First of all, the IBC head expressed gratitude for organizing and holding the first meeting of the Anti-Corruption Business Council.
“We have been waiting for this for a long time, because a platform for direct dialogue between business and the President is very necessary. The economic situation in the country is now quite difficult, both for business and the economy as a whole, and many issues need to be directly voiced to the head of state to propose solutions and jointly solve them,” said Sydykov.
“Over the past year, we have witnessed many controversial economic initiatives including a bill on the introduction of an emergency in the economy, certain points in the draft of the new Tax Code, an increase in the rates of some mandatory payments for businesses and other bills. Some of them were adopted by the Parliament in three readings in one day. In practice, the mechanism of compulsory public discussion, including with business, is not implemented," the IBC head said.
Controversial initiatives and decisions are being put forward, such as structural reforms of the government, from which the effectiveness of government agencies suffers when several ministries have been merged and then split again.
An example of this is the failure to comply with the Presidential decrees "On the protection of property and support for entrepreneurs and investors" of January 29, 2021 and "On additional measures to protect business entities" of March 4, 2021. As far as we know, most of the points of these decrees have not been implemented.
“We all — the business community and civil society want to help the development of the country, assist in making informed decisions. But for this we need to be heard, there must be a permanent platform,” the IBC head stressed.
“ABC is a good platform, but it covers many areas, first of all, anti-corruption policy, and business cannot voice all the problems on this platform and solve them. Therefore, we need a separate platform for the economy and business," he explained.
It is important to involve business associations in the public-private dialogue, and not individual business entities, because entrepreneurs themselves will not be able to or will not dare to say a lot, or, most likely, will voice their private issues. Business associations will express a common position on systemically important and large-scale issues.
On this platform, a general meeting can be held on the main issues of the business environment and the investment climate, and then on the sectors of the economy, including agriculture, industry, finance, services, etc. Targeted meetings should conclude with decisions and protocol instructions.
“We are now working and will continue to work with the heads of ministries and agencies, with the Cabinet leadership. But there are many issues that need to be brought to the attention of the President, especially given the current President’s status as the head of the executive branch and the highest-ranking official of the country," the IBC Executive Director concluded.