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Amur Region: results of the year
Between problems and perspectives
The situation is under control
Recall that in previous years in the Amur region development trends were multidirectional. Assessing the effectiveness of the regional authorities in the 2013 year, the federal government placed the Amur Region on the 46-place, which allows it to be considered a "middle peasant". The region pulled back the social sphere, and on economic development it took 26 place. In agriculture, on the contrary, a part of the planned indicators has not been achieved: the 2013 events became the blame for everything, when the agro-complex was badly damaged by a catastrophic flood. During the 2014 year, the industry in the Amur Region Showed growth: only the GRP of agriculture reached 28 billion rubles, a record crop area was sown and an unprecedented crop was harvested.
Liquidation of the consequences of flooding remained one of the main problems of the region and was in the center of constant attention of its authorities. In general, the solution to this problem was successful. The Amur Region, unlike some other regions of the Far Eastern Federal District (DFO), did not cause any complaints from the federal authorities. The delivery of housing, the repair of social facilities, and the restoration of infrastructure were carried out without meeting the deadlines. The governor of the region, Oleg Kozhemyako, kept the situation under control, constantly demanded accountability from municipal leaders, and his approach to business turned out to be quite effective.
Good positions of the authorities of the Amur region at the federal level could not keep the region from growing financial problems. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the Amur region has a tense budget situation. The regional budget can not boast of large incomes, in terms of which it surpasses only the most low-income regions - the Magadan Region, the Chukotka Autonomous District and the Jewish Autonomous Region. The region lacks the means to solve all its many problems, which leads to an increase in the budget deficit and the debt burden. Last year, the center's attention to the Amur Region, unfortunately, was not accompanied by equally active funding. The region received a lot of money in 2013 in connection with the flood, in 2014 the volumes of federal transfers fell more than twice. The sharpest decline occurred on subsidies - about three times, which is directly related to the financing of specific regional projects from the federal budget. At the same level, only subventions remained. Reduced and subsidies to the region - by almost 40%. In particular, despite obvious budgetary problems, the center reduced the Amur region's subsidies to equalize the budgetary security, which became less than 20%. Compensate for such large losses due to the growth of their own revenues, the Amur Region, of course, was not able to. At the same time, it could not significantly reduce the level of spending.
Speaking about the structure of budget revenues of the Amur region, it is worth noting that it is not so heavily dependent on federal transfers, which, however, hardly makes her happy. Own tax and non-tax revenues amounted to 2014% of budget revenues of the Amur Region in January-October of 73,7. At the same time, the share of income from income tax in the Amur Region is lower than the average for Russia and the Far Eastern Federal District - 20,9%. Most of all - 38,4% of the region's own revenues is generated through personal income tax. At the same time, the Amur Region is the leader of the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of the share of revenues from property tax, which plays a significant role in filling its budget (14,7%). Not bad working for the regional budget and small business: taxes on the aggregate income give 6,5% of the region's own budget revenues. The Amur Region is also distinguished by significant revenues from the tax on mining (4,8%). Thus, the structure of budget revenues reflects the significant role of the mining industry and the development of small business. But at the same time, there is a shortage of large taxpayers in the region that would be able to form a stable basis for its budget. The largest taxpayers in the Amur region are companies such as Transneft (2,8 billion rubles paying taxes to the budget), Russian Railways (4,6 billion rubles), GC Petropalovsk (3,5 billion rubles), Bureyskaya and Zeyskaya HPPs (almost 2 billion rubles). .
As already noted, the donation of the region is not so great, but in the case of the Amur Region, this means its interest in increasing federal aid, which began to decrease after the recent maximum. Stable in the Amur region come federal subventions, the share of which in the budget, it is the leader of the DFO (6,2%). But subsidies have become much less (6,8%), not so many subsidies (8,2%, including 5,2% - subsidies to equalize fiscal security).
Considering the drastic reduction in federal aid, it is not surprising that the Amur Region became the leader in the FEFD in reducing budget revenues (they amounted to 2014% from the same period 78 in January-October). The main hopes had to be pinned on the growth of own revenues, but it amounted to only 2013%. Moreover, the income tax showed a decrease in revenues of 4,3%, which again indicates problems with large taxpayers. To improve the situation, revenues from corporate property tax (an increase of more than 7%), as well as a more modest increase in income tax revenues and taxes on total income, worked.
At the same time, as the analysis of regional budget expenditures shows, the Amur Region is in dire need of funds. In terms of debt load for 2013 year (86%), the region lagged behind in DFO only from Chukotka. The budget deficit in October 2014 of the year was 26,3%. The region has reduced costs by more than 4%, but still their volume is higher than in Kamchatka, which has a better financial situation due to significant federal support.
Simultaneously, the authorities of the Amur region tried to allocate more funds for economic articles and, in particular, for road maintenance. So, the cost of roads increased by 60%. As to the share of expenditures on the road economy (8,9%), the Amur Region ranks second in the Far Eastern Federal District after Sakhalin. It is also worth noting that the Amur region has always paid much attention to state support for agriculture. Therefore, in terms of the share of expenditures on agriculture and fisheries (4%), this region is second only to Yakutia.
Nevertheless, the Amur region is clearly not enough funds to finance education and utilities. In terms of the share of expenditures on housing and public utilities (11,1%) in the Far Eastern Federal District, the Amur Region is closer to outsider regions. But, if we take into account the fact that housing and communal services should switch to 100% in the future, payment for services by consumers and the budget will only compensate expenses of socially unprotected citizens, the Amur region is in last place, because here the payment is at a rate that is already close to economically sound.
Following the 2013 results, the region ranked third in the FEFD in terms of the share of dilapidated and emergency housing (7,8%). 60% exceeded the share of unprofitable utilities organizations. In these circumstances, the authorities of the region, understanding the problem, the solution of which is also monitored by the federal authorities, demonstrate an underlined focus on the resettlement program from dilapidated and emergency housing. In 2015, this work should be continued.
The economy of the regional authorities on the media has become noticeable, the costs of which have decreased threefold. Now they make up an insignificant share of budget expenditures (0,21%), surpassing only Kamchatka in the DFO. At the same time, the situation with the financing of the activities of the authorities looks ambiguous. Last year, spending on national issues, despite the difficulties experienced by the region, increased, but their share is still lower than in the Far Eastern Federal District as a whole (6,85%), although it is still higher than in Russia.
The budget savings regime has become even more noticeable when preparing the budget for the 2015 year. In particular, the authorities imposed restrictions on the payment of expenses during business trips of officials, a reduction in staff in the regional government bodies and a reduction in salaries of civil servants.
Projects for the future
In the conditions of imbalance of the regional budget, the qualitative change in the financial and economic situation in the Amur region is increasingly dependent on investment and new production projects.
In the current situation, it seems that the Amur region will have to rely more on investment from the federal budget and the funds of state corporations. So far, special hopes have been associated with the extraction of gold and iron ore, which is the international company Petropavlovsk. But a sharp deterioration in the financial position of this company leads to the braking of its projects and threatens to stop them.
The state intends to invest large funds in the strategic project of the Vostochny cosmodrome and the modernization of the railway network in the Far East. A number of new projects are connected with the construction of power plants, recalling that the most important potential of the region, which he began to implement in the post-Soviet period, is connected with the production and export of electricity to China.
Notable activity in the development of relations with the neighboring state was developed by the authorities of the Amur Region. Particular attention was paid to investment cooperation in the field of agricultural products processing, one of which is "AmurAgroCentre", the development of tourism - the formation of the tourist and recreational complex "Amur" in the alluvial territory created as part of bank protection and reconstruction of the embankment of the Amur River within the city of Blagoveshchensk .
Governor Oleg Kozhemyako held talks with the leadership of the neighboring Heilongjiang Province on investment cooperation. In addition, investments in the agricultural complex of the Amur region come from Japan. In the Romny district there is a successful project of Hokkaido Russian Agribusiness Complex, based on the use of modern technologies in agriculture.
Of course, the Amur region is in great need also to "convert" its good relations with the center into new major projects and assistance. During the year, Kozhemyako was among the most active governors of the DFO in terms of contacts with government officials. In particular, he met with Dmitry Medvedev, held talks with Alexei Ulyukayev and the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, an agreement was signed on cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. In addition, in connection with the flood, the authorities of the Amur region contacted the leadership of the Ministry of Emergency Situations: Oleg Kozhemyako and Vladimir Puchkov participated in the expedition that carried out the inspection of the channels of the Amur and Zeya rivers. The regular working visits of the deputies of the Russian Government Dmitry Rogozin and Yury Trutnev to the region also benefited the relationship between the region and the federal government.
The largest megaproject in the region, which is in the sphere of special attention of the federal government, is the Vostochny cosmodrome. Its construction was discussed at the meetings of Vladimir Putin, the situation on the spot was inspected by Dmitry Rogozin. At the same time, it cannot be said that this ambitious project, designed to reduce Russia's dependence on Kazakhstan, unfolds smoothly. The Court of Auditors found that the project costs are excessive and the funds are spent inefficiently. The structure of management of the space industry is also changing, since a new state corporation has emerged on the site of Roskosmos, which is merged with the newly created Joint Rocket and Space Corporation (ORKK). On the other hand, construction of the new city of Tsiolkovsky has already begun, next to the closed city of Uglegorsk. It is planned that the new city will be inhabited by specialists who will serve the space harbor.
The first launches from this spaceport of an unmanned aerial vehicle are scheduled (according to the initial plan) for December of 2015 year, and manned ships - for 2018 year. The spaceport will become the most expensive project implemented on the territory of the Amur Region. And this in itself attracts the constant attention of the federal authorities to the region, gives it additional opportunities for contacts with the center and the promotion of other interests.
Help from the federal government may, moreover, come to the mono-towns of the Amur Region. Two cities got into the problematic category - Svobodny and Raychikhinsk. These cities occupy a prominent position in the region, and their financing, of course, is long overdue, especially if it, in fact, leads to the diversification of their economies.
At the same time, there is still no complete clarity with the projects promoted by Minvostokrazvitiya. The mining project of the Petropavlovsk group - gold mining in the Selemzhinsky district - was on the first position. It was he who was among the priority investment projects, applications for which were immediately approved by the ministry. At the same time, the Amur Region presented one of the largest lists of projects. Immediately three of them belonged to the agro-industrial complex, another - to gas processing and one - to the production of building materials. With such a mass of projects, the question of investment remains open.
Push on the gas
There are still a lot of questions regarding the creation of territories for advanced development in the Amur Region. In the priority lists, none of the proposals of the region were not included. During the year, the proposals themselves also changed. In the final analysis, the region, in this case, also leaned towards projects in the sphere of agro-industrial complex. It was, in particular, proposed to create a TOP "Ekaterinoslavka" in the Oktyabrsky district. The TOR project in Belogorsk, which appeared in the public space first, was declared as agrarian.
New perspectives are also emerging in the electricity sector of the Amur Region. The influence of RusHydro and its subsidiary JSC RAO ES of the East is growing. The construction of the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP is underway, construction is scheduled for December 2015, and a project is being prepared for flood control hydropower plants. Along with this, the possibility of developing a large Herbikano-Ogodzhinskogo coal deposit, next to which a power plant can be built, began to be discussed again. Several years ago, this field was a project of the Chinese company Shenhua and the Russian Rostoprom. Now they are interested in "Rostec" and, perhaps, in the project will also involve foreign investors.
Projects of gas processing and electric power industry are able to change the economic profile of the Amur Region and create new prospects for the region, incl. Lead to the emergence of large taxpayers and improve the financial and budgetary situation. Another extremely important economic entity for the region is JSC Russian Railways. Significant funds can come to the Amur region in connection with government-supported intentions of JSCo «Russian Railways» to modernize BAM and Transsib, incl. At the expense of the NWF. However, in the current situation with the JSC Russian Railways, there are also negative news, as the Amur Region has not bypassed the process of canceling suburban electric trains: important routes were closed on the Transsib in the most remote, western part of the region. Currently, with sharp criticism of Moscow regarding the reduction of routes, it is possible that the message of electric trains will be restored. The demand for finding ways to solve the problem of reducing suburban trains was expressed by Vladimir Putin at the beginning of 2015.
The region has a lot of prospects, but there is no need to wait for rapid results, therefore, the Amur Region should not be reduced in promoting its interests and strengthening contacts and contacts with the center, key FIGs and Chinese partners.