Tatyana Golikova: the public budget loans, allocated in 2016 to the regions, have reduced the level of their public debt by 26.8 billion rubles.
Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber Tatyana Golikova spoke at the meeting of the Federation Council on the work of the Accounts Chamber in 2015.
Speaking about the implementation of the anti-crisis measures of the Russian government, Golikova drew attention to the efficiency of the development of the domestic commercial fish farming. The head of the controlling body said that the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) spent in 2015 only 56.6% of the funds provided for financial assistance to agricultural producers to support and promote efficient development of the domestic commercial fishery. According to her, the state programme “Development of the Fisheries Industry” provisioned 359.2 million rubles for these purposes; however, due to the underutilization of the funds provided the funding has been reduced by 30% through amendments to the budget. “The main reason of the inefficient use of these funds is the late preparation of the necessary regulatory documentation. Unfortunately, the relevant regulatory documents became available 7.5 months after the decision. As a result, the Government decided to provide subsidies to nine regions, but only five regions received this subsidy, because the remaining four were not able to properly interact with Rosrybolovstvo and fulfill all the conditions that were required under the agreement,” Golikova remarked.
The Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber paid special attention to the problems of the regions in road construction. Golikova said that in 2015 the regions did not achieve the targets of the federal programme “Economic and Social Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region for the Period Ending in 2018”. For example, she said that the Zabaikalye Territory had commissioned only 10 km, while the plan had been 19.2 km. Under the sub-programme “Road Maintenance” of the state programme “The Transport System Development”, in 2015 the regions commissioned 2,709.4 km of roads of regional, inter-municipal, and local significance, i.e. 88% of the plan. “The following three regions showed the lowest indicators of the roads commissioned against the planned targets: St. Petersburg (plan - 70.2 km, fact - 0 km), the Republic of Karelia (plan - 28.2 km, fact - 0 km), the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (plan - 50.9 km, fact - 0 km),” Tatiana Golikova remarked.
In conclusion of the report, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber dwelled on the topic of balance of regional budgets. In her view, in many respects the situation with the exercise of powers in the regions is related to local organizational and administrative problems, and also to the long established problem of the budget imbalance and a high debt load. “I would like to say that in 2016 the prompt decision-making first by the tripartite commission on the improvement of inter-budgetary relations, and then by the Ministry of Finance, on provision at the beginning of 2016 of public budget loans, led to the reduction (as of May 1, 2016) of the regions’ public debt in comparison with January 1, 2016 by the amount of 26.8 billion rubles, or 1.15%, as well as to a change in its structure: the share of commercial loans decreased by 8.9 points and amounted to 32.7%, the share of public budget loans increased by 9.6 points to 44.1%. This is a very positive ratio, which we have not seen in a long time in the debt structure of the Russian Federation,” Golikova said. “Unfortunately, the work of individual ministries, as I have already noted, that administer targeted subsidies and other inter-budgetary transfers, is not so efficient and, unfortunately, this fact can affect the appearing positive trend, because the allocation of any subsidy leads to the need to find additional financial resources in the budgets of regions and, consequently, find sources of income or borrow from commercial banks or the federal budget,” she added.