Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Concessions went on specializations

The rating of the partnership between business and government was headed by Priamurye and Yakutia

Five Far Eastern subjects of the Russian Federation have risen sharply in the lines of the all-Russian annual rating "Level of Public-Private Partnership Development in the Subjects of the Russian Federation" (PPP rating). The presentation of the last in 2016 year was held during the infrastructure congress "Russian Week of PPP", held 28-31 in Moscow in March. What do the positions of the subjects of the Russian Federation in the rating mean, EastRussia understood.

Concessions went on specializations
Photo: shutterstock.com
Features of regional partnership

Following the 2016 results, the Khabarovsk Territory took 11 a place in the PPP rating, having risen immediately to 10 points compared to last year’s results and typed on the 100-point scale 63,7 points. This is an 33,4 point more than last year. For comparison, Moscow, Moscow and Samara regions located in the top three lines scored 90,1, 82,7, 82,7 points, respectively.

With a relatively small margin from the Khabarovsk Territory is the Amur region - 17 line or 30,8 points: rose over the year from 39 places and added 30,8 points.

The third best indicator among the Far Eastern constituent entities of the Russian Federation is in the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia - 52,1 points against last year's 39,6. True, due to the more massive upward movement of other Russian regions, Yakutia dropped over the year from 15th to 24th line in the PPP rating.

Magadan region has risen from 78 to 47 place (29,5 points against 6 at the end of 2015 of the year). Primorsky Krai - from 74 to 48 place (29,4 points against 9). Chukotka Autonomous Region - from 83 to 64 location (20,8 vs. 1,8).

Other Far Eastern subjects of the Russian Federation - Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Jewish autonomous regions - showed negative dynamics in the rating of PPP, dropped from 51 to 59, from 45 to 69, from 64 to 73 lines, respectively.

Let us recall that the mechanism of public-private partnership involves the attraction of business opportunities by state and municipal authorities for the implementation of infrastructure projects of high social significance, but with a long financial return. We are talking about private investments in the construction, repair and modernization of objects of the transport system, housing and communal services, healthcare, education, etc. Such investments, according to the government, are simply necessary in conditions when the possibilities for budget financing of infrastructure are inexorably decreasing (by 10% per year over the past five years).

In Russia, the PPP mechanism is governed by two laws - No. 115-FZ "On concession agreements" and No. 224-FZ "On public-private partnership, municipal-private partnership in the Russian Federation and amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation." The fundamental difference between them is that according to the first law, the possibility of transfer of ownership of the objects of the agreement from a public partner to a private one is excluded. And the second allows such a possibility. The most common form of PPP is a concession - an agreement concluded by the authorities with a private company on the transfer of certain land plots or objects into operation on agreed terms with the right to operate them for a certain period. At the same time, the authorities (public partner) can, through various schemes, compensate the costs to the business (private partner or concessionaire), and that, in turn, pay her a certain fee for the use of the provided objects. 

For example, Platon, a project that has gained a scandalous reputation for organizing an automated system for collecting payments from truckers in Russia, works like this: the state, represented by Rosavtodor, has entered into a concession agreement with the private company RT-Invest Transport Systems (RTITS). Under the terms of the latter, RTITS builds the Platon infrastructure at its own expense, uses it for 13 years (collects a fee from truckers), and then gives the system into the ownership of the state. The company transfers the collected money to the budget (according to the plan - 1 trillion rubles over 13 years, or about 77 billion a year). For this, the state pays its concessionaire at the expense of the budget remuneration in the amount of more than 10 billion rubles a year. Not all representatives of the Russian political elite approve of such cooperation between business and government. For example, one of the founders of the Yabloko party, a well-known Russian economist and political figure, Yuri Boldyrev, believes that the transfer of some of its functions to commercial companies by the state authorities testifies to its weakness, corruption-intensive in its essence and represents an additional hidden taxation of the population.

Where are the hospitals, where are the roads 

- The degree of deterioration of all infrastructure in the Far East is much higher than in Central Russia, the same applies to the level of energy and transport costs, the deficit of regional and municipal budgets. Therefore, PPP projects for this region are especially relevant. It is noteworthy that each Far Eastern constituent entity of the Russian Federation has developed its own specifics in terms of PPP over the past few years. Thus, the Amur Region is the leader in the region in terms of the number of agreements between municipal authorities and business for the repair of housing and communal services. In the Khabarovsk and Primorsk Territories, PPP projects are associated with the restoration of regional and local road infrastructure. In Yakutia, business is contracted mainly for the construction of social facilities - kindergartens, schools, hospitals, - said EastRussia one of the main organizers and participants of the infrastructure congress "Russian PPP Week", executive director of the PPP Development Center Maxim Tkachenko.

According to him, the PPP mechanism should not be viewed as a panacea for all infrastructure problems. And the fact that the PPP rating has dropped somewhere at the end of the year or is stably at a low level does not necessarily mean that the regional authorities are doing poorly. They can simply use other ways to involve private business in the process of creating a more favorable social environment. These can be mechanisms of state purchases, auctions, production sharing agreements, or the same advanced development areas (PDAs), actively created in recent years in the Far East. In the latter case, unlike PPPs, it is not the private investor who solves the social problems facing the authorities, but on the contrary, the authorities provide preferences to business for solving its production problems. But the output implies an increase in the volume of products, the creation of new jobs, an increase in profits, tax revenues. And all this must inevitably be converted into a comprehensive improvement of the social environment.

At the same time, almost all the congress participants admitted during the panel discussions: business in general is not against cooperation with the authorities at all levels, but it is sometimes frightened off by the excessive bureaucracy of the Russian state machine, which casts doubt on the ultimate profitability of certain joint projects. To eliminate this problem, a non-profit organization - the Association "Center for the Development of PPP in Russia" was established on a voluntary basis several years ago. And one of its main communication platforms - for establishing an effective dialogue between business and government - was the congress "Russian PPP Week". More than 1500 people annually take part in this forum, including: representatives of federal and regional authorities, heads of private companies, financial institutions, leading Russian and foreign experts in the field of PPP.
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