The development of sectoral scheme of labor compensation in RAS is almost completed, and since May 1, 2006, the salaries of researches of the academic institutes is to be doubled. First and foremost, such a possibility became possible due to revision of staffing lists of institutes and the removal from them all vacancies of staffers who were formally itemized, but not working for a long time. On the one hand, such an approach allows to avoid social tension and conflicts, which are usual in cases of staff reduction. On the other – such staff reduction means that there will be no possibility for institutes to employ young researchers in the near future. This makes conservative the staff structure of academic sectors of science, leaving unsolved demographic problems and succession problems related to them.
The situation could be much better if, along with the development of sectoral system of labor compensation the pension fund scheme for scientific workers could also be changed.
Another aggravating circumstance is in that yearly increase of scientific workers’ salaries will occur against the background of freezing in 2006-2008 expenditures for purchase of new scientific equipment, which may lead in future to further degradation of material and technical basis of research and, consequently, lowering of their effectiveness.
Concurrently with increase of salaries there began inventorying of academic institutes, and in a number of cases, – their merger. In 2005, there was a merger of almost 50 institutes, this year it is planned that there will be a merger of 20 more institutes. Restructu0ring could also become a ground for inventorying the staff of institutes, however, the processes of institutes’ reorganization and changing of budgetary financing occur independently of one another. The merge of Institutes occur practically without changing their internal structure, for which reason the total number of researchers remain the same.
Not long ago the Presidium of RAS initiated also the revision of the real estate of subordinate scientific organizations. Objectively, the problem became urgent long ago, as since collapse of the USSR the real estate of the scientific institutes remained unchanged. This meant that some of research institutes “inherited” large buildings and areas and began to let the excess space, while others (including those emerged in the post-Soviet period) had to rent rooms. Thus, if vacant space exists in the system of RAS, the budgetary funds should be spent for leasing. The Presidium of RAS decided to regulate the situation, also by means of redistribution of buildings and rooms between the scientific organizations. As in the case with introduction of sectoral system of labor compensation, it would be reasonable to interrelate the revision of real estate with processes of inventorying and merger of institutes, however, the current events show that all the above listed initiatives are not so far interrelated.
From the perspective of optimization of the budgetary financing of RAS, of interest is the experience of the Siberian Department where, while allocating budgetary funds, the results of work of subordinate institutes are taken into account. The rating of institutes that is formed on the basis of a set of indicators is considered as concentrated indicator of results. Such ratings are used for distribution of not the whole basic financing, but some part of it, which is (in fact) is considered as a “premium” for the well done job. Only “wage” component bears a relation to the results of work of institutes, while the basic part of the financing provides for allocation of funds for equipment, reagents and expendable materials. The practice confirms that the basic budgetary financing becomes more efficient when it has elements of competition. In this connection it is appropriate to try the following approach: up to 80% of budgetary funds are to be allocated using the traditional method, while the remaining 20% - according to the results of work of the research institutes. In such an experiment the “competitive” part may be either in the form of additional incentives to wage, or as funds directed to financing of the long term (for example, five-year) projects performed by the research groups of institutes. The choice of executors of projects may be conducted with the account of the former results of their work (estimated basing on indicators of previous contracts, the number and quality of scientific publications, patenting etc.). There are positive results of such an approach: basing on such a scheme, the universities of Great Britain receive the basing financing for scientific research. It should be said that a trend is observed towards a continuous cutting of the share of traditionally allocated basic budgetary financing.
In parallel with basic financing, the more and more budgetary funds began to be allocated through the system of federal target programs. In 2005, the results of spread of tenders on FTsNTP (federal target scientific and technological programs), the competitive financing mechanism requires optimization. The main problems are has follows: spending for priority areas of science is highly skewed. Their size is not always associated with the volume of attracted extra-budgetary resources. In the areas of scientific activity one can observe a concentration of parent contracting organizations in Moscow and the Moscow region. Apart from regional there exist also sectoral financing with dominance of the Moscow academic organizations. Besides, a number of monopolistic organizations emerged, which received disproportionately large funds on a number of projects and research areas.
Due to the fact that a new program is formed currently instead of FTsNTP, favorable conditions appear so that not only to specify the list of priority areas and critical technologies, but also to change principles of the budgetary financing of projects. It is important to revise the mechanism of funds allocation to reduce the level of monopolization among both organizations – head contractors, as well as those that exercise control and monitoring. In implementation of FTsNTP, positive results were received from outsourcing of functions on administration and monitoring a number of program initiatives (for example, such a scheme was used in some mega projects). External management allows to more objectively and promptly control the progress of work on projects and, if needed, to make corrections. Such an approach can be mostly efficient in implementation of such sub-programs of FTsNTP which provide allocation of considerable number of small grants, – for example, in rendering assistance to young scientists and post-graduate students (grants for probation periods and visiting conferences). Implementation of such sub-programs could be passed from the centralized federal level to regions. Besides relieving an excess burden from the federal center, passing to external administration stimulates the development of horizontal connections between the universities and scientific organizations.
Along basic financing and financing of programs, the budgetary funds are allocated also basing on grants via the system of government scientific funds. From the point of view of volumes and mechanisms of allocation of funds, no changes exist in the system of grant financing, despite the fact that this form is recognized as most transparent one. More than that, there emerged new problems as far as scientific funds is concerned. The funds try to find such forms of support that would make for transferring of fundamental research to applied ones. Growing orientation of the funds’ activities to the results of applied research and establishment of relations between different participants of the innovation system is important and promising. Such an intention can be realized through co-financing of a number of funds’ projects with federal ministries, agencies, as well as private companies that are interested in further development of some or other directions of research and their subsequent commercial application. However, obstacles arise here concerning the particularities of allocation of budgetary funds.
The government scientific funds receive financing in a section “Fundamental research”. Respectively, they can finance only this type of scientific activity and, besides, cooperation in co-financing projects is affordable only with those organizations, which receive budgetary funds for fundamental research.
This confines the range of possible partners of the fund by the state academies, MSU, as well as other budget funds – in other words, by a range of spending units in the section “fundamental research”. In this case it is excluded such a promising form of cooperation as collaboration of the funds and organizations of business-sector, willing to co-finance the projects of interest to them. The way out of the situation could be either changing of the regulations of the Budget Code, or adding to it a specified in detail (and treated according to current trends) definition of fundamental research that would make a legitimate co-financing of scientific projects, supported by the government scientific funds.
I.Dezhina Issues discussed at the meetings held by the Government of the Russian Federation on April 13 and 20 of At the meeting of the RF Government held on April 13, G. O. Gref, the RF Minister of Economic Development and Trade, presented his report “On the key avenues of the customs policy to be pursued in 2007 through 2009.” At the meeting of the RF Government held on April 20, there was discussed the report “On the key avenues of the debt policy of the Russian Federation in 2007 through 2009” presented by A. L. Kudrin, the Finance Minister of the Russian Federation. In his report, there were reflected the major outcomes of the debt policy pursued in 2004 and 2005, set the objectives of the debt policy to be pursued in 2006, and the key avenues of the debt policy the Russian Federation should pursue in 2007 through 2009. “On scenario based forecasts of Russia’s social and economic development in year 2007 and in the period until 2009, and on the ceiling levels of prices (tariffs) on products (services) of natural monopolies for year 2007” (on March 23).
* * * In the report “On the key avenues of the customs policy to be pursued in 2007 through 2009,” presented by G. O. Gref, the RF Minister of Economic Development and Trade, on April 13, there were indicated the following key avenues of the customs policy:
1. Improvement of the customs and tariff measures, including:
- Reduction of the absolute amounts of the rates of import duties on the bulk of the assortment of technological equipment accompanied by the targeted retaining of high customs duties rates with respect to the goods needed to be protected;
- Introduction of differentiated levels of the rates of import customs duties applied to a number of completing parts;
- Enhancement of the practices concerning the application of differentiated levels of customs duties in absolute terms depending on the level of declared costs per unit of goods, when taxation decreases as the cost of the unit of product increases;
- Discussion of the feasibility of the increase of the share of specific and combined rates of import customs duties in the customs tariff and, in the future, conversion of specific components of combined customs duties rates into ad valorem rates.
A separate avenue of the customs and tariff policies is the changes with respect to the approaches to the taxation of goods imported to the territory of the Russian Federation and the goods produced in the territories of free economic zones situated in the territories of the CIS member countries, as well as the application of tariff quotas and seasonal duties.
In 2007 through 2009, it is planned to phase out export customs duties concerning a number of goods with the high degree of added value, as well as the goods, export of which does not generate significant revenues of the federal budget.
2. Improvement of the customs policy with respect to customs payments.
As concerns this avenue, in particular it is planned to improve the system of accounting for preferences pertaining to the payment of customs duties and carrying out of the monthly monitoring of the application thereof; improvement of control over the justification of the application of customs privileges, as well as control over the utilization of goods for the purposes defined as the basis of granting of such privileges. As concerns the customs fees for customs registration, there will be improved the procedures governing the determination of the rates of customs fees charged for the customs registration taking into account the standards and regulations of the WTO.
As concerns the determination of the customs value, the customs policies for the period from till 2009 should be formed on the basis of provisions of the federal law “On amendments to the law of the Russian Federation “On the customs tariff” (enters into force on July 1, 2006).
3. improvement of customs administration.
In the framework of this avenue, in particular, it is envisaged to:
- Equip customs authorities with modern technological means of customs control; improvement of the customs border; development of the border infrastructure;
- Introduce the integrated control systems on the border;
- Create the single interdepartmental automated system of collection, storage, and processing of information necessary to maintain control over the external trade activities;
- Develop and introduce modern customs information technologies;
- Ensure that customs agencies of the Russian Federation were located only on the premises being in the federal ownership;
- Introduce international standards and regulations in the customs activities;
- Struggle against corruption and malfeasance in office as concerns the customs authorities.
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