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In December of 2002, a draft concept of state policy aimed at the restructuring of enterprises in single-company towns and measures of its implementation was submitted to the Government of the Russian Federation.

In November of 2002, a draft concept of development of venture industry in Russia (state system of stimulation of venture investment) was presented to the Government of the Russian Federation.

On December 3, 2002, the Government of the Russian Federation issued its resolution No. 858, which approved the federal targeted program Social development of rural areas until 2010. The program is aimed at the development of the social sphere and engineering infrastructure of rural municipal entities; creation of legal, administrative, and economic conditions allowing the transition to sustainable social and economic development of rural municipal entities.

An important aspect of activity in 2002 was the improvement of the regulating mechanism on the grain market. On October 11, 2002, there was adopted governmental resolution No. 756 On carrying out state procurement interventions in order to regulate the grain market in 2002 and 2003 and federal law No. 126-FZ of October 25, 2002, On amendments to the federal law On the Federal Budget for 2002. In order to control the level of costs of monopolies, more precise prognostication of the necessary amount of investment, and calculation of adjustment of tariffs on products (services) set by monopolies in relation to the necessity to curb inflation in 2002, there were elaborated recommendations for the annual review of budgets of natural monopolies at the meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation.

In October of 2002, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation passed in the first reading the package of bills concerning the reform of power engineering. In December of 2002, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation passed in the third reading the package of bills concerning the reform of railroad transport. Three bills of this package were signed by the President of the Russian Federation in January of 2003. These signed bills included federal laws On railroad transport in the Russian Federation (No. 17-FZ of 10.01.2003), The transport charter of the railroad transport of the Russian Federation, (No. 18-FZ of 10.01.2003), and On amendments to the RF federal law On natural monopolies (No. 16-FZ of 10.01.2003).

On July 1, 2002, the Government of the Russian Federation approved resolution No. 490 On the experiment concerning the introduction of the economic model of reform of housing and public utilities. The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation passed in the first reading the draft federal law On amendments to the law of the Russian Federation On the basic principles of federal housing policy and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation as concerns the improvement of the system of payments for housing and public utility services. A draft Housing Code of the Russian Federation was submitted to the Government on December 30, 2002, as a part of the package of measures aimed at the ensuring the housing rights of citizens for property, renting, and social renting.

In November of 2002, the President of the Russian Federation issued the decree setting forth the key guidelines of the reform of public service, including the creation of the integrated legal basis of the regulation of public service, elaborating measures aimed at the improvement of remuneration of pubic officials, and approving the federal program Reform of the public service in the Russian Federation (2003 2005).

A most important aspect of external economic policy is Russias accession to WTO. In 2002, there was continued work aimed to bring the legislation of the Russian Federation in correspondence with WTO rules and regulations. The discussion on the final report of the working group on Russias accession to WTO, what, in fact, is a last stage of negotiations, is underway.

In December of 2002, there was approved the federal law On invalidation of certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation concerning the tax on purchase of foreign currency and payment documents denominated in foreign exchange, in correspondence to which the tax on purchase of foreign currency was abolished on January 1, 2003.

In September of 2002, the Government of the Russian Federation approved on the whole the system of measures aimed at the state support of export of industrial products proposed by the RF Ministry for Economic Development. The document sets forth a number of key guidelines, including organizational, trade and political, tax and administrative measures and measures relating to currency regulation, as well as information, consulting, and promotional measures.

In 2002, the market status of the Russian economy was confirmed. On June 6, 2002, the USA announced that Russia was granted the status of a market economy upon the presentation of the Memorandum on the state of the Russian economy. On November 8, 2002, the similar status was granted to Russia by the European Union.

In December of 2002, a draft federal law On foreign currency regulation and foreign currency control was submitted to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

In 2002, there was started the work aimed at the implementation of the Plan of concerted actions of the Government of the Republic of Belarus, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the RF Government, and the Central Bank of the RF as concerns the introduction of single currency of the Union state until 2005, gradual elimination of waivers relating to the free trade of Russia and CIS member countries, formation of the common customs space in the framework of EvrAzES.

In the framework of development of local government, in 2002 there was elaborated the draft new version of the federal law On the general principles of local government in the Russian Federation, which the President of the Russian Federation presented to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in December of 2002. The Government of the Russian Federation approved resolution No. 996-r of July 19, 2002, concerning the urgent measures aimed at the implementation of state support of the development of municipal entities.

In October of 2002, improved draft Concept of the single system of management of the Russias public debt was presented to the Government of the Russian Federation.

In 2002, a number of most important issues remain unresolved, including the reform of the system of mandatory medical insurance, creation of special economic zones, elaboration of a law on selfregulating organizations, while the reforms of housing and public utilities (HPU), power engineering, and natural gas industry have noticeably slowed down.

On December 19, 2002, the Government discussed its new action plan for 2003 and approved it on the whole. The draft plan includes both the issues unresolved in 2002 and new tasks in the sphere of administrative reform, diversification of the structure of the economy, tax and budgetary reform, reform of infrastructure monopolies, further opening of the economy, the reform of social services system. On January 29, 2003, the Ministry for Economic Development submitted the elaborated action plan to the Government.

These six basic issues will be included in the new version of the government medium term program (for 2003 2005), which is elaborated at present and will be discussed alongside with the results of the year at the Government meeting to be held on February 20.

O. Fomichev The dynamics of privatization process in The key characteristic of the whole period of the so called cash privatization (from 1994 to present) is the budgetary orientation of privatization process, which is of the seasonal nature from the viewpoint of inflow of major revenues (as a rule, end-year, when 2 to 3 major transactions were usually made). However, it is important that since 1999 the government does not plan to receive fixed revenues from privatization (it permits to more reasonably approach the sales of most attractive companies). Since 2001, as this general approach persists, yet another principal characteristic related to utilization of state property may be mentioned: a shift in the structure of revenues from nonrenewable to renewable sources. For instance, in 2001 almost 75 % (in the case only internal sources are taken into account, i.e. without revenues from the sale of Vietsovpetro, 60 %) of the aggregate revenues of the federal budget from privatization and utilization of federally owned property were received from renewable sources, while in 1997 this indicator made only 3 %. This positive trend is clearly detected in 2002: the revenues from renewable sources is 3 times above proceeds from privatization (without transactions with shares in Lukoil and Slavneft, which were debated until late in the year see Table 1).

According to the preliminary estimates of the RF Ministry for Property Relations, in 2002 the aggregate revenues of the federal budget from privatization and utilization of federally owned property made Rub. 31.19 billion, including Rub. 7.8 billion received at the expense of lease of federal property, Rub. 10.25 billion as dividends on federally owned shares, Rub. 9.9 billion made the RF share in JV Vietsovpetro, Rub. 2.3 billion as lease payments for land, Rub. 0.9 billion as transfer of the state share in profits of federal state unitary enterprises. The proceeds from sales of property and blocks of shares in joint stock companies carried out by the Russian Federal Property Fund and regional property funds in RF subjects made Rub. 91.2 billion, although more than 80 % of this amount were received from two transactions made in December of 2002 (blocks of shares in Lukoil and Slavneft). Proceeds from the sale of land made Rub. 0.6 billion.

Although the new law on privatization came into effect only in the spring of 2002, the privatization program for 2002 is based primarily on the innovations stipulated by this law. The enactment of the law (first of all, the modernization of the set of instruments allowing the sale of minor blocks of shares and non-liquid assets) presents legal grounds for a massive reduction of state owned objects, the necessity of which had been discussed since mid-1990s. This development also concerns SUEs, the number of which (especially taking into account the approval of law No. 161-FZ of November 14, 2002. On state and municipally owned unitary enterprises, which shall become a powerful incentive for elimination of this organizational and legal form) the Property Ministry is planning to reduce to 2.thousand by the end of 2003. Moreover, reorganization processes (mergers, liquidations, reorganization into joint stock companies, partial sales) shall be applied to subsidiaries of SUEs.

Table Privatization and Utilization of State Owned Property in 1995 through 2003 (in current prices) 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2003 (plan) Actual number of privatized enterprises 6000 5000 3000 2583 595 320 170 2200 (plan) 1063 (plan) Revenues from privatization of property (non-renewable source) 4,991 bil. 12,3 trillion 6,525 trillion 8,125 bil. c 15 bil. e 18 bil. 18 bil. 35 bil.

Approved budget, total revenues Rub.

7,319 trillion A 1,532 trillion 18, 100 trillion 15,442 8,547 bil. 31,368 bil. 10,11 bil. 91,2 bil. f - Actual revenues, B bil. d Rub.

Actual revenues from the utilization of state owned property (from renewable sources) 92,8 118 (35 JSC) 270,5 0,575 (200 JSC) 0,848 3,675 6,478 10,25 (708 JSC) Dividends on 10,(600 JSC) (1050 JSC) blocks of shares in federal ownership, Rub.

116,7 . . 305 466 2,191 3,427 4,896 7,843 Lease revenues, 7,property; 3,917 property; 2,3 Rub.

land land - 5 26 0,783 5,675 11,687 13,622 VS; 9,9 VS; 0,payments 12,3 VS;

0,Vietsovpetro Vietsovpetro Vietsovpetro profits - profits of SUEs (revenues) from 2,5 - profits of of 131 SUEs (VS) SUEs state owned enterprises, Rub.

Total, Rub. billion 209,5 123 601,7 1,824 8,714 18,789 29,122 31,- Aggregate revenues from privatization and utilization of state owned property Actual revenues, Rub. 7,529 1,655 18,702 17,266 17,262 50,157 39,233 122,39 bil. (plan - trillion trillion trillion bil. bil. bil. bil. for the year 70,6 bil.) - - the approved budget was adjusted in December of 1995, 70.8 per cent of the actual revenues were derived at the expense of loans-for-shares auctions; b - including $ 1.875 billion for shares in Svyazinvest; c - adjusted to Rub. 15 billion in April of 1998 (at the governmental level); d including Rub. 12.5 billion for 2.5 per cent of shares in Gazprom; e since 1999 proceeds from privatization are not included in budgetary revenues;

f including the revenues from the sale of shares in Lukoil and Slavneft in December of 2002, US $ 0.775 and US $ 1.86 billion respectively.

Although the Property Ministry made rather ambitious plans for 2002, the major revenues are still derived from single transactions. At the same time, the typical situation is that final selection of enterprises planned for privatization does not depend on the approved program and sales of shares in such enterprises are made spontaneously depending on a number of objective and subjective factors.

The results of the auction for the block of shares in VNK were made public on May 24, and the victory of YUKOS was not a sensation. Due to the specifics of this transactions (YUKOS was the majority shareholder in VNK), the final price of the block was only by US $ 0.4 million above the starting price (US $ 225 million). The major competitor of YUKOS TNK withdrew from the auction after a number of scandals and trials. Moreover, there were practically no guarantees that YUKOS would return shares in a number of enterprises to TNK subsidiaries before the auctions.

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