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“Torah or Money” Dilemma - EastRussia | Analytics of the East of Russia






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The dilemma of "TORA or money"

Should Transbaikal be guided to the Far East

At a recent "Direct Line" by Nikolay Govorin, a State Duma deputy from the Trans-Baikal Territory, Vladimir Putin voiced a question that has been worrying the region for more than a year - about its inclusion in the system of TOP Far East. To which the head of state replied that the edge needed money, and not an opportunity to get there.

The dilemma of "TORA or money"
"You do not need inclusion in this system, you need money", - the head of state "Interfax" quotes. Vladimir Putin noted that money for the development of the Far East has already been drawn up between the Far Eastern regions. "Nevertheless, this does not mean that we need to forget the problems of the Trans-Baikal Territory - here I agree with you," he said.

As EastRussia correspondent was told in the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, at the moment, from the Trans-Baikal Territory, the department actually received an application for the creation of a TOP in the territory of the Krasnokamensk mono-city. However, its approval has been postponed until the team of managers of monocities, formed in those where the creation of TOPs are proposed, is trained in the region, and also until they successfully protect the single-city development project developed as a result of training.

Expectations from the TOP regime in the region are significant. So, according to the vice-premier of the government of the Trans-Baikal Territory - Minister of Economic Development of the region Sergei Novichenko, provision of the TOR regime is one of the basic conditions for the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the city of Krasnokamensk. "In the region it is expected that, thanks to the TOR regime, not only local entrepreneurs will be attracted to Krasnokamensk, but also from other regions," Sergei Novichenko said.

Probably, these expectations are higher the more the successes of the TOP in neighbors in the Far East - and recall, according to the statement of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the total amount of investments attracted by new development mechanisms, including TORs, has already exceeded 1 trillion rubles. In the Far East, there are 12 TOPs, and their creation was not tied to the training of management teams; on the contrary, in the public rhetoric of the Minsk region, it was noted more than once that the chosen path - new, experienced managers in the country, is literally in manual mode responsive and flexible to respond to needs of investors.

It should be noted that the discussion on how to develop Transbaikalia has been going on for a long time. On the one hand, the region falls under the state program for the development of the Far East and the Baikal region, falls under the jurisdiction of the government commission for the development of the Far East and the Baikal region under the chairmanship of Dmitry Medvedev. Even the full name of the Foundation for the Development of the Far East actually has a forgotten end of the "Baikal region". However, the Irkutsk region, Transbaikalia and Buryatia, being subjects of the Siberian, and not of the Far Eastern Federal District, do not fall under the jurisdiction of Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, and under the authority of the Ministry of the Russian Far East. As a result, there is an obvious managerial vacuum.

"The Trans-Baikal Territory, like other Russian regions, now hopes that as a result of getting a part of its territory as a TOP, federal budget funds will finally reach it in a tangible amount. That is, they perceive their location in the TOP system only as the most possible way to get additional financial assistance from the state in meeting their basic needs. Let it be, and in small volumes - knowing that the main investments that will appear in the region due to the functioning of the TOP will go to the development of business projects, "said Yuri Krupnov, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the nonprofit organization Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development.

He added that the concern of the authorities of the Trans-Baikal region that now all efforts of the state are focused on the development of the Far East, while the problems of the region continue to stagnate, is groundless. "The region is clearly exaggerating the dynamism of the modern development of the Far Eastern regions," Mr. Krupnov notes. - As the fact that the Far East is now experiencing an intense activity is a well-created illusion by the state. Including, and actively developing projects of its coastal regions. Unlike other Far Eastern regions, they do have developing projects, but their development does not go at a fast pace. "

According to Mr. Krupnov, the main distinctive problem of the Trans-Baikal Region today is its extremely undeveloped infrastructure. "With the undeveloped infrastructure, all industrial projects developed for the implementation on the territory of the Trans-Baikal Territory and Buryatia will continue to" hang in the air. " And not only they - without large-scale investments in infrastructure in these two regions, no sectors of the economy will develop. But it should also be noted here that in order to develop infrastructure in these regions, first of all it is necessary to develop an infrastructure plan reflecting all the multiplying effects from the creation of infrastructure facilities in them, rather than investing. As such, there are no problems in finding funds for the development of infrastructure in the regions, including the Trans-Baikal Territory, nor now, in the Soviet Union, in Russia. Since investments in infrastructure are more than recoupable, "Yuri Krupnov said.

According to him, in general, the entire Trans-Baikal region - the Trans-Baikal Territory and Buryatia - is not a matter of financing. For him, the state did not find the idea of ​​an "upswing" of its regions. And all the strategies and programs that have been developed for these macroregions since the collapse of the Soviet Union are of an abstract nature. Despite the existence of these documents, it is still not clear in what light the federal center sees both from what perspective and looks both at Transbaikalia and the Far East. How incomprehensible and what position in relation to Transbaikalia is the Siberian Federal District.

"Without the creation of a fundamental documentation base for the development of Transbaikalia and the Far East, the functioning of the TOP model in them is pointless. As some areas, within which certain conditions for breakthrough development are created, such as, for example, TOP, do not bring much result to regions or even more so to macroregions, "Yury Krupnov concluded.

According to Nikolai Mezhevich, chief researcher at the Institute for Regional Economic Issues of the Russian Academy of Sciences, "there are no specific problems for the Trans-Baikal Territory. He has common problems with other Russian regions. And the root of the main problems of Russia's regions today is the lack of a thoughtful concept of state regional policy in the country. Only the definition of such a concept and then its subsequent reinforcement with economic measures will help the regions to solve their key problems. In turn, within the definition of the concept of regional policy in Russia, it is necessary to identify federal, regional and regional priorities. And within each Russian subject - the so-called breakthrough points of development. "

Mr. Mezhevich noted that the great delusion of the authorities of the Trans-Baikal Territory is the confidence that the region's affairs will quickly go uphill if investments are made to its economy, subsequent to the arrival of new producers on its territory, as well as receiving financial support from the state. The experience of foreign countries shows that the allocation of funds to one or another territorial unit of its problems does not solve itself. Funds should be allocated to the territory in parallel with the implementation of a system of measures that makes possible their reproduction in the future. That is, investments in the territory should be carried out on the basis of a system document aimed at its development.

"But if, nevertheless, we talk about granting financial support to the Trans-Baikal Territory now, it seems most appropriate to extend the TOR model to part of its territory and help develop certain priority sectors for the state in the region, for example, the agro-industrial complex," Nikolai Mezhevich said.