Action Plan for ensuring an increase in labour productivity needs improvement

19 may 2014

The Analytical Center held a public discussion of the Action Plan for ensuring an increase in labour productivity, creation and modernization of highly productive jobs

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation together with the relevant federal executive authorities, has introduced  the Action Plan to the Government of the Russian Federation under the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation of January 31, 2014, №DM-P13-740 (clause 1). “This document will determine the way our country will live in the next decade”, Vladislav Onischenko, First Deputy Director General of the Analytical Center, announced at his opening speech. In his opinion, the statement that labour productivity in Russia is several times lower than in the USA, Europe, and China, on the one hand, is regarded as negative, but on the other hand, gives an opportunity to use international experience to make a breakthrough. “We need to increase labour productivity. Without it we cannot hope for any further GDP growth or even its preservation,” he noted and added that it is essential to work harder, better and faster.

Mikhail Pryadilnikov, Director of Department of Strategic Management, Government Programs and Investment Projects of Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, gave a perspective on the Action Plan development. According to Mr. Pryadilnikov, there are six directions of development; the first one is encouragement of investments in order to modernize the manufacturing base. “We think that it is essential to concentrate our efforts in encouraging investments in new projects and, first of all, in manufacturing sector”, he explained. The second direction is creating conditions for technological modernization through publicly available technologies (PAT). Mr. Pryadilnikov noted that a tremendous amount of work had been carried out which resulted in renewal of regulatory system and approval of agenda for business reference books. “The third direction is dismissal of out-of-date jobs”, announced the official. “We suggest that performance appraisal of jobs is to be conducted”. The forth direction implies reformation of the professional training system and increase in labor market flexibility and mobility. “The fourth and the fifth directions work out measures for organizing professional training programs, as well as measures to increase labor force mobility and accessibility of accommodation for employees”, added Mr. Pryadilnikov. As for the last direction, it is aimed to stimulate public private companies.

The experts noted that the Action Plan needs improvement. For example, returning to taxation in existing industry sectors is essential, while all investment budgets should be exempted from taxes. Another moot point was the job appraisal methods which is currently conducted by the Federal State Statistics Service based mostly on salary level as the main criteria. Also, the experts claim that accounting standards adopted in Russia should fully comply with international rules and once settled they are not to undergo frequent changes from that moment on.

The discussion was attended by representatives of federal executive authorities, expert and business communities.