Putin offers amnesty for money coming back to Russia
Vladimir Putin has proposed a total amnesty for all funds returning to Russia a month after signing an anti-offshore bill curbing capital flight. “Let us put this page in our history behind us. Do it once, but right,” he told the Federal assembly.
The amnesty is one of a raft of probusiness measure proposed by Putin in his annual address that also included anticorruption measures such as a ‘supervision amnesty’ for SMEs.
In November, Putin signed an “antioffshore” law requiring individuals and businesses to report foreign profits. The bill is aimed at curbing the outflow of capital from Russia which was estimated at $2 trln in recent years.
Putin’s decision to introduce an offshore amnesty gives capital a real chance to return to Russia, said presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.
“The initiative of a foreign capital amnesty is a unique opportunity. The president clearly said – do it once. That means it’s the only chance in history to return their capital, to come back home with all the money, to return it back to Russia, and use the money for the country’s development,” he said.
Putin also said it was necessary to
free Russian business restrictive oversight.
All checks on Russian businesses should be public. He said that in 2015 the government is starting a special register with the information about who initiated the
and checks, why they were done, and the results.
“This will help preventing unmotivated or, even worse, specially ordered visits by inspectors. I should add that this problem is relevant not only for business but also for the budget and local government agencies,” Putin said.
The Russian President was addressing the Federal Assembly in the Kremlin, as economic woes in Russia are increasing.
Western sanctions levied on Russia over the unification with Crimea, and falling oil prices have sent the Russian rouble plummeting.
President Putin believes sanctions are only a pretext for confrontation aimed at holding back the growing potential of Russia.
“Every time they believe Russia gets too strong, they use these instruments. But it’s pointless to talk to Russia in the language of force,” he said.
The rouble has lost more that 40% against the major currencies since the start of the year, while the price of oil has fallen at almost the same pace from its high of $115 a barrel.
Earlier in December, Russian Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev warned the country may fall into recession, but was criticised for being too pessimistic.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the economy stands to lose about $140 bln from sanctions and cheapening oil.
However, a number of Russian politicians maintain the economy won’t be hit hard, as a combination of a lower rouble and cheaper oil will mean the same revenue for the budget.