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 The Party of Regions Wants to Remove Supermarkets from the Cities, Forbidding Them Working at Weekends and Make Them Sell Ukrainian Goods

The Party of Regions is offering to take anti-market measures - to limit the operation of commercial retailers in the territory of towns and cities.

Supermarkets may disappear entirely from the cities. The Party of Regions proposes dismantling and allowing to build new ones only outside city limits, writes Kommersant-Ukraine.

Only food stores of up to 300 square meters will remain in the cities. At that the retailers will have to refrain from imported products and ensure that 80% of the range is domestic goods. The participants of the retail market call the prospect catastrophic.

The faction colleagues of the author are ready to prevent it from being passed. The bill N2067 "On stimulating the development of domestic market of food products," was registered by Party of Regions single constituency deputy Oleh Tsariov. The document calls on adopting anti-market regulations - limit the retailers in all cities and towns. Only food shops and mixed shops (food and non-food items) with a total area of 300 square meters will be able to operate in the city. Supermarkets and hypermarkets will be brought at least 5 kilometers outside the settlements.

They will have a limited work schedule: customers can buy goods only from Monday to Saturday, and only from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Sunday and public holidays should be made mandatory days off. Mode of operation of these stores will be subject to change by local authorities at their discretion. Retailers will have a transition period for "redevelopment of the premises or reconstruction of the grocery stores" - they will be given a year after the entry into force of the proposed legislation, if it is to be supported by the Parliament. Such reform, says Tsariov is necessary for the development of small and medium-sized businesses, since now, the major chains are trying to destroy them. Market participants call the bill "strange," and its realization - "unreal."

According to the CFO of Velyka Kyshenia Oleh Piavka only Kyiv has over a hundred shopping areas of over 300 square meters. This category includes the so-called "convenience stores".

"In contrast to Europe, in Ukraine not everyone has a car to go shopping every day outside the city. Given the quality of roads and traffic jams in Kyiv, providing people with even essential goods will be problematic," said Mr. Piavka.

According to him, in Europe there is the economic feasibility to locate shops outside the cities, where land is cheaper and it is easier to find a suitable site. According to representatives of retail chains the law will bring nothing but nuisance to consumers and supermarkets. There is practically no space for new construction, and in addition food prices will rise.

"It will be a disaster. 300 sq. m. is like a kiosk. You can buy bread, milk and vodka, and what about the rest? Consumer's demands for other goods cannot be met," says another angered market participant "and it is not true that there are such restrictions in Europe. Maybe in the center of Saint-Tropez and Paris, where the author of the bill goes on vacation it is difficult to put a supermarket because of the historic sights but to remove the shops from the city is heresy."

The deputies of the Parliamentary Committee for Enterprise, Regulatory and Antitrust policy are also cautious in regard to the initiative. According to the head of the Committee of Oleksandra Kuzhel (Batkivschyna), with the development of large retail chains every 1-2 thousand entrepreneurs lose their jobs. But she quickly adds that such a law would have been relevant 15 years ago - that's when it could have saved the city from the chaotic building. The author is late with this bill. Now there is nowhere to move them and it will look like sweeping the market," she said.

First deputy head of the committee Vladyslav Lukianov (Party of Regions) considers it a comeback to the end of the 1990s when the small kiosks trading food were developing.

"I have great respect for the author, but it is unlikely that he will be supported because it is an invasion of private property. This is like closing a big enterprise and opening up a lot of small ones," he concluded.

Oleh Tsariov admits his bill is harsh and he is ready for compromise: since compensations for relocation of supermarkets is not provided in the bill, he offers for the bill to cover only new chains.

 
 
 
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