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Khabarovsk Territory: results - 2014

Khabarovsky Krai: the capital center of the Far East or the middle-middle region?

Khabarovsk Territory: results - 2014 continues the series of publications "Far East - the results of 2014 year". During January, the portal publishes expert materials on tangible achievements and shortcomings in the development of the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. The first publication was devoted to the Sakhalin region, the second - to the Khabarovsk Territory - the supporting entity of the Russian Far East.

The past year for the Khabarovsk Territory proved to be difficult. He was full of events, but did not bring any breakthroughs in the social and economic sphere. On the contrary, judging by the preliminary results of the year and the indicators of the economy in the first half of the year or for the first three quarters of 2014, in the region it is possible to speak at best of economic stagnation, if not a recession.

In particular, there was no growth in industry or agriculture in Khabarovsk Krai. Yes, new plans emerged, mainly related to the revival of the defense industry and machine building in general: these plans concerned the resuscitation of the shipbuilding industry and the strengthening of the aviation industry through the creation of an aviation cluster. But in other basic industries and key enterprises - in oil refining, extraction of precious metals, in transportation - until its natural growth limits are reached. For example, the year 2014 has not clarified the prospects for the development of the port cluster in the Vanino area and the Soviet Harbor, which claims to be the point of growth in the region.

At the same time, it is obvious that during the year a lot of attention was devoted to solving the problem of overcoming the consequences of the catastrophic 2013 flood. This task became essentially political, followed by the federal center, which more than once criticized the authorities of the Khabarovsk Territory. pushed them to make extra effort. In general, her decision was successful, but it seemed distracted, apparently, a lot of energy. In the information field, the Khabarovsk Territory most often sounded precisely in connection with the resolution of housing construction issues and numerous inspection visits by representatives of regional and federal authorities.

What does expenditure say?

Analysis of the financial and budgetary sphere of Khabarovsk Krai for 2014 year shows certain negative trends. It is important to note that following the results of 2013, the Ministry of Finance of Russia assessed the level of budget policy in the region at a high level: Khabarovsk Krai was the only one in the Far East that joined the group with high quality of budget management. At the same time, the analysis of financial statistics for 2014 year does not allow to name the region either safe or demonstrating a rational approach to spending budget funds. In Khabarovsk Territory there is a clear problem with sources of budget filling. So, for January-October 2014, the growth of budget revenues in comparison with the same period of 2013 amounted to only 1,1%, including 3,7% on own revenues. The income tax is worrisome, which clearly indicates problems at the largest enterprises in the region (as a result, the income tax in the region's own revenues is an extremely low share of 15%, while the income tax is 42%). By the volume of budget revenues Khabarovsk Krai lost to its eternal rival - Primorsky Krai. The regional economy of Khabarovsk Krai is not strong enough today to provide such a large region, which is the geographical and political center of the Far East, with sufficient funds.

At the same time, it cannot be said that the Khabarovsk Territory is “spoiled” with the financial support of the federal center. In 2014, the region began to receive less transfers, which was primarily due to a sharp, at times, decrease in the volume of subsidies. This reduction is opportunistic in nature, since in 2013, the Khabarovsk Territory received large funds for overcoming the effects of flooding. The reduction in subsidies was partially offset by increased subsidies. Nevertheless, the region largely has to rely on its own strengths, which are not enough (it forms around 77% of the budget at the expense of its own revenues). It is unlikely that the Khabarovsk Territory would like to become financially independent. On the contrary, he has a clear and unmet need for federal money, which could be transferred to the region through the federal program.

Against this background, it is hardly possible to recognize rational expenditure policy of regional authorities. Basically, it has a usual character, typical for most regions of Russia, one way or another making ends meet. On education from the consolidated budget goes about 28%, on social policy - about 18%, on health care - about 12%, on public utilities - about 10-11%. But striking is the fact that Khabarovsk Krai spends a lot of money on nationwide spending, i.e. On the maintenance of the state and municipal apparatus. In terms of the share of such expenditures in the budget (more than 9%) and in terms of their volume, it ranked second in the Far East. Moreover, in the Khabarovsk Territory, the level of salaries of officials from the regional executive authorities exceeds more than twice the average wage in the region: no other Federation in the Far East now sets such records. Dynamics is also important: in 2014, expenditures on nationwide spending increased by 15%. There is also a relatively high level of media spending. Their share in the budget is 0,4%, in the Far East these costs are inferior in volume only to Yakutia.

Speaking about the dynamics of expenditures in the directions, it should also be noted that the Khabarovsk Territory was forced to reduce the budget financing of the road economy. Expenditure on the educational sphere was maintained at about the level of 2013 year; In addition to spending on national issues, growth is noted in the areas of housing, health and social policy.

Thus, the lack of balance in the regional budget is reflected in the growth of expenditures, while maintaining the same level of income. This leads to a significant regional budget deficit, which in January-October was 2014. 7,8%. It should be noted that the debt burden of the budget in the Khabarovsk Territory is still small and not critical. However, in general, the situation in the financial and budgetary sphere can hardly be called optimistic.

The population withdrew from politics

Khabarovsk today looks like a rather prosperous city. A good situation in the housing sector is typical for the region as a whole. Arguments here can make small indicators of the area of ​​dilapidated and emergency housing, as well as the relatively low unprofitability of housing and utilities organizations.

At the same time, there are weaknesses in the social sphere. For example, the Khabarovsk Territory is characterized by the lowest level of provision of kindergartens in the Far East, and federal and regional authorities are now paying close attention to this issue in Russia. In the health sector, the region lags behind in providing hospital beds, although the availability of doctors is at a good level.

It is natural that the region experienced a lot of troubles in the past year, caused by its pressing social problems. As we have already noted, a lot of effort has been spent on housing construction for flood victims, control over these processes, prevention of violations and corruption. This issue was paid much attention personally by the governor Vyacheslav Shport, who repeatedly visited the affected territories. An unexpected problem was the influx of Ukrainian refugees in 2014 and the Governor even had to introduce an emergency regime. There were other social and political conflicts. They were caused by the discontented representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Amur region (represented by the Nanais), the contradictions in the Muslim community, the struggle between the warring factions at the municipal level, clashes between parties and their candidates, especially during the pre-election campaign, etc. Therefore, the region often generated a negative information background, especially since interest in it, as a central region of the Far East, is always particularly great, and political processes in the Khabarovsk Territory were marked by some instability, which, incidentally, was overcome by the end of the year. Personnel rotations were held in the regional government. At the municipal level, there were conflicts that led to the displacement of a number of heads of settlements, as well as to the defeat of the candidate of United Russia in the election of the Mayor of Bikin. But, of course, the main trends were set by the elections to the regional Duma, representative authorities of Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as well as the mayor of the second city in the region. During the campaign, there were outbreaks of a rather sharp confrontation between the authorities and opposition parties, among which the CPRF and the LDPR were the most notable. The opposition subjected the authorities to criticism, including for inflated costs of bureaucratic wages, the purchase of expensive cars, the bankruptcy of "Kraydorpredpriyatiya" and so on.

At the same time, the actual electoral results turned out to be very favorable for the current authorities and the Khabarovsk Territory as a whole, and its regional capital in particular. "United Russia" increased support for the regional elections to 57,1%, its representatives took 30 from 36 seats in the regional Duma, as well as 33 of 35 seats in the Duma of Khabarovsk and 18 of 25 seats in the Duma of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Supported by United Russia and the governor, the candidates confidently won the election of the mayor of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (with an active competitor from the Communist Party) and the head of the Nanaian district. Oppositional parties, on the contrary, could not demonstrate the mobilization abilities and personal popularity of their activists. The election was a failure for "Fair Russia", which lost its representation in the regional Duma. Support for the Communist Party decreased, but the number of its faction in the regional Duma remained at the same level (three deputies). The stability of their positions was demonstrated by the LDPR (almost the same percentage as in the previous elections, and the faction increased from two to three deputies). A characteristic trend was a further decline in civil activity, which was expressed in turnout, which barely exceeded 20%. Obviously, no political player in the region enjoys genuine popular support, and the population has withdrawn from politics.

In the end, although power in the Khabarovsk Territory can hardly be called very popular, its apparent resource superiority and weakness of the opposition led to the consolidation of the dominant positions of the ruling elite. For Vyacheslav Shport this result was important for the reason that the previous elections were held under his predecessor Victor Ishaev, and the new head of the region was required to bring to power more personally loyal people, which was done. Meanwhile, in the regional capital confirmed the strength of their positions experienced and influential mayor Alexander Sokolov, representing a separate center of power in the region. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, on the contrary, Vladimir Mikhalev, who was in charge of the city for a long time, was compelled, as a result of intra-elite agreements, to relinquish his post to Andrei Klimov, the former deputy director of the Sukhoi aviation company, thereby becoming not only economic but also political player in the city, which is associated with the prospects of the whole region.

Fight for attention

Probably, the specificity of the Khabarovsk Territory is precisely that there is great interest in it, and at the same time requirements are raised. This was demonstrated by his relations with the federal authorities. The region was not at all deprived of the attention of the federal center, which demonstrated readiness to implement a number of important projects. Although it should be noted that Khabarovsk had new reasons for jealousy with regard to Primorsky Krai, which received much more attention from the federal center. This was also shown by the policy of the Minsk region, which redistributed resources between its three centers - Moscow, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. If at the time when the former Khabarovsk governor Viktor Ishaev was the minister, the capital status of Khabarovsk was not questioned, then after the change of leadership of the ministry the situation changed. Now Khabarovsk will have the smallest regional office in Minsk, while the larger one is located in Vladivostok. When talking about placing offices of large companies, Vladivostok was also mentioned more often than Khabarovsk. Apart from politics, of course, the more advantageous geographical position of Vladivostok in the Asia-Pacific Region, and the sharp growth of the status of the seaside capital, against the backdrop of the preparation and holding of the APEC-2012 Summit, played a role. At the same time, the rate of the Far Eastern representative has been and remains in Khabarovsk, and nobody takes the formal capital status from the region. On the part of the plenipotentiary and vice-premier Yury Trutnev, the region's initiatives for the placement of a diamond exchange and a center for cutting in Khabarovsk were sounded.

Despite some losses in the competition with Primorye, the Khabarovsk Territory, however, received a fairly large portion of federal attention. This was evidenced, for example, by the selection of the first sites for future territories of advanced development. In the Khabarovsk Territory, three promising sites were called - in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (aircraft and shipbuilding), the port cluster of Vanino and Sovetskaya Gavan, as well as the Rakitnoe site near Khabarovsk. It is noteworthy that their placement clearly corresponded to the presence in the Khabarovsk Territory of the three main growth poles. In the end, as was probably to be expected, a project related to the interests of state corporations, the aviation cluster in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, began to emerge at the top of the list of top priorities.

In addition, for reasons of a rather geopolitical nature, the federal authorities, through the mouth of Prime Minister D. Medvedev, voiced the decision to create an analogue of TOR, an international tourist recreational area, on Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island. This decision is obviously connected with Russia's attempts to establish strategic cooperation with China. The former disputed territory in the channel of the Amur is now seen as a potential platform for cooperation and attracting tourists through a special visa regime, tax and customs privileges.

The priority of the Khabarovsk Territory was also evidenced by the government decision to support Chegdomyn village, included in the list of the most problematic monocities in Russia. After the creation of the Mono-City Development Fund, it was immediately decided that Chegdomyn would receive the money one of the first. Although, in this case, the lobbying of this decision from the interested coal corporation SUEK could play its role. Among the existing, but problematic enterprises of the Khabarovsk Territory, the shipbuilding factories also found themselves in the center of special attention of the federal authorities. During the year, promises were made (for example, from Dmitry Rogozin) to provide them with orders from the state.

On the other hand, these factors do not indicate that the Khabarovsk Krai authorities are in a special favor with the Kremlin and the White House. On the contrary, they were often criticized, in particular, it was done by Yuri Trutnev. The reason for criticism was the insufficient effectiveness of the Khabarovsk Krai authorities in the liquidation of the consequences of the flood, and this issue acquired special national importance. As a result, Vyacheslav Shport was forced to sacrifice construction minister A.Popov and conduct a number of rearrangements in his team. But, in the end, everything ended on quite a positive note. Another political signal was the appearance of claims to the regional authorities from the side of the ONF. At first, it was a question of control over the process of housing construction for underflooders, but then a politically more acute campaign was launched about the costs of the regional government on the media - in connection with the launch of another project in the form of the newspaper Khabarovsk Territory today.

In this regard, it is important to note one more aspect. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the regional executive power for 2013 year, promulgated by the federal government in the autumn of the 2014, turned out to be quite low in relation to the Khabarovsk Territory. The region was put on 68 place with a downgrade of its rating. Particularly distressing and, alas, was expected very low place in the region - 80-e - on the dynamics of economic development, which, apparently, just missing (most positively evaluated the dynamics of social development, where the region came to 14-place).

Trends determine state-owned companies

The low dynamics of economic development, noted in the region, is largely related to negative trends in the investment sphere. According to preliminary data, in 2014 in Khabarovsk Territory there was a decrease in the volume of investments in fixed assets. The Khabarovsk Territory can not be called lagging behind, including the size of foreign direct investment, but, again, the needs and opportunities of this region are much greater. The regional authorities actively promoted the external links of the region during the year, having made many visits. But so far in the investment sphere in Khabarovsk Krai there are no breakthrough new projects. Usually, the funds are spent on the modernization and reconstruction of existing facilities, such as two refineries - in Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk airport, shipbuilding plants, etc. There is a major investment project in the energy sector - the construction of JSC RusHydro CHP in Sovetskaya Gavan, which was listed as four new large generation facilities in the Far East. However, this project is primarily aimed at replacing the outgoing capacities of the local Mayskaya GRES. Last year, there were no major shifts in the transport sector in the Khabarovsk Territory. In particular, the "problem" coal and metallurgical company Mechel froze the project to build a coal terminal in Muchka Bay.

Today, the prospects for the Khabarovsk Territory, like many other regions of the Far East, depend on the activity of state corporations. While there are no clear decisions on their projects and financing, although there are a lot of plans. The processes that took place in 2014 were in favor of the United Aircraft Corporation, in the structure of which (and its subholding Sukhoi) is an aviation plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In the interests of aircraft construction, probably, the first and main TOP in the Khabarovsk Territory will be created, focused on ensuring the production of components. Another beneficiary of this TOP is the United Shipbuilding Corporation represented by the Amur Shipyard (but this plant is still in a very difficult condition to quickly become prosperous). Thus, good prospects for the development of the state machine-building cluster in the second largest city of the Khabarovsk Territory are emerging. It is worth recalling that the governor Vyacheslav Shport is the native of the aviation plant, and the plant's representative Andrey Klimov was elected the mayor of Komsomolsk-on-Amur last year.

Thus, political support for the "Komsomol" project is provided not only at the expense of the positions of the UAC and USC in the federal government, but also at all levels of government. But much will depend on the foreign policy conjuncture, which affects both the export of Russian military aircraft, and the production of a civil aircraft Sukhoi SuperJet 100, assembled from imported components. Also, Komsomolsk-on-Amur can win if Rosneft still manages to "dislodge" funds from the National Welfare Fund to modernize its refinery.

As for the transit role of the Khabarovsk Territory, while major new investments in infrastructure are only expected. Here, in particular, we should count on Russian Railways with its next plan for the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and Transsib, which, as a result of lobbying, received government support. For the Khabarovsk Territory, this may open up new opportunities for expanding exports through ports in the Vanino area and the Soviet Harbor.

A significant impact on the development of the Khabarovsk Territory will be provided by the interests of RusHydro, whose head office can be moved to the Far East. In Khabarovsk, recall, is located one of the offices of JSC "RAO ES of the East", which is controlled by RusHydro and is the main player in the macroregional electricity market. In addition to the CHP in Sovetskaya Gavan, the construction of which the company has already started, the energy lobby has a number of major construction projects in the Khabarovsk Territory (the reconstruction of the Khabarovsk CHP-1 and 3-Komsomolskaya CHP, the construction of the Khabarovsk CHP-4). Not coincidentally, perhaps, it was the arrival of the post of first deputy head of the regional government Nikolaya Brusnikina in the past - a prominent representative structures and lobbyist RAO "UES of Russia" Anatoly Chubais times (until recently Nikolai Brusnikin worked in OJSC "RAO Energy System of East").

Khabarovsk Territory: results - 2014. Summary

Thus, last year showed that the Khabarovsk Territory still lacks resources for development, corresponding to the level of the capital region of the entire Far East of Russia. Although the political sphere of the region during the year was finally brought in a manner quite satisfactory to the governor, the positions of regional authorities at the federal level are not strong enough to ensure effective lobbying for regional interests. In the socio-economic sphere, we rather have to talk about stagnation (with the risks of recession and deterioration). The region is in need of new investment projects, but for the time being it should rather count on the revival and modernization of its old production and infrastructure facilities.

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