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Moscow takes money from regions

Москва отбирает деньги у регионов

Fifteen Russian regions were forced to return to the Federal centre more than 80 billion rubles of budget loans in the first half of this year. As we found out “Газете.Ru” this is connected with breach of obligations to the Ministry of Finance. In the future the government is going to go to a loan restructuring because the 50 subjects of the Russian Federation debt exceeds half of its income.

According to the Federal Treasury, in the first half of this year 15 regions were forced to return to the Treasury tens of billions of rubles of budgetary credits. Most returned Volgograd oblast – 21,329 billion. In second place is the Arkhangelsk oblast with 12,324 billion.

Three Russian region returned to approximately the same amount of budget credits. Saratov oblast, Kemerovo oblast, Astrakhan oblast gave 11,324 billion rubles., 11,345 bn, 10,242 billion rubles of budget loans, respectively.

A number of regions returned the money in a significant, but smaller quantities. For example, Krasnodar Krai, Orel oblast, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Republic of Mari El, and Pskov oblast was returned to the budget credits to the amount 4,958 billion rubles., 3,585 billion rubles., 2,421 billion RUB billion RUB 1,785 1,637 and bln, respectively.

The number of regions returned budgetary loans worth less than billion rubles. This Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Vladimir oblast, Vladimir oblast, Republic of Khakassia and Altai.

These 15 regions more than others will experience difficulties with debt repayment and servicing costs of regional budgets, says the analyst of “Finam” Alexey Korenev.

As stated in the Ministry of Finance, “the returns associated with the fulfillment of the terms of the agreements”.

Do not argue with this and the regions themselves. So, Vice-Governor of Krasnodar region Igor Galas confirmed “Газете.Ru” the words of the representatives of the Ministry of Finance.

“The repayment of loans associated, first, with the fact that for the transfer of the Olympic object “Main media center” in Sochi in the Krasnodar Krai was granted a subsidy from the Federal budget, which provided for repayment in corresponding amount of budget loans granted previously to the construction of Olympic objects”, — he explained.

However, according to the source “Газеты.Ru” the regions from the list had urgently to repay loans due to violations of budget agreements after pressing the “request” of the Ministry of Finance.

Some surveyed regions confirmed this version. As told “Газете.Ru” in the administration of the Arkhangelsk region, “according to the results of 2016 in connection with the failure of a profitable part of the originally approved budget of the Arkhangelsk region was not fulfilled the terms of the agreement with the Ministry of Finance on granting from the Federal budget to the budget of the Arkhangelsk region budget loans”.

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The amount given budgeted amount, which is called in the Arkhangelsk region and the data of the Ministry of Finance are not the same. So, “Газете.Ru” he said that Arkhangelsk oblast repaid on 30 June 2017 budget loans for the total amount of 12.3 billion Of these loans by RUB 2.2 bn maturity was to come in 2017.

Budget loans Ministry of Finance under 0.1% per annum began to issue regions to replace the expensive market borrowings. As told in an interview with TASS Deputy Minister of Finance Leonid Gornin, only this year the Ministry of Finance provided more than 200 billion rubles of budget loans.

To save the debts of the subjects of the Federation began not by choice, but because of the may presidential decrees signed by Vladimir Putin in 2012 after the presidential election. They ordered regions, in particular, to raise public sector wages, but their own revenues, many it was not, therefore, had to take.

According to the Finance Ministry, total state debt of regions in the first half of 2017 amounted to 2,234 trillion rubles. The share of budget loans was 47.6%, while the share of commercial loans is only 27.7%.

It was assumed that regions will perform all obligations under the may decrees to the end of this term of Vladimir Putin. However, it is obvious that it will fail and proprietary funds in the regions for this. The program will last until 2020, and for these purposes from the Federal budget to subjects of Federation it is planned to allocate about 2.2 trillion rubles.

Does not resolve the problem, even the substitution of expensive commercial loans budget. So consider new ways of supporting regions. In particular, we discuss the option of debt restructuring subjects.

As stated at the end of September, the state Council Vladimir Putin in 2018 will be running a restructuring programme budget accumulated credits for up to seven years.

“And in the first two years of the program, the best terms: the regions will have to pay only 5% of the debt annually. The subjects thus freed money, there are additional resources to address socio-economic challenges, to solve problems associated with the creation of new jobs, to improve the quality of life of citizens”, — said the President.

According to Putin, in 50 regions debt exceeds half of its own revenue, and in the eight regions it is higher than own revenues.

“This, of course, absolutely critical level. In some subjects climbed in tax revenues of future years, that is this year taken from taxpayers that they must pay in the next and subsequent years. And next year how to live? This method of farming is, as it does to say the least, controversial, drives to a standstill and regional Finance”, — said the head of state.

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After the statement of the head of state, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said that even the specific terms of the participation of regions in program restructuring. According to the head of the Finance Ministry, the regions should, in particular, to reduce the borrowing market loans to 50% of its income by 1 January 2020, to keep the budget funds of the subject in Bank deposits longer than one month.

In General, according to siluanova, the government will no longer provide the regions long budget loans.

However, the views of the regions themselves concerning the promised support measures were divided. As stated in the administration of Krasnodar region, the restructuring will enable the region “to decrease the volume of attracted loans, the region needs for debt restructuring in General.”

“Name a specific amount that is “freed up”, of course, premature. On behalf of the President Ministry of Finance will first be prepared by the relevant normative-legal acts, then every subject will be concluded agreement on restructuring terms. Only then can we objectively assess the amount of funds that will be used for additional funding of programs”, — says Igor Galas.

According to the first Vice President of the organization “OPORA Russia” Paul Segal, “restructuring budget loans more efficient, as it will encourage regions to improve their investment attractiveness and to improve financial performance”.

As told in the Astrakhan region, according to the proposed restructuring programme, the region should return to the Federal budget in 2018 0.6 billion rubles is provided under the schedule of repayment of 2.3 billion rubles. “Thus, the budget freed up financial resources of more than 1.7 billion rubles, which can be aimed at solving social problems”, — noted in the region.

Thus, whatever the result, neither showed a new mechanism of support of the regions, one thing is clear: in the near future the authorities will hardly dare to repeat the may decrees, with old debts to pay.

At the same time, the Deputy of the state Duma from the Irkutsk region Mikhail Chupov stated that the proposed means of support is clearly insufficient.

Not enough money to provide at least an acceptable level of expenses for construction, he said.

“Last year, for example, in the Irkutsk region of applications from municipalities for construction of social facilities was almost 35 billion rubles, and granted it was less than a quarter of this amount. Schools, kindergartens, hospitals. In the regions there is fierce competition between municipalities for every penny, and still not enough,” he says.

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