The authorities have proposed to release the defense enterprises from the payment of dividends

The proposal to free the enterprises of the military-industrial complex from paying dividends was included in the draft government plan to accelerate investment growth. This is an attempt to neutralize the effect of sanctions and stimulate the production of civilian products.
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Profit on investment projects

The proposal to exempt the defense industry from paying dividends is contained in the draft action plan to accelerate the growth rate of investments in fixed assets and increase their share in GDP to 25% (RBC has). The preparation of a package of measures to increase investment in the Russian economy was coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Development on behalf of the government.

The authenticity of the document was confirmed by RBC two sources familiar with its content.

In the document, in particular, it is proposed to exempt the organizations of the military-industrial complex from paying dividends "in terms of directing net profit to the implementation of investment projects." Among the executors of the proposal are the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The press service of the Ministry of Economic Development did not respond to a request from RBC. In the information and mass communications department of the Ministry of Defense, RBC explained that they could not comment on the proposal, since the issue is not within the competence of the department. The Ministry of Industry and Trade could not promptly provide a comment.

In the state corporation "Rostec" RBC reported that they have not yet got acquainted with this initiative, but they support such measures.

“This is a good idea,” said Dmitry Lelikov, Deputy Director General of Rostec State Corporation, told RBC. - Of course, a reasonable balance is necessary here, taking into account the interests of shareholders. But, of course, it can be an effective development mechanism - not only for defense enterprises, but also for the state industry as a whole. ”

Defense dividends

In Rosimushchestvo, where dividends are deducted from the shares of enterprises owned by the state, RBC reported that they have not yet received the relevant offers. According to the interlocutor in the department, the amount of dividends of the largest defense industry enterprises amounts to hundreds of millions of rubles.

In 2017, the United Shipbuilding Corporation transferred to Rosimushchestvo a little more than 100 million rubles in 2017, the manufacturer of the S-400 concern VKO Almaz-Antey - 272 million rubles, a supplier of automated control systems for warships and submarines concern NPO Avrora - 372 million producing hydroacoustic systems for the Navy concern “Oceanpribor” - 125.5 million rubles.

The plan to accelerate investments, which President Vladimir Putin ordered to prepare following his message to the Federal Assembly, envisages several directions - from improving the investment climate to infrastructure development and financial support for companies. According to Putin’s instructions, the share of investment in GDP should reach 25% (now around 21%).

The Ministry of Economic Development proposes to accelerate investment activity through measures distributed in five key blocks. These include improving the investment climate and reducing business costs, developing infrastructure, increasing the efficiency of state-owned companies and developing competition, increasing financial support for investment activity, as well as increasing investment in the energy, industry and transport sectors.

According to two interlocutors of RBC in the largest defense holdings, the released funds will be for enterprises, including a source of investment in the production of civilian products.

In December 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin set the goal of bringing the share of civilian products of defense enterprises to at least 17% of total production by 2020, to 30% by 2025, to 50% by 2030. Aviation, shipbuilding, medicine, telecommunications, space technologies, robotics and the fuel and energy complex were selected as priority markets for the diversification of defense enterprises.

General Director of "Rostec" Sergey Chemezov said earlier that the program would level out the risks associated with the possibility of expanding sanctions from the United States and other countries. “The organizations of the Russian defense-industrial complex put in difficult conditions will not only be forced to diversify production with an emphasis on civilian products. They will also ensure readiness to transfer the economy to work in wartime conditions, fulfill mobilization tasks, ”said the head of the state corporation.

In this regard, Sergey Chemezov proposed to allocate an additional 300 billion rubles from the federal budget in 2019–2030. to Vnesheconombank’s program for subsidizing defense enterprises that are developing civilian production. Back in 2017, VEB and Rostec announced the launch of a joint venture for conversion, which promotes high-tech civilian products manufactured by defense industry organizations.