22 Mar 2022 11:54

Russia's digital development minister concerned about matter of import substitution for specialized, engineering and graphic software

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) - Specialized, engineering and graphic software causes serious concern regarding import substitution in Russia, the country's Digital Development Minister Maksut Shadayev said on Tuesday at an expanded meeting of the State Duma's special-purpose committee on developing the IT industry amid the sanctions.

"This concerns very specialized software, for example, oil and gas software. Here I see a clear problem. The second large area is engineering software, where we have good Russian [software] developments, though they still need to be fully developed. Then there are probably graphics software packages," Shadayev said.

Shadayev noted that Russia is "fairly well prepared" in development and import substitution for the rest of the software.

"I believe that we will be able to reduce the lag [in developing specialized software] within two to three years owing to the grant support program," Shadayev added.

Shadayev proposed that Russian IT companies that provide educational services (EdTech) and e-commerce services be exempt from profit tax for three years.

"Nearly all internet companies earn mainly in two ways: selling online advertising and providing access to their content by subscription. We also propose extending support measures to them," Shadayev said.

Shadayev noted that there are plans to extend support measures to EdTech companies as well as to e-commerce services, such as online booking and e-ticket sales.

Shadayev also proposed removing the current restrictions on obtaining preferences for IT companies in terms of the number of employees.