Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday proposed a reform of veterinary regulations that would curb corruption, protect manufacturers and cut costs.
"[We] should switch over to modern, market-driven forms of control, make use of accreditation, insurance mechanisms and the capabilities of independent institutions to provide the evaluation of product quality and security," he said Tuesday chairing an agriculture meeting. "The reduction of excessive bureaucracy should be accompanied by an increase in the responsibility of all market participants."
Putin said a total of 8 billion rubles ($270 million) had been spent by the agricultural sector on certificates and permissions in 2009 alone.
"Under the most conservative estimates, businessmen spent 4 billion rubles to get certificates from the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service in 2009 alone," he said, adding that a similar amount was spent on other regional bureaucratic procedures.
In order to transport imported fruits and vegetables from St. Petersburg to Chelyabinsk, one needs to get a veterinary certificate from every town where even one box of produce is dropped off, he said.
Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik estimated that the reforms will result in a 70 percent drop in the bureaucratic burden on the agriculture sector, adding that about half of the current regulations would be changed.
A road map for improving regulations and legislation will be drafted in the next two years, Skrynnik said, adding that the duplication of functions between federal and regional regulators is currently the major cause of problems in veterinary control.