The Finance Ministry has aggravated the conditions for budget aid to the regions

The Ministry of Finance began to apply the new methodology in the allocation of budget loans. This will complicate the regions implementation of the may decrees, the expert believes

New calculations

The authorities began to apply a new methodology in the allocation of budget loans to regions, told RBC three of the interlocutor in the regional ministries of Finance and confirmed by the press service of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Earlier in the allocation of credits to the regions, the Finance Ministry was guided by the indicator of budgetary security (it is defined as the ratio of tax revenues in the region per resident to the same period the average for all subjects.). Now the same Department, the reply from his press service, comes from the so-called minimum budget. This ratio, which is calculated as the ratio of the expenses, calculated on the basis of the inventory of spending powers and revenue of the regional budget. Additional allocation of budgetary credits for 2017 based on a new methodology was established on 13 April at a meeting of the tripartite Commission of the Ministry of Finance on issues of intergovernmental relations. It amounted to 35 billion rubles, follows from materials of the Ministry of Finance, available to RBC.

The question is considered “minimal budget,” says regional officials: the Ministry of Finance provides only the final factor, and the authorities of constituent entities “insufficient data to independently assess its objectivity”. According to him, during the calculations of budgetary provision had no such problems — all the source code published in the public domain. Calculations of distribution “are not in free access,” confirms the source from another region. “Practice the minimum budget for loans to the regions just entered, and indeed complaints about the methodology there. Often we are talking about costs that were imposed by the regions themselves and drop the number of compulsory,” said a senior Director of Analytical credit rating Agency (ACRA) Andrey Piskunov.

Questions inventory

The Finance Ministry now divides powers of entities into mandatory and optional. Under binding, as follows from the materials of the Ministry, refers to the contents of the authorities, the financing of agriculture, roads, education, medicine, social support, etc. Additional functions can be attributed “not to the duties, and the rights of the regional authorities,” explains regional official. One of them, as reported by the press service of the Federal Ministry of Finance, RBC, includes powers which have set themselves the subjects of law on financing of delegated authority, additional measures of social support, the right to participate in the decision of questions of different level of public power.

A year ago, as wrote “Kommersant”, the working group of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of justice, Ministry of economic development, accounting chamber, the state Duma and the Federation Council beginning inventory spending powers of the subjects. However, complains the interlocutor of RBC from a large region, no outcome of this work yet, and the subjects for discussion are almost not attracted to. The theme of the inventory deals with Autonomous nonprofit organization “Leontief centre” (founded in 1991 by the mayor of St. Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak. — RBC), said the source. The representative of the centre confirmed this information, but the questions RBC did not respond, citing the confidentiality of the center’s work in this project. Inventory of office was a response to statements of regions about the lack of opportunities to further optimize costs, says group Director of public Finance S&P Karen Vartapetov. In this way, the Ministry of Finance, in his opinion, decided to reveal “the reserves of optimization of costs” subjects.

A new approach the Ministry of Finance has already applied with the additional allocation of credits in 2017 (the main part distributed in the last year). Regional official said that by this method his subject has received less than would have under the old. The difference is small — a reduction of just under 7%, however, he fears that such dynamics may be stronger to affect further distributions of budget loans.

However, the problem of biased distribution cannot be called common to all regions. The source in the regional Ministry of Finance said that local authorities were satisfied with the amount of additional allocation for 2017 and not even began to compare it with potential credits under the old methodology. Officials in another region-the Republic said that under the new calculations, she received even more than the old.

The role of budget loans

The amount of budget credits in 2017 in the Federal budget approved in the amount of 200 billion rubles and 190 billion rubles have already been distributed, according to the press service of the Ministry of Finance RBC. The Finance Ministry is trying to reduce the national debt of subjects, in particular the law to set a limit on the deficit of regional budgets in the amount of 10% of income (excluding grant income). Now the maximum volume is 15%. A project for its reduction, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov should submit to the government before June 1, according to minutes of the March meeting of the state Commission for regional development (have RBC).

When preparing the budget, the Agency proposed to reduce the amount of budget loans to 100 billion rubles this year, instead of increasing subsidies for equalization of budgetary security. This “positive impact on balance of regional budgets and debt dynamics of the subjects,” explained the Ministry.

However, if low cost loans which are defined for a symbolic rate of 0.1%, to obtain used to be easy, the grants and subsidies are always issued with the expectation of achieving the targets. Against the reduction of loans made by the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko. The size of loans is shrinking, and to avoid this, the government could use the deposits of state-owned companies, or the entities “are forced to go for loans in commercial banks, where debt service costs result in a very decent penny”, she said. The second reading of the volume of loans increased to 200 billion rubles., however, it still remained significantly lower than in 2015-2016 (350 billion rubles), which in itself is already “tightened budget constraints for the regions,” said Vartapetov.

In 2015-2016 because of high interest rates in banks budget loans for regions “the only tool available funding,” was discussed in the December review of the S&P on fiscal consolidation of the regions. But this is only a “temporary solution”, because it does not cover the needs of regions and municipalities for repayment of commercial debt, analysts say. Cost loans account for 47% (over 1 trillion) of the total public debt of constituent entities of April 1, 2017, from the data of the Ministry of Finance.

According to the Federal Treasury, 57 of the 85 Russian regions have a budget deficit at the end of 2016. The average size of the deficit of subjects with a positive balance is 2.5%, without accounting for 5.3%. A deficit of over 10% were recorded in seven regions, the most high, he in the Republic of Khakassia (27,1%).

The echo of the may decrees

“Budget loans almost free. But if they had been free and virtually uncontrolled, but now the attention of the Finance Ministry for fiscal discipline increased. The result can be a situation when the regions are forced to reduce expenditures in accordance with the requirements for the provision of budget loans,” — said Piskunov of an ACRE.

This may affect the may decrees, the execution of which in an election year once again becomes a burning issue, he adds. Regions last year complained that the implementation of requirements on reduction of the national debt, forcing them to cut costs, in particular for execution of decrees, adds Vartapetov.

“The regions are on the one hand have to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Finance to control the debt burden and the size of the debt and to save, on the other — they will be forced to fulfill orders. Will have to save or go to occupy the market”, — said Piskunov. Because of the stringent requirements of the regions will give you a budget loans, predicts Vartapetov:

With the participation of Catherine Kapalkina and Alexei Mitrakova

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