Nornickel took part in the first plenary meeting of the Expert Council of the State Duma on Legislative Support for the Development of Russia’s Arctic Region.
The meeting was held on 9 October and was attended by members of the State Duma, experts in matters related to legislation, natural resource management, industry, social protection, science and economy, along with heads of executive authorities. Opening the meeting, Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chair of the State Duma, said that she hoped for fruitful cooperation with representatives of the expert community.
Members of the Council discussed regulatory bottlenecks as regards the development of the Russian Arctic and provided recommendations on approaches to formulate a new Development Strategy for the Far North Regions.
Nornickel was represented by Elena Bezdenezhnykh, the Company’s Vice-President, a member of the Expert Council, who highlighted the importance of Nornickel’s efforts in the Arctic development and spoke about large-scale public-private partnership projects run by the Company, including the reconstruction of the Norilsk Airport, construction of the fibre optic communication line going to the Norilsk Industrial District, and programme for relocating Far East residents to mild climate regions.
Elena Bezdenezhnykh also told the Expert Council about the Company’s significant endeavours in funding social programmes and reducing air pollutant emissions (shutdown of Nickel Plant in Norilsk and implementation of the Sulphur Project).
She said that the government’s support could make large industrial, social and environmental projects carried out by businesses in the Arctic more efficient and thus more profitable for both the state and businesses. “Tax incentives; wider use of Priority Social and Economic Development Areas (PSEDA), Regional Investment Projects (RIP) and similar tools; inclusion of additional industries to the list of those allowed to enter into special investment contracts (for example, in sports and tourism) — such measures could contribute greatly to the development of both businesses and their regions of operations, especially in Russia’s Arctic zone,” commented Elena Bezdenezhnykh.
She said that it was also worth looking into using multiplier of 3 for accounting depreciation charges with regard to large-scale capital investments related to environmental initiatives in the Arctic zone. “If adopted, such draft law would facilitate the implementation of major environmental investment programmes and support the development of technologies and industries in the Arctic Region. At the same time, environmental improvements would enable further social and economic progress in the Russian Arctic,” she emphasised.