Titov Hopeful That Russian Businesses Will Continue Work Mid-May

Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov expects that enterprises, including restaurants, shops and museums that had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic to resume operations from mid-May, TASS reported.

“I hope that starting May 12-15, part of the businesses will start to resume their operation. This applies to certain restaurants, shops, museums, exhibitions, sightseeing sites. They will be allowed to resume work on condition they observe special regulations,” he said.

However, according to the business ombudsman, sporting events and concerts can be resumed “not earlier than in autumn or even in the end of the year.”

He also noted that his administration had developed and is now discussing with experts from the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) regulations for the resumption of the activities of shopping malls.

Earlier, the Russian government adopted a package of measures to support business in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses from the most affected sectors will be granted a grace period to pay rent and taxes, with the exception of VAT.

The authorities also introduced a moratorium on the bankruptcy of such companies and launched special credit programs. The Finance Ministry reserved 1.4 trillion rubles ($18.8 bln), or 1.2% of GDP, for the first anti-crisis plan for combating coronavirus.

On April 15, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to start working on new measures to support the economy amid the pandemic.

In particular, he instructed the authorities to provide enough funds to small and medium-sized enterprises to pay salaries to their employees in the amount a minimum wage of 12,130 rubles per month, The companies can count on such support from the government on condition that they manage to retain at least 90% of their personnel by April 1. This mechanism was launched on May 1.

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