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According to the FSFO data for year 2001, after the sifting of the cases of absent debtors there remained about 21 000 substantive cases, one third of which (i.e. 7 000) were of contracted nature. (An interview with T. Trefilova Kommersant, 2004, February 13).

Pervyi god deistviya novogo zakona o bankrotstve: resultaty i perspektivy. (The first year of enforcement of the new law on bankruptcy: results and perspectives). The materials of the conference of the RF Commerce Chamber, the RF VAS, and the RF State Duma, February 24, 2004.

new law, the creditor has the right to submit the bankruptcy claim against the debtor only in the case the law enforcement officers failed to exact the debt. There is formed a situation, where all assets of a company may be purchased via bailiffs without initiation of the bankruptcy proceedings. Below, there are presented certain general evaluations of the impact of the insolvency institution on the demography of organizations (see Table 1) 17. On the whole, about 145 thousand of organizations ceased their operations in the period from July 1, 2002 till July 1, 2004; at the same period there were created almost 600 thousand of organizations. In 77 per cent of these cases, the cessation of operations of legal entities related to their liquidation and only in 20 per cent of cases to reorganization. In the majority of cases, the liquidation of organizations (72 per cent of the total number of such organizations) was related to bankruptcy procedures. On the whole, in 2 years 4.7 per cent of the total number of organizations as on July 1, 2002, was liquidated via bankruptcy procedures.

Table Liquidations involving bankruptcy procedures The share of organizations liquidated via bankLegal entities liquidated via bankruptcy proceruptcy procedures in % of the number of organidures in the period:

zations at the beginning of the period:

July 1, 2002 Septem- October 1, 2003 July July 1, 2002 Septem- October 1, 2003 July ber 30, 2003 1, 2004 ber 30, 2003 1, All legal entities 47 531 32 729 2,8 1,Limited liability compa14 035 9 575 1,6 0,nies Joint stock companies 3 760 3 223 2,5 1,(open, closed) Production cooperatives 1 346 1 302 5,5 5,Unitary enterprises 241 228 1,7 1,The significance of bankruptcy procedures in the course of liquidation of organizations depend on their organizational and legal forms: the bankruptcy processes were more intensive among production cooperatives and joint stock companies. The observed decline in the significance of bankruptcy procedures and liquidation of enterprises in the period from October 1, 2003 till July 1, 2004, is related to both a lesser duration of the observation period, and the fact that in this period (in contradistinction to the first period) there was in force the third law on bankruptcy. Accordingly, in this period there was most clearly indicated the sharp reduction of practices of submission of bankruptcy claims against absent debtors. It should be noted that this decline of the role played by bankruptcy procedures and liquidation of enterprises were not proportional across the groups of legal entities depending on their organizational and legal forms. The less intensive use of bankruptcy procedures became the most significant for limited liability companies (in this group there were observed much more abandoned firms and ephemerid companies) and least significant for production cooperatives and unitary enterprises.

In about one year after the enactment of the new law on bankruptcy there was started a work on its improvement and, what is equally important, the harmonization of other legal acts with this law. 18 For instance, in 2003 and 2004, the RF Government approved on the whole the following areas of modification of the bankruptcy law presented by the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the RF Justice Ministry:

- improvement of the criminal and administrative legislation and bankruptcy legislation as concerns the responsibility for offences and crimes related to bankruptcy;

- determination of the procedures and terms of participation of the authorized agencies in the procedures of financial rehabilitation and amicable settlement of bankruptcy cases;

See: Vyshegorodtsev I. Chto budet s bankrotstvami. Sliyaniya I Pogloshcheniya, 2005, No. 1, p. 59.

For evaluations, there were used the data on the state registration of legal entities in the Single State Registry of Legal Entities carried out in 2002 through 2004 presented by the Russian Tax Ministry.

For details see: Radygin A., Swain H., Simachev Yu., Entov R., et al. Institut bankrotstva: stanovleniye, problemy, napravleniya reformirovaniya (The institution of bankruptcy: formation, problems, reforming). M., IET CEPRA, 2005.

- modification of the law on bankruptcy as concerns the more clear definition of current payments, requirements pertaining to the bankruptcy commissioner, consequences of the dismissal of the bankruptcy commissioner, the status of compensatory funds and mutual insurance societies, the procedures governing the sale of property in the framework of financial rehabilitation or external administration, development of self-regulation;

- creation of the legal basis of the procedures of bankruptcy, financial rehabilitation, and amicable settlements;

- introduction of the option of the amicable settlement in bankruptcy cases where the Russian Federation is the major creditor;

- expansion of the circle of legal entities subject to bankruptcy procedures;

- harmonization of the issues of priority of satisfaction of creditors claims with the bankruptcy legislation currently in force;

- protection of property from criminal offences, prevention of crimes and offences via the improvement of provisions of the RF Criminal Code and RF Code of Administrative Offences setting forth the responsibility for offences related to bankruptcy procedures and pre-bankruptcy operations.

The same guidelines were indicated in the Program of social and economic development of the RF in a medium term outlook (2005 through 2008) worked out by the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and being elaborated in November of 2004 through January of 2005. In January of 2005, the RF Government approved a package of draft laws aimed at the improvement of the legislation on bankruptcy and introducing amendments to the law On insolvency (bankruptcy), the RF Criminal Code, the RF Code of Administrative Offences, the RF Tax and Budget Codes. The planned changes embrace a rather wide range of flaws and gaps of the law on bankruptcy and in the case these amendments are approved, they may significantly improve the quality of the new law. However, there remain significant possibilities for further modification of the law.

Simachev Yu. V., Radygin A. D.

Most Important Issues Considered at the Sessions of the RF Government on January 13 and 27, Of the RF Government sessions held in January 2005, of special interest are those dated January and 27. On January 13, the RF Government adopted a draft Decree of the RF Government, presented by Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin, on volumes of issuing the government papers in 2005. At the session of the RF Government of January 27 a draft Federal Law had been approved On Introducing Changes to the Federal Law On Labor Pensions in the Russian Federation concerned with setting sizes of the base part of labor pension and a procedure of indexation of the base and insurance parts of labor pensions in 2005 and decision had been taken to introduce it into the State Duma of the RF. At that very session a draft Decree of the RF Government had been adopted by the Government concerning allocation of funds to the budgets of the Russian Federations subjects to make available the transportation services for the population on the territory of the RF.

* * * At the session of the RF Government of January 13, 2005 the Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin provided, in execution of the Federal Law On the Federal Budget for 2005, a draft Decree of the RF Government on volumes of issuing the government papers in 2005. To observe the law, the Finance Ministry offered the following volumes of issuing the government papers:

state short-term zero coupon bonds (GKO) - to Rb 6.0 mlrd, federal loan bonds (OFZ) - to Rb 213.0 mlrd, state savings bonds (GSO) - to Rb 60.0 mlrd.

As it had been stressed in the report, in 2005 borrowings on the domestic market will predominantly be short-term- or long-term. Herewith, the Ministry of Finance of Russia, as an issuer of government papers will place indicative issues of state bonds with repayment dates of 3, 5 and 10 years, moreover, it will continue to replace "long" issues - 15-year state bonds.

Taking into account considerable volumes of pension accruals, that will be invested in the near future in the government papers, investing these means only in circulating papers will negatively affect the GKO/OFZ market because of accumulation of the government papers by passive investors and reducing the market liquidity. To avoid such a situation, the Ministry of Finance of Russia offers to use for investing the means of state savings bonds (GSO) for financing the funded part of the labor pension in the RF. Thus, issuing GSO in the size of Rb 60 mlrd is planned to carry out basically for placing the funds of the Pension Fund of the RF and the government managing company - Bank for Foreign Economic Activity for placement of pension accruals.

The RF Government adopted a draft decree on this issue.

At the session of the RF Government of January 27, 2005 the Social and Healthcare minister Mikhail Zurabov presented in his report On Raising the Base Part of the Labor Pension and Procedure of Indexation of Pensions in 2005 a draft law, prepared for the support of populations financial condition, with account of measures being conducted currently for reforming the system of benefits, On Introducing Changes to the Federal Law On Labor Pensions in the Russian Federation concerned with establishing sizes of the base part of the labor pension and a procedure for indexation of the base and insurance parts of labor pensions in 2005. The draft law was adopted by the RF Government and decision had been taken to introduce it into the State Duma.

The provided draft law within the frame of the third paragraph of point 6, Article 17 of the Federal Law On Labor Pensions in the Russian Federation provides for single-stage increase, since March 1, 2005, of the size of all base parts of labor pensions (old-age pension, disablement pension, survivor's pension).

At present, the base part of the old-age pension, specified by the above law (after all carried out indexations following coming into force of the law since 01.01.2002) is Rb 660 per month19. The law offers to establish it Rb 900 per month, that is to raise it by 240 rubles. Concurrently, the size of all other base parts of the labor pension (old-age pension, disablement pension, survivor's pension) is increased in proportion correspondingly.

It had been emphasized in the report of the minister that for considerable part of pensioners the base parts of labor pensions (and the total amount of labor pension, correspondingly) will be raised for more than 240 rubles. For example, if an old-age pensioner has one dependent, his base part of the labor pension will make up 1200 rubles per month, that is will be increased by 320 rubles (at present, the base part of pension in such a case - 880 rubles). The base part of disablement pension, at the 3d degree of limitation of ability to work will make up 1800 per month and will be increased by 480 rubles (currently, it is 1320 rubles). For some categories of pensioners (we mean here the disabled with the 1st degree of limitation of ability to work, which is established in case a person retains no less than 50 % of working ability, and ordinary survivor's pensioners) an increase will make 240 rubles.

More than that, considering that pensions are calculated proceeding from the size of base parts of labor pensions, the size of pensions themselves will also be increased. Thus, for example, disabled, as a result of war trauma, with the 2d degree of limitation of ability to work will receive, since March1, 2250 rubles per month, they will have an increase amounting to 600 rubles (at present their pension makes up 1650 rubles), while Chernobyl veterans, with the 3d degree of limitation of ability to work will have an increase amounting to 1200 rubles (4500 instead of 3300 rubles).

The suggested increase of the base part of the labor pension had not been provided for by the Federal Law On the Budget of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for 2005, in which connection it is necessary to change the dates of indexation of the base and insurance parts of the pension, as well as additional increase of the insurance part of pension and indexation (increase) coefficients.

With due account for this, the draft bill establishes for 2005 a partial changing of points 6 and 7 of Article 17 of the Federal Law On Labor Pensions in the Russian Federation and Article 7 of the Federal Law On the Budget of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for 2005, reading that indexation of the base and insurance parts of the labor pension and an additional increase of the size of insurance part of the labor pension will be made since August 1, 2005 basing on indexation (increase) coefficients determined by the RF Government.

To implement the draft law it will be additionally needed Rb 115.04 mlrd funds from the RF Pension Fund, which are to be compensated from the Federal Budget.

Decree of the RF Government of 21.07.2004 No. 363 On Establishing the Sizes of the Base Parts of the Labor Pensions and Approval of the Indexation Coefficient since August 1, 2004, of the Insurance Part of the Labor Pension.

The above draft law was approved by the RF Government.

At that very session of the RF Government the Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin proposed a draft Decree of the RF Government concerning allocation of funds to the budgets of the Russian Federations subjects to make affordable the transportation services for the population on the territory of the RF. The draft Decree had been approved by the RF Government, with account of its specification according to the results of discussions at the session.

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