New article on the protection of the rights of Arctic indigenous peoples


New article on the protection of the rights of Arctic indigenous peoples

A new article will appear in the draft law on investor benefits in the Arctic zone. It will protect the rights of the indigenous peoples of the North living in this territory. These amendments were proposed by Yakut parliamentarians with the support of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East. According to Peter Gogolev, Chairman of the State Assembly Il Tumen of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the federal law should take into account the interests of the local population and promote economic and social growth of the Arctic territories of Russia. The proposal was supported by the State Duma, so now the Yakut lawmakers are working on amendments for the second reading.

The first hearing of the draft law “On state support of entrepreneurship in the Arctic zone of Russia” was held in the State Duma on March 12. This law provides significant tax benefits and other support measures for investors. Companies and individualentrepreneurs, who open a new business and invest at least ₽10 million, will receive these benefits. At the same they will get the status of the resident of the Arctic zone. The project is supervised by the Ministry of the Far East and Arctic Development of the Russian Federation.
The special support regime will operate in the Arctic territories of Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk Region, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions, in Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets and Chukotka Autonomous Districts, as well as in Komi and Karelia Republics.

Representatives of the Parliament of Yakutia have repeatedly raised the issue of legislation of the the rights of the local population and the responsibilities of entrepreneurs who intend to develop their businesses in the territory, where the indigenous peoples of the North historically live. The Working Committee of the State Duma has supported the majority of the amendments of the Yakut deputies and has used them as a basis in the draft for consideration in the second reading.

Peter Gogolev had also told how the Arctic bill will change. It will contain a new article on protection of the rights of indigenous peoples of the North. At the same time, the project will exclude paragraphs on the land withdrawal forced by the federal authorities and the management companies.

According to him, some of the amendments were supported by a working group of the State Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, but there are amendments that still need to be improved.

Yakut parliamentarians insist that the law should be applied to the territories of traditional nature use of indigenous peoples of the North, as well as to specially protected natural areas. The existing law also is not taking into account the fact that a significant part of coastal areas are in the Russian border zone.

Legislation of a priority procedure for providing jobs for the local population has also been proposed. For example, establishment of the credits for employment of the population of the regions where the enterprise operates. Furthermore, the Parliament of Yakutia insists that the law should provide for active participation of entrepreneursin social, cultural and educational life of the Arctic regions. For this purpose, local governments should make agreements with entrepreneurs regulating how investors are going to contribute to economic growth and social well-being of the local population.

Another important addition is that the deputies propose to coordinate all of the construction works with the local authorities and hold public hearings for all projects and placement schemes. The deputies also want entrepreneurs to be obliged to compensate for losses from activities that may harm the life of the Arctic Zone and the local population.


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