Vladimir, a so-called horizontal subsidies will be first used in the public practice?
Vladimir Klimanov: Such subsidies already. In August 2019 have been adopted relevant amendments to the Budget code, which established a Pro Bono gear from region to region. Perhaps the most illustrative example is Moscow, which actually gives the neighboring subjects of the Russian Federation, the buses, the equipment for social institutions. And it is necessary to make it legal.
In practice, there are other circumstances where subjects have to negotiate among themselves an agreement. There are instances when the expense of the budget of one region has built water treatment plants from a neighboring region, located above the river.
But the budget credits – it’s not gifts, they involve repayment of the funds?
Vladimir Klimanov: Yes, now it will be issued in the form of loans. This new tool for relations between the regions; while it applies only vertically – between the Federation, its subjects and the latter with the municipalities. Regional authorities will be required to sign the agreement and to determine the timing of the refund and the interest rate. Now, for example, the regions receive a budget loan at a symbolic rate of 0.01 percent.
And what is the meaning of these essentially free loans?
Vladimir Klimanov: we do not Have mechanisms to resolve issues between themselves, and not requested every time at the Federal level. Now it will be also important for operational issues related to the coronavirus and crisis. When, for example, need to transfer from one region to another medical equipment – it is impossible to be just to pay rent.
For regions there is an opportunity and additional bilateral communication. Two subjects-neighbor will be able between themselves to simply agree on some actions that were temporary in nature. For example, to spend training of some specialists as they have for this purpose funds in the budget is not mortgaged. “Then surrender,” promised the neighbour.
Another reason for the emergence of a new financial mechanism, in my opinion, is that the Federation doesn’t want to increase the volume of its lending in the regions.
Yes. Here the Ministry of Finance on Friday has issued statements on the public debt of the regions on 1 April this year. The volume issued by the Federal center loans regions amounts to almost 1 trillion rubles. Even such rich regions as Tatarstan, Sverdlovsk oblast, needs tens of billions of rubles. Can it happen that, with the adoption of the new law actors will walk from one another in the debtors, not only state, but also each other?
Vladimir Klimanov: For the rich regions, such debt is not always terrible. But in the same statements on the budgetary credits, for example, is not so secured Mordovia owed 27 billion rubles, Stavropol Krai – 18, Saratov region is almost 25, Novosibirsk – 30, Volgograd – 21,3, Arkhangelsk – 20,2, Zabaykalsky Krai – 13.
In General, the Finance Ministry’s tough stance: it is impossible to prevent a default that under no circumstances the region is not bankrupt. At the same time, budgetary loans still stronger commercial when interest payments become too overwhelming. And yet, one way or another, but at budget loans easier can be made the decision on their prolongation.