Russian Government Wants to Simplify Construction Legislation

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May 21 – The Russian government wants to implement the same measures used for the construction of Olympic-related facilities in the city of Sochi, host of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in 2014, for the country’s entire building industry. According to Russian Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, a simplification of the construction legislation will attract new investors to the industry.

The government plans to address Parliament with a package of bills by the end of the year in order to simplify land right procedures similar to what was done in Sochi. “Many decisions have been made and new standards have been obtained, especially for the Olympic project. Right now, the job is to implement the majority of these updated rules and principles to the whole industry,” said Kozak, while adding that the government is already working on the relevant bills.

“The industry’s main problems were pointed out by the vice prime-minister a year ago,” Kozak’s press-secretary, Ilya Juice, declared to the daily newspaper Kommersant. The plan, which includes 52 detailed points and will introduce measures aiming at freeing the industry from needless administrative barriers, was also set up last year.

Following an order from President Dmitry Medvedev, a working group led by Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Anna Popova was set up at the beginning of 2010 to draft the relevant bills. Last March, the group presented their draft bills to the government and the cabinet approved them at the beginning of April 2010. Next step is for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to deliver his special order.

Kozak’s package of measures includes several full-size sections. The first measure concerns the correction of the city construction codes, in particular that related to the optimization of land right procedures – land for construction purposes will only be given through auctions. The other section is about state expertise. The main idea is to allow private companies to participate while reducing the valid time period necessary for it. Expertise will have to be carried out within 60 days after a request is made.

When talking about the intention to use the Olympic construction experience, Kozak meant the practice of using a law adopted by the State Duma in 2007. The law is in fact preventing Olympic constructions from following the land code, tax code, housing code, and civil code of the Russian Federation, as well as answering to the Arbitrazh Courts operating in the jurisdiction.

Nonetheless, potential investors still complain about the Olympic law. The main grounds for complaint are that the law does not allow the land (which has been obtained for constructing purpose) to become private when the Olympic Games have passed.