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Federal share

How the regions of the Far East reduce the debit with a loan

Federal share

The situation in the budgetary sphere of the regions of the Far East reflects both the general economic situation in the macroregion and the differentiation of individual subjects of the Federation in terms of their level of socioeconomic development.

One of the most important parameters of the state of regional budgets is their dependence on federal transfers, that is, on transfers from the federal budget to regional budgets. By the latter we mean the consolidated regional budgets - the sum of the actual regional and local budgets. They often talk about the subsidization of the regions, meaning by it precisely the dependence on federal support, but it must be borne in mind that in reality subsidies are one of the types of transfers, and there are also subsidies, subventions, and so-called other transfers. Subventions are usually excluded from consideration (deducting them both from the revenues of regional budgets and from the total amount of transfers) - these are funds credited to regional budgets for the implementation of federal powers transferred to regions. The volume of subventions is determined based on the need for funds for the implementation of such powers and without any regard for the degree of well-being of the regions, and, thus, have nothing to do with subsidies. After deducting subventions, the volumes of non-earmarked transfers (grants) and earmarked (subsidies and others) are generally comparable. Data on the share of interbudgetary transfers from the federal budget in regional budget revenues are presented in Table 1.

A special place in the federal financial support of the regions is occupied by subsidies for equalizing the budgetary provision of the regions: this is the main type of transfers (about a third of all gratuitous transfers from the federal budget without subventions). Subsidies for equalization are distributed among regions according to a special method with the calculation of the tax potential and expenditure needs of the regions, the amount of subsidies for each region is fixed in the law on the federal budget. It is precisely those subjects of the Federation that do not receive subsidies for equalization that are often called “donors” of the federal budget, although this definition is, strictly speaking, incorrect. The dependence of the Far Eastern regions on equalization subsidies is shown in Table 2.

The obtained results make it necessary once again to state that the constituent entities of the Far Eastern Federal District are very different in their current economic situation and, as a result, in the state of the public sector. The Sakhalin Oblast, which since 2011 has ceased to receive subsidies for leveling fiscal security, is sharply distinguished. The region’s dependence on transfers continues to decline, while revenues collected in the region grow. Thus, in the 1 semester of the year 2014, the regional budget received almost 2 times more tax and non-tax revenues compared to the 1 year of the 2013 semester.

Khabarovsk Territory falls into regions with low subsidies - up to 20%. The exception for the region was the 2013 year, which resulted in the Khabarovsk Territory, like a number of other Far Eastern regions, increased its subsidies due to large-scale flooding, for the elimination of the consequences of which considerable federal funds were allocated. The subsidy threshold in 20% is not accidental, since the Budget Code of the Russian Federation sets certain limits for regional authorities depending on the degree of their subsidies (up to 5%, from 5 to 20%, from 20 to 60% and above 60%). From the Far Eastern regions, the Kamchatka Territory is among the most highly subsidized, and the Russian Ministry of Finance has counted only 7 (including Kamchatka) in such Federation subjects.

The high level of regional subsidies can be explained by various reasons. One of them is the improper organization of intergovernmental relations, in other words, excessive centralization of revenues collected in the territory to the federal budget. Statistics of the Federal Tax Service allows you to test this hypothesis: statistics show how much tax and non-tax revenues were collected in each of the regions and how much of this money went to the federal budget. So, for the overwhelming majority of the Far Eastern subjects of the Federation, no reform of intergovernmental relations will help to do without federal transfers. Only from the territory of the Sakhalin Oblast, more money was spent in the federal budget than later returned in the form of federal transfers (we still do not take into account subventions). At the same time, the volume of transfers amounted to about 10% of the volume of income received by the federal budget from the territory of the Sakhalin region in 2011 and about 20% - in 2012 – 2013. Moreover, in the Khabarovsk Territory, the same indicator was 92 – 95% in 2011 – 2012 (that is, transfers were less than federal revenues in the territory), but in 2013, the situation changed. For all other regions of the Federation, the volume of transfers they receive from the federal budget is substantial and even several times higher than the federal budget revenues collected on their territory. This means that even if all tax and non-tax revenues collected in such regions remain in regional budgets, you still have to add funds, and considerable ones, from the federal budget. For comparison: the national average in the regional budgets in the form of transfers (without subventions) was sent 29% of tax and non-tax revenues of the federal budget in 2011, 26% - in 2012 and 23% - in 2013.

We can still assume that high subsidization is associated with poor collection of income in the Far East, but this is also not the main reason. The Federal Ministry of Finance, distributing subsidies for equalization by regions, proceeds not from actual incomes and expenditures of regional budgets, but from the tax potential and expenditure requirements of the regions from which their level of budgetary provision is composed. For the Far Eastern regions, with the exception of the Sakhalin region, this level is estimated as low, especially in the Kamchatka Territory. Although, of course, it can not be denied that there are reserves for increasing the collection of incomes in all regions of the country.

Therefore, the main reason for the high subsidization of most of the Far Eastern regions, as well as the differences between them, is the prevailing economic situation, which is determined by a combination of a number of objective factors that are by no means always favorable. This is a small capacity of the domestic market; the deep (non-coastal) position of some regions, which reduces their attractiveness for the development of foreign economic relations; severity in much of the climatic conditions; Far from universal availability of minerals, which are often developed in unfavorable natural and climatic conditions; A low level of development of transport infrastructure, including the lack of railways in the Magadan Region, Kamchatka and Chukotka; specialization in problem industries.

The budget well-being of the Sakhalin Oblast is undoubtedly associated primarily with the development of the oil and gas complex - in 2012, the extraction of minerals gave 62% GRP to the region. In a relatively favorable situation, the southern and the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krais, with access to the transport routes, the Amur Region. At the same time, the Khabarovsk Territory stands out among the Far Eastern regions with a high level of development of the manufacturing industry, besides, Khabarovsk has historically played the role of an administrative, cultural center of the Far East. In the economy of the Kamchatka Territory, the key role is played by the fishing industry, where up to now there are many problems, and transport isolation and severity restrain the development of other industries. At the same time, the impressive natural riches of the region, coupled with the prospects for the development of the Northern Sea Route, allow us now to view quite favorable horizons for the development of the peninsula. After all, Sakhalin until recently remained a subsidized region, and the problems of the regional economy of "pre-oil and gas" Sakhalin are similar to the problems of modern Kamchatka.

The severity of the climate, the transport disconnectedness of the vast territory lead to a high subsidy of Yakutia, even despite its raw material specialization. Although Yakutia is the first of the Far Eastern regions to partly repeat the fate of the Sakhalin region due to the development of oil and gas projects in the west of the republic (prospects of which are related, among other things, to the realization of the sensational gas contract with China) and other deposits of various minerals.

Prospects for the development of the Far Eastern regions will largely be determined by the same factors as their current situation, as well as by whether the federal and regional authorities will be able to find possible growth points for territories where the negative deterrent factors play a large role. It is clear that when creating conditions for the development of a country-oriented APR manufacturing industry, the first candidates for locating factories are Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai. Most of the regions will have to solve a much more complex task of finding and developing those activities for which specialization is possible in their conditions. In the same Kamchatka region, it is necessary to create conditions for the successful development of the fishing industry, because fish resources are a competitive advantage of the Far East. In our non-primary sector, the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur Region can be considered an example of success.

Returning to the budgets of the Far Eastern regions. It is worth saying that in most of them the situation with deficit and debt is no worse than the national average (the growth of regional and municipal debt has recently been one of the most discussed topics). If in the whole country, the regional budgets for the 2013 year were reduced to a deficit of 7,3%, on average in the Far Eastern Federal District - 6,1%. But even by this indicator, there is a colossal variation in individual regions of the Federation (3 table). If the budget of the Kamchatka Territory turned out to be slightly in surplus, then the Chukotka Autonomous Region became the all-Russian “leader” in terms of the deficit, ending the year with an indicator of –34,3%. It is not surprising that the subsidy of this region has increased dramatically this year. As for the ratio of regional and municipal debt accumulated at the end of 2013, and the annual tax and non-tax revenues, the dependence on the economic situation in the regions is more obvious. The smallest debt load in the Sakhalin region, the largest - in the Kamchatka region and Yakutia. 

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