27 Dec 2017 16:13

Putin: Russia must get rid of economy's 'gray zone'

MOSCOW. Dec 27 (Interfax) - Russia needs to get rid of the "gray zone" in the economy, President Vladimir Putin said.

"Here [business ombudsman] Boris Titov has talked about how we have, according to their tally, [the gray zone accounts for] somewhere around 39% of GDP. You know, there is nothing unusual about this. The leaders of some European countries told me 'we have 40%.' That is, this is not a situation unique to Russia. But it is not good," Putin said on Wednesday at a meeting of the State Council on the issue of investment policy in the regions.

"We need to do better than they have it. We need to get rid of this 'gray zone,'" Putin said.

But doing that will require more than applying only repressive measures, forcing business to operate above board, rather "conditions must be created."

This does not just depend on the Russian government, but no less on what takes place in the regions, Putin said.

"We are trying to do that as it is," he said. In particular, to resolve the capital amnesty issue, conditions are being created so that people don't incur any costs in making the decision to move their business or capital to Russia.

In addition, decisions have been made inside the country: to create a discount period for individual entrepreneurs, to insulate people from potential losses, prosecution, he said.