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"Ekonomika Rossiyi. 21 vek" *

How to Manage the State Property?

No 1(6), March 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma of the Russian Federation:

In general state property is governed by the Presidential Administration. Therefore, no one knows how much property we have today, who owns it, who receives incomesfrom this property, which share of the property is governed by the Presidential Administration and which is owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; which part is under the jurisdiction of the Government and which is under the Defence Ministry. In other words, management of the state property is organised in such a way, that there is no clarity at all.

Any clarification of this issue requires publication of the data on how much state property we have, its assessment, who uses it and what income it yields. Government of the state propery should proceed from the goals that our country has to solve at this stage, as it is our property. If one asked you: what is the most efficient way of managing your dacha, what would you answer? This depends on what you need this dacha for: either for gardening and horticulture, the recreation of your children or for sale. The same holds true for our property, everything depends on the tasks set by the state. And the state may appoint different tasks. At present the state does not pursue any specific goals. It only wants everything to be quiet and calm, to witness high ratings for the top officials and ensure a stable position for the Government. It seems that it is not bad at all, but the problem here is that we are facing a widening gap - we are increasingly lagging behind the countries that are our competitors.

The principle of efficient management of state property implies transparency, accountability and clarity of the tasks set for the Government. The Government has to be involved in everything. For example, if Russia aims to exercise wide-scale foreign policies: state property should be used to create opportunities to implement such active foreign policy in certain areas. If Russia's task is to concentrate its domestic affairs, it can clear part of the debt at the expense of its property. If Russia aims to conduct foreign policy in certain directions, the structure of state property should be carefully examined. For example, we should know what our foreign trade representatives do abroad, why do we need them there, why dwe need foreign trade departments and whether they can be used to resolve certain tasks. But the first question, as Vladimir Lenin put it, is "accounting and control". If there is clarity with accounting and control, we will be able to think about what should be done next.

See also:

Valery Leonov "Igor Artemyev compensated for the dollars lost on oil deals with a single tax on concessions." Commersant, March 1, 2002.

"Ekonomika Rossiyi. 21 vek" * No 1(6), March 2002

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