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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City Plans to Close 50 Markets




The Moscow city government plans to shut down about 35 percent of local open-air markets this year in an effort to boost tax collection and to enforce stricter compliance with sanitary norms, officials said


Some 50 of Moscow's more than 220 so-called "small wholesale" markets could be closed by the end of the year, according to the head of the city's wholesale market subdivision, Olga Zubkova.


Up to 70 percent of Moscow families are estimated to regularly shop at these markets, which sell food and household goods at prices up to 40 percent lower than regular stores. Small-scale traders use the markets to stock up on goods they then resell.


Zubkova said by phone Wednesday that the city government "recognizes" that such markets are the "only affordable choice for some," but will nonetheless convene later this month to decide exactly which markets should be closed.


She would not comment on local news reports that at least another 100 markets may be shut down by 2002. City officials have been threatening to close such markets for the past few years.


Closing down even 50 markets will allow the city government to collect an additional 2 billion rubles in tax revenue, said Zubkova, adding that the money will come from the regular stores that are poised to win the clientele of closing markets and do, for the most part, pay taxes.


Moscow's markets are estimated to have a total daily turnover of up to 30 million rubles, but only a small part of this sum is taxed due to a lack of accounting records and cash registers.


Zubkova said the markets most likely to be shut down are those that have either repeatedly violated accounting and sanitary regulations or might be a hindrance to the third concentric circle of Moscow's ring road, currently under construction.


The markets that survive will be required to scrap the kiosk-like containers, which are transported using flatbed railroad cars and number about 17,000, and construct stationary "pavilions" instead, Zubkova said.


She added that all vendors at the remaining markets will have to undergo health checks and will be required to buy special IDs to ensure they can be held responsible if customers complain about product quality or cheating.


Customers and vendors are already complaining. Irina, a 34-year-old housewife who regularly does her shopping at a market near the Yugo-Zapadnaya metro station, said she would definitely continue to keep away from stores.


"I can endure dirt and cheating as long as ... I pay less," she said.


One vendor who would only reveal his first name - Hayk - said he is tired of the city's endless "plundering."


"First they banned makeshift kiosks and I had to buy a proper one; then they banned all kiosks and I had to lease this container; now they are going to scrap those too," he complained.


The Moscow Society for the Protection of Consumers' Rights also criticized the city's plan.


One of the organization's experts, Yelena Kurnitskaya, said Wednesday that city officials should try enforcing stricter observation of sanitary norms and improving tax collection at markets rather than shut them down.


"Unfortunately, in our country, authorities prefer to solve problems by banning things rather than improving them," the expert said.


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MARKETS THAT MAY BE THE FIRST TO GO


MARKETS OBSTRUCTING CONSTRUCTION OF THIRD RING ROAD


Yauzskiye Vorota - 34 Nizhegorodskaya Ulitsa


AST Cherkizovo - 5 Okruzhnoi Proyezd


Radius+ - 10 Okruzhnoi Proyezd


Timiko - 890 Proyektiruyemy Proyezd


Krona Market, Lefortovo Shopping Center - 12 Ulitsa Voitovicha


Kashirsky Dvor - junction of Kolomensky and Kashirsky Proyezd


MARKETS OBSTRUCTING OTHER CONSTRUCTION OR ZONING


Ramenki - 3 Ulitsa Ramenki


Novaya Yarmarka - 16 Davydkovskaya Ulitsa


Nikulino - 634 Proyektiruyemy Proyezd


Yaroslavsky - 111 Yaroslavskoye Shosse


Oskol - 40-42 Aviatsionnaya Ulitsa


Kira - 607 2nd Lykovskaya Ulitsa


Varlon-M - 9-11 Ulitsa Stratonavtov


Russkoye Zoloto Mytino - 31 Pyatnitskoye Shosse


Izmailovo Market "Sam LTD." - 63A Izmailovsky Prospekt


Krona Market, Novokosinsky Trading Center - 26 Saltykovskaya Ulitsa


Veshnyaki - 19 Kosinskaya Ulitsa


MARKETS WITHIN PARK ZONES


Novinki/Novinka - 31 Ulitsa Nivinki


Orekhovo - 45 Shipilovsky Proyezd, Building 1


Source: Noviye Izvestia