On the eve of a new stage in the distribution of grants for 2 billion rubles. to support tourism projects, business through the “Support of Russia” asks the government to revise the criteria for selecting the winners. Participants of the tourism industry are not satisfied that state support within the first stage was able to receive state and municipal enterprises, projects with a large share of investor funds and entrepreneurs loyal to the regional authorities. This is contrary to the principle of grant support and prevents from obtaining funding for useful projects, they are sure in the market.
Kommersant obtained a letter in which Opora Rossii asks Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to initiate a revision of the rules for granting subsidies from the RF budget for grant support of projects for the development of domestic and inbound tourism established by a government decree. The government office reported that the appeal has not yet been received. Rosturizm did not promptly answer Kommersant’s questions.
“Opora” asks to exclude state and municipal enterprises from the list of participants in the competition. In 2020, according to the organization, they received seven grants totaling RUB 15.6 million. Such organizations are already financed from budgetary funds, explains Alexei Kozhevnikov, vice president of Opora Rossii. Yuri Fedyukin, Managing Partner of Enterprise Legal Solutions, agrees that accounting for applications from GUPs and MUPs discriminates against other business representatives.
The competition for grant support of projects for the development of domestic and inbound tourism was held in November 2020, 1.2 billion rubles were distributed among 474 winners. for co-financing the development of new routes, the purchase of the necessary equipment, including modular hotels, funds for rental points, car purchases, etc. Now preparations are underway for the second stage, for which 2 billion rubles have been allocated.
Opora Rossii also proposes to abandon the criterion for evaluating applications, according to which applicants receive priority, in whose projects there will be more own funds than requested. This violates the very principle of grant support, when an entrepreneur is encouraged for an interesting project or idea, the letter says to the prime minister. Yuri Fedyukin draws attention to the fact that due to a large share of his funds, it is precisely state and municipal structures that can get an advantage in the distribution of grants. The expert calls such a criterion inexpedient: “An idea that is useful for the region will never be implemented, since its initiator did not have the necessary funds of its own to interest the commission.” Private business still expects to receive a grant that will cover most of the costs of the project, he adds.
Unreasonable advantages, according to Opora Rossii, in the current version of the resolution can also be given by the selection criterion providing for the support of the project by the local authorities or the existence of an agreement with them. Now the requirements for it are not defined, so one participant can provide just an agreement, and the other – an agreement with obligations. One of the market participants interviewed by Kommersant believes that it is necessary to completely abandon the mandatory regional support for projects, “the subjects of the Russian Federation a priori provide it only to loyal business.”
The criteria for selecting participants, promulgated by “Opora”, is not the only complaint that businesses have about the allocation of grants. In February 2021, the FAS began an audit in relation to Rostourism after the application of several selection participants: based on its results, violations of antimonopoly legislation were revealed. Rostourism reported on July 2 that the department has eliminated all the violations identified and adjusted the regulations on the competition. Igor Blinov, a representative of one of the authors of the appeal to Skidki-Online.ru, points out that the company has not yet received an explanation of the violations it pointed out. The company complained about the affiliation of the winners with members of the competition committee, the presence of a non-core business and several territorial offices of the same structure among the finalists.