The Analytical Center takes part in monitoring of implementation of the competition development standard in Russian regions. Experts of Department for Competition Policy of the Analytical Center Ksenia Sukhorukova and Anton Volkov told about this work in their interview to the Budget magazine.
2017 will show the results of implementation of the Competition Development Standard
— Is it possible so far to tell, to what extent the competition development standard actually improves quality of the competitive environment in constituent entities of the Russian Federation? Many indices of the standard seem to be of formal nature, and provide for establishment of various procedures within the administrative structure itself.
Ksenia Sukhorukova: The competition development standard in regions (hereinafter referred to as the Standard) was approved in September 2015 (by decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1738-r dated September 5, 2015). Thus, in fact, regional authorities had half a year for implementation of its provisions, establishment of measures and goals in the area of promotion of competition development on regional markets of goods, works, and services. In turn, results of competition development on regional markets will be reflected by achievement of certain target indices and implementation of measures aimed at promotion of competition development. In this respect, it is early to discuss results of the Standard implementation. As of the end of 2015 - early 2016, constituent entities of the Russian Federation were mainly establishing the legal framework and actually prepared the basis for further promotion of competition development on regional markets of goods, works, and services.
First results will be shown not until 2017 after analysis of regional authorities' operations in 2016. This is also due to the fact that goals formed by the regions are often associated with structural changes in regional economics (for example, development of new production facilities, innovative enterprises), which require consistent implementation of a set of measures during a certain term.
— Besides, the Standard provides for development and implementation of a municipal entity rating. What can be done at the local level for development of competition?
Ksenia Sukhorukova: At the level of municipal entities, the rating may take into account the actions aimed at reduction of administrative barriers for business, which immediately affects conditions and incentives for entrepreneurial activities. In particular, it concerns optimization of municipal service provision to business (reduction of time limits and cost of such services, conversion of certain services in electronic format, service provision via single-window system), establishment of model administrative schedules for provision of municipal services aimed at issuance of construction permits, issuance of permits for facility commissioning. The said areas are provisioned in the Standard.
Besides, support of municipal entities is important for monitoring and development of competition on the markets of goods, works, and services in terms of monitoring within respective areas. It is monitoring that enables detection of current restrictions for competition development in certain regions as well as markets in which such restrictions exist. According to its results, goals and measures are established, achievement and implementation of which will enable promotion of competition development.
— One of the most discussed issues in the area in question is the tariff setting system, and its impact on the overall competitive environment. Do you see any progress here during the last years (including the period after the Federal Tariff Service adjoining to the Federal Antimonopoly Service)?
Anton Volkov: In 2016, significant reduction of the rate of growth of tariffs for utility services and passenger railway transport as compared to 2015 was registered. According to Rosstat, the rate of growth of tariffs for utility services in 2016 was 5.4% (10.1% in 2015), and 7.2% for passenger railway transport (8.9% in 2015). At the same time, this is rather due to the general economic situation in Russia than changes in tariff regulation.
It is still early to discuss results of changes in tariff regulation and impact of the same on the competitive environment after the Federal Tariff Service adjoining to the Federal Antimonopoly Service, since at present the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia is mainly involved in development of a new regulatory and legal framework that forms the basis for further actions and results. Thus, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia prepares a bill on unification of approaches to tariff setting, transfer to long term tariff regulation, and transparent disclosure of information in the area of tariff regulation. Besides, various variants of deregulation of certain areas of natural monopolies are being considered. It is expected that the proposed measures will promote improved efficiency of tariff regulation and competition development, while it will be possible to clearly discuss this only after implementation.
See details in the magazine.