The government supported a bill on fines for non-sale of proceeds received in foreign currency. Liability threatens exporters – both the companies themselves and top managers. State Duma deputies and senators came up with the idea. As Vedomosti writes, the government supported the initiative, but left several comments: it proposed setting a maximum fine, identifying the responsible department and clarifying the time frame. Deputies want to hold businesses accountable retroactively, from the moment the presidential decree came into force, and this is contrary to the Constitution.
Will fines be effective? Financial expert Alexey Bushuev is confident that this will minimize speculation and support the ruble exchange rate:
“Finally, the authorities wanted to put things in order in the area of the sale of foreign currency earnings, and, apparently, the movement of capital in general. In particular, introduce liability of officials for failure to carry out sales activities. That is, not only will the legal entity be subject to some kind of sanctions, but also the officials will, apparently, bear administrative penalties to begin with, and then there will be the question of criminal liability.
It will become much more difficult to carry out various types of fraud – you received proceeds, sell them immediately. Naturally, this, on the one hand, will lead to exchange rate fluctuations.
It is clear that if there is an opportunity to speculate on the exchange rate, withdraw capital and earn a pretty penny on it, even state corporations will do this. Each director’s individual KPI is focused, among other things, on profit and on achieving certain financial goals.”
At the same time, exporters are already selling foreign currency earnings, this is difficult to avoid. But it is logical for the authorities to establish fines for this, says economist Igor Nikolaev:
“They paid well even before the well-known decision on compulsory sale was made. About 80% of foreign exchange earnings were realized. When the corresponding decree was adopted, sales began to increase slightly. I think the problem here is not so much that they were paid poorly, but that if there is some kind of norm, there should also be a norm introducing responsibility if this is not met.
That is why such a proposal appeared; it is necessary to bring the legislation into compliance. But we understand that the export situation is unlikely to improve. And this is a serious problem from the point of view of the stability of the same ruble.
At the same time, I don’t think that this will greatly support the ruble exchange rate. The effect was partly due to the signing of a decree introducing the mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings. The range to which the ruble has strengthened is already approximately minus 10 rubles, whether for the dollar or the euro. Now the rates have more or less stabilized. That is, making a decision, even an expanded discussion of the amendments that introduce responsibility, will no longer seriously affect the course. The exchange rate, so to speak, played out the decision to introduce the mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings.”
Business had problems due to the sale of foreign currency earnings, exporters were drawn into the “rouble cycle.” Companies that receive revenue abroad in rubles are forced to buy foreign currency with them and then resell them on the Russian market, as required by law. Because of this, businessmen suffer losses on double conversion.