From milk to mortgages – Gazeta Kommersant № 55 (7256) from 31.03.2022

On March 30, the White House approved another set of anti-crisis measures, which the authorities have been discussing for the past two weeks. Among them – increasing the limits of preferential mortgages on housing in new buildings with a new rate of 12% per annum, postponing the labeling of dairy products for farmers, increasing the share of advancement of state contracts from a maximum of 30% to 50-90%. The government has also approved a decree on the legalization of parallel imports – a list of goods whose import will be allowed to bypass the right holders, not yet.

According to the White House, the fourth package of anti-crisis measures was considered by the presidium of the government commission for increasing the resilience of the economy on Wednesday. According to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, this is about 20 measures. In particular, the government approved a resolution to revise the parameters of preferential mortgages for the purchase of housing in new buildings – the rate changed from the previous 7% to 12% per annum (it is difficult to say whether they have changed in real terms), credit limit – from 3 million to 12 million rubles (in Moscow and the region, in St. Petersburg and the region) and up to 6 million in other regions. The head of DOM.RF Vitaly Mutko said that now the program covers almost three quarters of the apartments for sale in new buildings. He expects that in the second quarter, banks will issue more than 50 thousand. loans in the amount of 300-350 billion rubles. (Since April 2020, 740 thousand loans worth 2.2 trillion rubles have been issued).

Note that experts are skeptical about the lending activity of citizens under this program – due to the sharp rise in interest rates. They expect that the demand will soon shift to family mortgages, the parameters of which have not changed (6%; see Kommersant, March 24). Judging by the text of the resolution, this is expected in the government – the volume of subsidized soft loans under family mortgages increases from 1.68 trillion to 2.75 trillion rubles, on mortgages for new buildings – from 2.4 trillion rubles. only up to 2.55 trillion rubles.

For developers working with the state, the government has approved an increased advance on contracts for 2022 – now the prepayment is not more than 30% of their amount, and contractors are forced to take loans to perform work.

Note that during the discussion, this initiative has changed somewhat. If previously it was announced to increase the prepayment to 50-80% (see Kommersant, March 16), now an advance of 50% to 90% is allowed, provided the treasury support (without it, the maximum advance will be 50%). This will apply only to federal government contracts – the regions are encouraged to make similar decisions.

Other concessions include a one-year postponement of the introduction of mandatory labeling of dairy products for farmers (until December 1, 2023). Until this date, catering establishments, schools and kindergartens are exempted from the obligation to send data on the purchase of milk and bottled water to the monitoring system. Grocery stores are exempt from this until September 1, 2022 (for sold “milk”) and until March 1, 2023 (for water). As Mikhail Mishustin explained, this will help reduce the risk of supply disruptions, and at the same time the administrative burden on business “in such a difficult period.”

On Wednesday, plans to legalize parallel imports – the import of goods into Russia by any organization, not just rights holders – were also enshrined in law. At the suggestion of the departments, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will compile lists of such goods – it was previously reported that they are already being prepared (see Kommersant, March 29). These are mainly products of mass demand, the supply of which has become more difficult due to logistics problems and the departure of foreign companies from the Russian market. How this will work is not yet clear. The construction presented by the White House, says the director of the International Center for Competition Law and Policy of the BRICS countries at the HSE Alexei Ivanov, is a “surrogate with temporary effect.” In itself, the ban on parallel imports is maintained – at least through existing customs control measures, says the expert. According to him, “the regime of selective definition at the level of the ministry of the list of goods, which may change, deprives importers of the opportunity to plan work and build logistics chains.”

Evgenia Kryuchkova

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