wholly depend on the will of their superiors, cannot and will not be effective. We will not attain the required degree of economic effectiveness without openness and dialogue between the authorities and the public," the Committee of Civil Initiatives representative wrote.
Kudrin is confident that these measures can build public confidence. He added though that Russia needed a thought-out program of economic development amid the sanctions.
"The main areas of inefficiency and driving mechanisms are clear; we now need an advancement program. Most importantly, we cannot wait. Time is against us," Kudrin said in conclusion.
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