Arrival of effective owners a must in privatization – Medvedev

Empty Boardroom

YAKUTSK. April 2 (Interfax) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the arrival of an effective owner is a must when state companies are being privatized; the government, however, cannot force any decisions on businesses.

“No one can force any decisions on anyone. We want our businesses to be socially responsible, but we cannot institute this by passing decrees,” Medvedev told activists of the United Russia party’s Yakutsk branch.

Medvedev was speaking about possible negative aspects of state companies’ privatization, including the curtailment of social programs.

He said social responsibility was not characteristic of the Russian businesses in the 1990s, as “businesses did not believe in the government’s ability to guarantee long-term development and they would manage to divert their capital.”

Now businesses have changed their ways “and no longer want to conceal their capital, and want to invest in major projects,” Medvedev said.

“The government did not dictate anything to businesses,” the prime minister said.

On the consequences of privatization, Medvedev said companies are given privatization guidelines and one of them is the arrival of an effective owner.