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Deloitte: Measures to support the population and economy against the background of the COVID-2019 epidemic. Part 1

Deloitte has published an overview of principal measures introduced in Russia to support the national economy.

This publication is regularly updated. The current version in accurate as of 13 April 2020.

The Roscongress Foundation presents the salient points of the publication accompanied by fragments of broadcasts of relevant panel discussions from the business programme of key international events held by the Roscongress Foundation.

1) COVID-19 related social measures

The President of the Russian Federation has announced COVID-19 related public support measures. In particular, all social payments and benefits are automatically extended for the nearest six months. The unemployment benefit is increased from RUB 8,000 to RUB 12,000. All families entitled to the ‘maternal capital’ will be receiving RUB 5,000 per child per month for the nearest three months.

Until year end, the minimum sick leave payment is set at the minimum wage amount. Individuals arriving from countries impacted by COVID-19 or their exposed family members will be eligible for a paid sick leave while on quarantine. Sick leaves will be issued electronically.

Credit institutions are advised to promptly consider debt restructuring requests received from individuals whose income has considerably declined after 1 March 2020. Borrowers will be able to request a loan holiday for up to six months, if their income for the month preceding the request for loan holidays declined by 30 percent or more vs. the 2019 average. The maximum mortgage qualifying for loan holiday is set by the Government.

Tourists will be refunded for trips cancelled due to travel restrictions. Russian nationals stranded abroad will receive financial support.

Video: https://roscongress.org/sessions/africa-2019-sovremennye-zadachi-dlya-razvitiya-rynka-zhilishchnogo-stroitelstva-afrikanskogo-kontinenta/search/#00:38:32.448

2) COVID-19 related controlling activities

Until 31 May 2020, tax authorities suspend field tax audits. All procedural deadlines related to tax audits will also be suspended. Special federal and municipal control (oversight) rules have been set for 2020. In particular, no new field customs audits will be scheduled/conducted (with minor exceptions), earlier scheduled audits will be suspended. For SMEs and non-profits, only ad hoc checks will be permitted, mostly to investigate or prevent damage/threats to public health and safety.

The Government will be authorised to introduce urgent measures to counter COVID-19 spread, for example, to introduce high alert or emergency regimes in the Russian Federation or any parts of it, to set mandatory rules for such regimes, to set special rules of federal public oversight/control activities and licensing.

A six-month bankruptcy freeze will apply to companies and individual entrepreneurs doing business in the industries most affected by the pandemic, and to strategic and systemic organisations.

Video: https://roscongress.org/sessions/iif-2019-resursy-rosta-i-investitsionnye-perspektivy-analiz-praktik-realizatsii-aktivov-v-rossiyskikh-regiona/search/#00:40:05.376

3) COVID-19 related sectoral support initiatives

Taxes and social insurance contributions due by 1 May 2020 will be deferred for taxpayers doing business in tourism, air transport, entertainment and sports.

Until this date, the tax authorities will not be sending tax payment notices (as long as not in conflict with the maximum period for serving such notice) or collect the amounts due. The Ministry of Finance will prepare a bill on waiving the late payment penalty for the period of deferral. A deferral/payment in installments can further be granted/allowed according to the rules established by the Government for the affected industries.

In retail, weight control will be suspended for vehicles carrying essential goods. From 25 March to 25 April 2020, weight control of vehicles carrying essential food and non-food items will be suspended. Driving within city limits, as well as loading/unloading, will also be temporarily permitted.

In pharmaceutical and healthcare, pharmacies holding a pharmaceutical licence and a permit from Roszdravnadzor will be able to sell over-the-counter medicines online.

Eurasian Economic Commission has approved the list of goods that will be exempt from import charges. The exemption will be granted to the goods imported for anti COVID-19 purposes (bandages, disinfectants, diagnostic substances, syringes, etc.) and will be conditional on the registration of import declaration by 30 September 2020 and confirmation of their target use. The exemption will enter into force on 3 April and will apply retrospectively as of 16 March 2020.

The Government will be authorised to establish special procedures for providing medical assistance, including the use of telemedical services, in emergencies and/or to counter epidemics. Medical organisations may be reimbursed for their foregone profits due to decreasing volume of services under mandatory medical insurance programme.

Video: https://roscongress.org/sessions/nastroyka-nalogovoy-sistemy-tseli-i-parametry/search/#00:22:21.440

4) COVID-19 related SME support measures

National guarantee pool of companies will be established to facilitate access to funding for SMEs.

SMEs will be able to receive interest-free loans to maintain employment. A draft resolution ordering allocation of RUB 2.6 billion from the Government’s contingency fund aims to help the distressed SMEs maintain employment. Subsidised credit institutions will issue zero interest loans to the eligible borrowers (small-sized and micro enterprises with at least a year long market history that are not undergoing bankruptcy).

Video: https://roscongress.org/sessions/targetirovanie-inflyatsii-kak-eto-rabotaet-v-rossii/search/#00:33:19.104

For more information about policy responses to the coronavirus outbreak and possible ways to stabilize the economy during the pandemic, please see the COVID-19 and StayHomeEconomy special sections of the Roscongress information and analytical system.

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