© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko
Adopted the second reading of the budget of the Russian Federation for the years 2020-2022. And now we can consider the priorities that have guided the state in formulating fiscal policy for the implementation of the presidential instructions on ensuring accelerated economic growth.Main conclusion: the budget “presses the gas pedal to the floor” — and it’s not just the infusion of money into the economy, and the infusion of money at the same time in key national projects and social issues. The result of these injections will be felt already in the first year of implementation of the new budget.According to the main amendments which were included in the budget priority in the years 2020-2022 will be the social and economic development of the regions.
The result of the first reading of the budget is a kind of draft, and a significant portion of the “settings” of the financial parameters of the budget took place before the second reading: according to the Vice-speaker of the state Duma, “the second reading was presented to more than 600 amendments.” The reallocation of resources turned out to be very ambitious: “within the framework of national projects is being redistributed 2020 funds in the amount of 100 billion rubles, for 2021 — 112 billion, in 2022 — almost 100 billion rubles.”
It is worth Recalling: the most striking element of the parliamentary discussion of the budget in the first reading was the discussion about the desirability of accelerating the funding of national projects, President Vladimir Putin made a bid to accelerate economic growth. Moreover, was marked by the fact that in the regions “Federal money” often comes at the end of the year, which seriously hampers the financing of road works and other important regional costs.In the second reading on these aspects again drew the attention of the speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, and in its response to the proposals of the Duma, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that all the work on the drafting and signing of appropriate documents with the regions will be completed by the end of 2019. This means that for the first time in Russian history the first working day of the new year the regions will be able to use the money that is provided for them in the budget.It is worth emphasizing that in the past month already recorded a positive trend in terms of budget allocation: the Ministry of Finance has shown a willingness to accelerate the infusion of money into the economy. Analysts Sberbank Investment Research, in comments to RIA Novosti news Agency indicate that “in November and December, the government will support high growth of expenditures to reduce the gap between plan and actual performance. <…> The growth of budget expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2019, apparently, will support investment and construction activity, which will contribute to the improvement of the dynamics of GDP. In the fourth quarter of 2019, we expect to accelerate annual economic growth of almost two percent compared to 1.7 percent for the third quarter of 2019, bringing the rate (of economic growth. — Approx. ed.) for the 2019 year will be 1.3 percent.”
The key point of the discussion of the budget in the second reading was the dialogue between the speaker of the state Duma and Minister of Finance, who was represented at the meeting, the interests of the government.Main amendments (of more than four hundred, which was accepted by the state Duma) was reduced to four important proposals. The first important amendment: the state Duma suggested the government to actually reformat the schedule of financing of regions, and now the money will come in the beginning of the year. The second important suggestion was that the alignment of budgetary security of regions: if very roughly, this technical term hides an uncomfortable reality — there are regions that receive and earn so little money that any attempt to accelerate economic and social development face serious difficulties. The state Duma has proposed and the government agreed to help these regions and the Federal co — financing the ten regions with the lowest budget revenues (such as Pskov oblast, Kurgan oblast, Karelia and others) can count on a radically increased (up to 99 percent) of Federal co-financing in the framework of national projects and government programs.The Ministry of Finance also agreed on amendments aimed at promoting investment in the regions and easing their debt burden. In the years 2014-2016, the period of deterioration of economic conditions, the Federal center held a mass replacement of expensive Bank loans, taken out by regional authorities, cheap loans from the Federal government. But even this seriously lightweight, the debt burden to some extent restricts the financial potential of the regions. The government agreed to the following incentive scheme regional economies: the regions are now allowed to send up to five percent of the debt on budgetary credits for the investment projects. Moreover, additional tools that the Federal budget will receive from the implementation of these investment projects will reduce the debts of the regions.The last key issue is the fundamental decision about the direction of the additional “non-oil” revenue for the development of rural areas. A radical increase in the funding of Russian rural territories is an important change in the budget, which was discussed at the level of the state Duma speaker and Chairman of the government. With an initial 18 billion rubles, the amount was increased twice — up to 36 billion. The ultimate goal of the announced increased funding for rural areas to 60 billion rubles next year.Social orientation of the main financial document of the country is confirmed by a long list of specific social programmes and expenditures, the financing of which the deputies entered in the budget between readings: the expansion of the new program “rural teacher”, additional funding for the provision of housing to orphans, increase in funds for the wages of firefighters, support for children’s theatres, financing of construction and reconstruction of children’s clubs and so on….At the recent BRICS summit in Brazil, Vladimir Putin told foreign journalists on how Russia managed to avoid a recession: “over the years We have adopted a balanced macroeconomic policy, a responsible attitude to public finances, support the stability of the banking and credit markets, seek to strengthen key sectors of the economy”, — said the Russian leader.
If you read the forecasts of Western analysts on the Russian economy, which were made in the years 2014-2016, at the peak of “postkrymsky” of the crisis, in the context of the pressure of sanctions and falling oil prices, it’s easy to see: with rare exception, the expected collapse of the Russian economy.
But it did not happen — because of the actions transferred by the Russian leader. If you read the same Analytics today, it’s about the same consensus speaks of almost eternal deceleration of economic growth. Budget 2020-2022 gives grounds for optimism. I hope that the Russian economy by the end of next year will find something to surprise professional pessimists.Ivan Danilov