The silence of the big fish
As already told “Novaya Gazeta”, a year ago began a non-public campaign – conceptual change legislation is the fisheries sector, resulting in one large company would be able to get the right to catch half of the whole amount of the most valuable commercial species of crabs.
What at first seemed impossible and extremely has outraged the professional community, the year has become a reality. And last week the campaign and become involved in it, the Agency passed the stage of public denial.
Review the chronology. First was a letter addressed to the head of state with a request to withdraw from active fishermen crab quotas and sell them at auction. A letter without a signature and details, but with the resolution “to consider and report”. Most people immersed in the subject of the fishing industry, were convinced that the ideas expressed in the letter reflect the interests of the “Russian fishing company” (RPC) Gleb Frank and Maxim Vorobyov. Now this supposition is confirmed, including the actions of RBC, which are actually preparations for the crab auctions. Note that without the administrative resource, which, in the opinion of market participants, have Gleb Frank and Maxim Vorobyov, to implement the plans it is unlikely someone else in power.
Help. Gleb Frank, the son of the CEO of the shipping company “Sovcomflot” Sergey Frank, former Minister of transport. Married to the daughter of a businessman Gennady Timchenko Xenia. Maxim Vorobyov, the brother of Governor of Moscow region Andrei Vorobyov.
It was clear then that this campaign will go into the privacy mode. And, despite the fact that the letter got to the media was the catalyst for the huge number of public events, addresses of senators, governors, legislative assemblies, public organizations and many others, the Federal fisheries Agency and Ministry of agriculture remained silent or gave vague comments, more like a justification of his own helplessness before the actions of the serious lobbyists.
Moreover, any discussion of the Federal bodies of Executive power changes to fisheries legislation regarding the crab auctions, was held without the participation of industry representatives, and decisions adopted on the outcome of such discussions was classified.
After almost 9 months after the start of the campaign, 16 August 2018, unexpectedly a government Directive № 1697-p, which approved the “road map” development of competition in the 2018-2020 years in the fishing industry. In the document the Ministry of agriculture and the Federal fishery Agency directly required in 2018 to ensure the adoption of amendments to the law on fisheries on the distribution of 50 percent of the production of crab by auction in the electronic form, in violation of well-established in the industry, “the historical principle”.
Somewhat strange for a “road map” formulation, and fully meets the inquiries of the chief lobbyist of crab auctions, the trigger for action of some officials in the first place for the head of Rosrybolovstvo Ilya Shestakov. The main purpose of these actions – at any price to provide a legislative recognition of the unpopular decisions of fishermen.
First used the most sensitive to the state aspect – replenishment. Without any economic justification, without a single accepted norm Ilya Shestakov includes in the revenue part of the draft budget in 2019 and the planning period of 2020 and 2021 years, the income from the crab auctions in the amount of 82 billion rubles. This is a direct violation of articles 37 and 174.1 of the Budget code of the Russian Federation. It is stated in the conclusion of the accounting chamber of the Russian Federation, the conclusion of the Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs.
Moreover, in the discussion of 19 October 2018 project budget at the State Duma Committee on budget and taxes relevant for fishermen the Committee on natural resources pointed to these violations, in connection with which the Chairman of the Committee on budget and taxes Andrey Makarov staged the representatives of the Agency and Ministry of agriculture of the real the dressing live.
But despite the scandal, on 24 October, the draft budget was adopted by the State Duma in the first reading and in the revenue the proceeds from the crab auctions. That is in violation of the Budget code of the Russian Federation, the draft budget includes income that does not have one legal justification, actually written from the words of Ilya Shestakov.
Probably, the head of Rosrybolovstvo sure that the law on auctions will be adopted already this year, without a public discussion, without going through the appropriate procedures and feedback. Apparently, there are serious preconditions.
October 23, 2018 at a regular meeting of the Public Council under the Federal Agency for fisheries first question was a discussion of possible changes to the fisheries act in respect of allocation 50 percent of the production of crab. Council members once again expressed its concern about such changes. Moreover, there were voiced concerns that the bill is ready and being discussed by officials in a secret mode. Even the idea was announced to appeal to the Prosecutor General with a request to check whether a simple commercial bill has a “Secret”.
However, attending the meeting Ilya Shestakov assured Council members and the invitees that the bill will only be developed as there is a corresponding indication in the road map. The document is going to be presented to the public, but it will happen only in January 2019.
Promise Shestakova somewhat reassured members of the Council. But before the adjournment of the meeting it became known that on the website of the State Duma on 22 October 2018, it was reported that the bill has already been developed by the Federal Agency for fishery sent to the Ministry of agriculture and sent for approval to the Federal Executive authorities, in particular in the Ministry of Finance. Turns out, it was all done in secrecy?
By this time Ilya Shestakov had left the meeting and could not comment. Why, to put it mildly, to introduce the present members of the Council, and all other participants astray, most likely, rhetorical question. Now it is difficult to refute the claim that the Federal Agency for fishery Ilya Shestakov defend decisions that are most beneficial to the company, which aims to control the most attractive segment of the Russian fisheries complex.
Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that comes a new wave of young oligarchs, backed by influential family close to the government or incorporated in it that provides them with unlimited administrative support. They are so confident in their abilities that I do not consider unrealistic change in their regulatory interests of the whole industry. Importantly, there were officials ready to support such ideas and to act in a completely closed from the public regime. It was so behaved Ilya Shestakov, and not just at the meeting of the public Council. That’s what happens when secrecy is combined with commercial interest.
According to the materials: novayagazeta.ru