"You can take a little bit": why Russia will get into debt
As Gazeta.ru supposed, the government will increase the amount of public debt to implement the provisions of the presidential decree on national priorities.
First Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, speaking at the panel session "The Russian Economy on the Growth Path" at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF), said that an infrastructure fund would be created.
Its volume will be 3% of GDP, which is equivalent to about 3 trillion rubles. Later Siluanov's deputy Vladimir Kolychev specified on the margins of the forum that it was a maximum of 3 trillion rubles in the period until 2024. Until this year, the fund itself will work. The volume of borrowings will increase by 100-200 billion a year from the current level. This year the government plans to borrow about 1 trillion rubles.
"This money is not money incomes, not from oil and gas revenues. This is the money that we plan to get from raising debt financing. We can raise money from the market and direct investments that will create additional state assets that will work for the economy, "he said.
Anton Siluanov stressed that "in no case this will lead to a change in the principles of our budget policy, including the cut-off price, from which our revenues are formed." According to him, the national debt of the Russian Federation currently makes up 13-14% of GDP, and it is not expected to significantly increase it.
According to the Ministry of Finance , the state domestic debt of the Russian Federation, expressed in government securities, as of April 1, 2018, was 7.219 trillion rubles. (state guarantees amounted to 1.457 trillion rubles). The external debt as of April 1, 2018 was $ 51.393 billion, including $ 10.937 billion on state guarantees in foreign currency.
Thus, without state guarantees, the domestic public debt is approximately 8% of GDP, the external debt is about 3%. With state guarantees - 9.4% and 3.5% of GDP, respectively. That is, at the moment the aggregate state debt of the Russian Federation with all guarantees is about 13% of GDP.
This is an extremely low level by world standards. For example, the US public debt exceeds 100% of GDP. The expenditure on debt servicing in the Russian Federation is also relatively low and account for about 5% of the total federal budget expenditures.
It is worth recalling that the topic of infrastructure mortgage is the Ministry of Economic Development. The president's assignment was given back in 2016 at the same SPIEF. The Ministry of Economic Development and Finance had earlier disagreements on the issue of creating a fund and the mechanisms for its filling. The head of the economic department, Maxim Oreshkin , who also participated in the panel session with Anton Siluanov , did not give any explanations from himself on this topic.
Head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina , commenting on the issue of increasing the national debt, noted that it is important that the funds were not simply withdrawn from the market. In this case, the government will reduce the opportunities for investing in the private sector.
"The debt is low, it seems that you can take a little bit. I absolutely agree with Siluanov that this is necessary up to a certain limit and it is clear that these are ... expenses that increase GDP, "she said.
In her opinion, in case of an increase in external borrowings, the ruble will somewhat strengthen, which compensates for inflationary effects.
"Selection of infrastructure projects for the fund is a key topic for both impact on economic growth and macro stability," the CB head also stressed.
Investments are the main driver of economic growth, according to Siluanov and Oreshkin. The increase in state debt is one of the resources for their financing. But the main source is the private sector and its means. Therefore, Siluanov promised not to raise taxes, but to create conditions for the growth of private investments.
Elvira Nabiullina will not give money to the economy, but says that the regulator will pursue a policy that stimulates an increase in lending to investments and business operations, and discourages financing of mergers and acquisitions. In addition, it is necessary to develop financial markets and the pension system. Retirement money is the source of long-term loans for the economy. The Central Bank is planning, together with the Ministry of Finance, to finalize the concept of individual pension capital, which is highly prepared.
"We need to return pension savings to the system. This is necessary for two purposes: to ensure a decent pension for retired people and for us to have "long" money. And the concept of individual pension capital - we studied it - in our opinion, in a high degree of readiness, it must be accepted, "the CB head is sure.
The increase in investments in the economy is associated with an increase in the rate of saving the population, agrees Maxim Oreshkin.
"If we do not have an accumulative pension system that is powerful in proportion to the size of the economy, we can not speak about the growth of investments," he said.
He also believes that if the problems accumulated in the economy (in particular, reduction of the able-bodied population) are not solved, then the growth rate will drop to 1% per year.
The unity of the officials of the financial and economic bloc was almost monumental. He was not violated by Alexei Kudrin , the other day appointed by the head of the Accounts Chamber . He urged, however, to add funding to education and healthcare, and also to begin reforming the public administration system. He supported the idea of creating an infrastructure fund.
"Our debt today is low by the world standards - about 13% of GDP all sovereign debt, this is our great resource, our reserve for the coming years in order to invest this infrastructure in infrastructure," Kudrin said.
Participating in the discussion, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, praised the Russian government for exemplary, in her opinion, budgetary and monetary policy, which allowed not to inflate costs and reduce inflation. She also urged the authorities not to touch the budget rule in the coming years. Alexei Kudrin also believes that the cut-off price can be increased from $ 40 to $ 45 per barrel. This will increase budget revenues and continue to accumulate reserves.