Siluanov seeks support for 2018–2020 budget preparation
Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov has asked Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to support the ministry’s initiative to compile a budget for 2018–2020 based on new budget rules.
“We ask that you support the proposals prepared by the Ministry of Finance and compile a budget for 2018–2020 based on the new [budget] rules”, Siluanov said during a meeting of the Ministry of Finance collegium.
Siluanov said that the “ceiling” for growth in the Russian economy is 1.5% without reforms and that the country needs to reduce its dependence on oil prices to raise this bar.
“The primary objective of the Ministry of Finance is to implement a budget policy that allows for moving the bar for potential growth as high as possible. What do we need for this? Above all, we need to eliminate dependence on oil. This dependence has haunted our country for the last 50 years, and each crisis has been directly connected with it. Now we have a unique chance to get off the oil needle. The recipe for this is the budget rule. It’s a kind of preventive measure against the ‘Dutch disease’ that blocks price fluctuations from influencing the budget, exchange rate, and inflation”, the minister said.
“Even though we have built up reserves in past years, we have a spent a large part of the revenue from the current economic situation. Such a policy has not led to and could not have led to sustainable development, and over the last ten years economic growth rates have only averaged 1.6% per year. The use of opportunistic revenue created the illusion of prosperity, which dissipated as soon as the revenue from the current economic situation disappeared. Thus, we provoked the economic and budget crises ourselves”, Siluanov said.