Science and Technology in Russian Federation

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On the threshold the of the government anti-crisis plan’s consideration on by the State Duma, known scientists, economists, members of the Scientific Council of the NPC "Economics" at the Presidium of the General Council of the party "United Russia" proposed additional measures which, in their opinion, are not only able to extinguish the fire of crisis, but also give an impetus to the growth of economy.

The projected decline

The recession, which entered the Russian economy in the IV quarter of the last year, is accompanied by an acceleration of inflation - there is a very unpleasant phenomenon known as stagflation. As a result of lower prices for oil and gas, exports of which provides more than 2/3 of the country's foreign currency earnings, the inflow of foreign currency reduced. The ruble has been almost double devalued against the dollar and the euro. After the raising of the key rate of the Central Bank from 8.5% to 17% the hopes for economic growth collapsed, the members of the Scientific Council ascertain. Western sanctions also worsened the economic situation – their impact is estimated at 20-30%.

However, "the version about the fact that "the enemies" destroyed us is not true", – Viktor Ivanter, Director of the RAS Institute of Economic Forecasting, academician, says. The slowdown in the economy growth, he said, began in late 2012.

Soft devaluation of the ruble was also observed. Everyone has known for a long time that oil prices will fall.

Whom to save first

The situation is similar to the crisis of 2008, when Russia solved its problems exclusively by its own means, based on the development institutes and accumulated reserves, but since then the structure of the Russian economy has changed for a little, Igor Rudenskiy, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development, said.

Inflation targeting, a floating exchange rate policy - are the good measures, but for a different economy, expert says.

Reducing of budget expenditures (the government intends to cut them not less than for 10% in 2015), according to the director of the Institute of Economic Forecasting, should be not occasional, but selective one. It’s also necessary to input the project financing. The fact that this decision has not been executed still, Victor Ivanter described as a "classic bureaucratic sabotage".

"Shock" measures, according to Yakov Mirkin, the head of the department of international capital markets at the RAS Institute of World Economy and International Relations, could be the tax breaks for small and medium-sized businesses, lowering the key interest rate, refinancing of priority economy sectors at a low interest margin, the price freeze in the part, the state don’t influence at. The input of zero tax rates on income from the rental housing is also needed. In the long term perspective the restructuring and modernization of the economy, deregulation and de-monopolization are necessary, the expert believes.

Savings and investments

"We want to supplement the anti-crisis measures, provided by the Government, our offers are not an alternative", - Abel Aganbegyan, the head of the RANHiGS department of economic theory and policy, RAS Academician, said. He called the increase of the key rate by the Bank of Russia up to 17% a barrier for economic growth and proposed to reduce this rate to 8%. At the same time to introduce the foreign exchange control to prevent further speculation on the stock exchange by the big banks and organizations.

According to the economist, "we need a new approach to inflation", to be carried out by the Central bank and the government.

The program of inflation’s reducing should provide the cost reduction and cost savings in the public sector, which share in the economy is 60-65%, containment of the cost of infrastructure monopolies’ services and energy.

It would be well to abandon the embargo on food import, contributed the rise in domestic prices.

Government measures on crisis mitigation, as Abel Aganbegyan believes, should be supplemented by the measures on economic growth’s stimulation, especially on investment increase at a rate of 10% per year. It is 1.5 trillion rubles of additional funds, the source of which he sees in the assets of the banking system, constituting 67 trillion. Just one trillion rubles of above mentioned sum is an investment loan (8% of all investments in Russia, compared with 30-50% in developed countries). Academician believes it is possible to increase it through the issuance of long-term Treasury securities, which cover the budget deficit. Such papers should mainly be bought by the Bank of Russia and government organizations, which acquire "long" money in the liabilities, and form investment loans for this money.

They are necessary to update the base assets, the development of high-tech industries and export industries, creating a modern transport and logistics infrastructure, additional housing. As well as for the main engine of the economic development - the "knowledge economy" (science, education, information technology, biotechnology, health care). Its share in the Russian GDP is 15% now, while 35% of GDP is in Europe, 40% of GDP is in the US. According to Abel Aganbegyan,

boost investments will lead to economic growth at an annual rate of 3-4% in the next four or five years.

Scientific Council will present its recommendations to the government. Some of the economists’ proposals have already been taken into account in its anti-crisis plan. In regard to investments, the Cabinet of ministers intends to act cautiously in 2015: "Investment budget resources will be concentrated on completing of already started projects, the implementation of some new projects will be delayed".


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