Duma Passes Bill On Inspections

The State Duma on Wednesday passed in the first reading a bill aimed at reducing the myriad inspections and red tape that business owners are subjected to, Interfax reported.

The bill would limit the number of planned state inspections of a business to one every three years and would forbid inspectors from spending more than 70 hours per year carrying out checks on the premises of a small business.

Duma deputies on Wednesday also passed in a first reading a bill banning law enforcement agencies from carrying out tax inspections without a request from tax authorities. Furthermore, law enforcement officers will be required to give business owners stamped photocopies of any confiscated documents.

The bills must pass two more Duma readings, expected to be held this year, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Anna Popova told Interfax. The bills must then be approved by the Federation Council before going to the president for his signature.