*** The total expenditures of the business for social programs in Russian reached, according to some expert estimation, USD 1.5 bln: they have more than tripled since 2003. The biggest Russian corporations often invest more to the social infrastructure than their counterparts abroad. Whereas abroad the expenses of the business for social projects are 0.5-1% of the profit, in Russia they reach 38% at some companies. The reasons for this are obvious: in economically developed countries the main part of expenses for this purpose is undertaken by the government, receiving necessary funds through the tax system. Domestic business naturally wishes to see more active participation of the government in the solution of the problem for which it spends the means mentioned above.
The most important of these problems is perhaps the quality of specialists’ training, graduating from the system of professional education. According to all existing now estimations, including comparable international research, it is deteriorating. As a result employers have to bear additional costs for staff training. The current situation makes the entrepreneurs to contribute funds to education: “The gap between the system of education and labor market deepens dramatically,” the President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Alexander Shokhin, says.
The causes of specialists’ training quality deterioration by Russian higher education institutions are wellknown: this is virtual absence of the liaison “education-production”, “education-research” as well as “research-production”.
At present higher education institutions, which are the sources of fresh ideas and new technologies, cannot participate in the innovation process. According to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, higher education institutions do not have right to handle the results of scientific and technical activity, intellectual property (inventions, developed models, production samples), sell licenses, organize small innovation enterprises.
The connection between education and science, necessity to whose strengthening has been declared for several decades, is again and again undermined by the efforts of financial department, which holds the opinion that science at higher education institutions cannot be financed by the budget funds for education, and budget funds directed for science cannot go to higher education institutions since they belong to education sector.
The liaison between science and production has not also been established over the last decades. In the environment of bad and expensive intellectual property rights protection the science refuses to give its results over to the business, and business, which functions mainly in the environment of low level of competitiveness, the incentives for innovations are weak.
For the higher education institution these problems are complicated by the fact that over the last years the demand for their service was excess due to the mass determination of the school pupils to avoid compulsory army conscription. Correspondingly, there was a considerable interest just in entrance to a higher education institution not in the quality of education there.
At the same time, the increase of the demand for qualified specialists, the invitation from the abroad being too expensive for the prevailing majority of the companies, makes incentives for the business to influence somehow the quality of the higher education. This however was prevented and is still prevented despite some positive shifts, which will be described below, by imperfect regulatory legal environment.
The level of budget expenses for higher education being evidently insufficient, regulatory legal conditions and economic incentives for large-scale business attraction to the sphere of education are absent. It is also prevented by inefficient control system of the quality of the education from the professional society and business: legal base does not allow business participation in the formation of study plans, since the decision on how and what should be taught to students can now be adopted only by governmental institutions, which now control material and technological conditions of specialists training rather than the quality of the “finished product”, that is abilities, skills and knowledge really obtained by students. Higher education institutions, in their turn, due to the lack of the modern equipment, do not have opportunity to give the competence, required by the real sector of the economy, which restricts the possibilities for students career guidance and receipt of practical skills during the period of education. It should not be overlooked that in the higher education system the lack of highly qualified teaching staff which corresponds to the modern requirements of professional training. According to the data of the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the number of higher education institutions has more than tripled over the last decade and the number of tutors increased only by 4%. The reason for this is, obviously, low level of tutors’ labor remuneration, they have to work in several place, functioning in the regime of school teacher instead of increasing their qualification. As far as position of the business in this issue is concerned, up to the recent time it had been quite passive, not including the realization of the liabilities for the employees: nearly in all CIS countries business saves on labor force and its expenses for professional training vary in the range of 0.1-0.4%.
Fast commercialization of higher education, which is accounted for by its chronic under-financing, made Russian authorities give serious attention to legal status of social sphere institutions, reorganization of its financing. Three following legal acts serve these aims:
1) Federal Law “On autonomous institutions” No 174-ÔÇ from 3 November 2006 which gives noncommercial organizations, including state higher education institutions, which transferred to the corresponding legal-organizational form, the right to find, earn and spend funds, including for the development;
2) Federal Law “On the procedure of formation and use of the principal capital of the non-commercial organization” (No 275 ÔÇ from 30 December 2006), which formalizes the new form of non-commercial organizations financing - endowment, which provides particular mechanism for higher education institution budget fulfillment - through charity;
3) The decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On approval of a typical concession agreement in respect to the educational institutions” (from 11 November 2006 No 671), which enables private practice to make direct investments in such institutions.
Since the consequences of the former fulfillment were analyzed in detail in year review by the IET for 2006, in this paper the opportunities created by second and third of the acts mentioned will be considered.
Theoretically the legislation that existed before these amendments enabled the creation of such funds. However under old tax regime endowment was not efficient as it suggested double taxation: at first philanthropist invested funds from its own profit and paid taxes for them then non-commercial organization was levied with tax on the profit from the assets of the fund investment profit. The main feature of the new law is that non-commercial organization is exempted from taxes both on the profit received from endowment and from the tax on the very contributions. At the same time there are still no privileges for contributors. Simultaneously the law underlines that target capital is formed only by the contributions from the philanthropists in the form of monetary funds, investments in natural terms like buildings and equipment are not allowed.
Profit received from the investment of fund assets is used for charity activity financing according to the requirements of contributors, who are endowment founders. The receiver of the funds from the endowment can only be institutions and organizations of education, science, health care, social security, culture, arts and archiving. The control of endowment activity is càrried out by so-called board on target capital use, which consists of the contributors representatives, funds receivers, society. The minimum period for which target capital is formed is 10 years, minimum amount of the target capital is RUR 3 mln.
The law accounts for considerable conservatism of the investment strategies, limitations for investment objects are similar to pension funds (minimization of risks and profit can frighten off the philanthropists). It allows for funds to be invested in Russian stocks and shares, but not in Russian unit investment trusts. As a result at present endowments are formed at the organizations of the federal level – MGIMO, Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and some other big universities and schools.
At present concession does not give investors any additional commercial or legal rights, does not give any additional protection of the interest in comparison with other institutions and the question of particular benefits of it for entrepreneurs’ community is still open. From our point of view, efficient development of concessions in the field of education is not possible without legal base development, which will enable business to fulfill its projects efficiently in the sphere, which does not contradict the interest of educational system development.
Thus, despite new regulatory acts do make certain contribution to the change of the situation in the education field, for instance to the increase of quality of the education, they hardly will be able to change it dramatically.
I. Rozhdestvenskaya On Financing of Preventive Measures and Fight against HIV/AIDS in Russia in 2006–2007TF FPT P In 2006 in the Russian Federation the expenditures of RUR 4.56 bln were envisaged to prevent and fight AIDS, including RUR 872.1 mln of international grant funds and external loans (19.1% of the total expenditures). The main part of federal expenditures was formed by the measures taking place within the framework of the national project “Health” framework (RUR 3.1 bln).
It should also be noted that funds envisaged to accomplish the measures to prevent and fight AIDS in the framework of subprogram “AntiHIV/AIDS” of the Federal Target Program “Prevention and fight against the diseases of social nature (2002-2006)” in the Federal budget does not correspond to initially stated parameters. For example, in the approved by the Decree of the Government No 790 from 13.11.2001 Federal Target Program it was the measures for AIDS prevention, diagnosis and treatment that had the main proportion (88% of subprogram expenditures, table 1), while in the budget of 2006 it is the construction that holds the first place (55% of subprogram expenditures).
Thus, the year 2006 was the first in the Russian Federation characterized by such a large-scale financial injections into the cause of AIDS fight. Nevertheless, as it is shown in table 2, there are considerable differences in the financing priorities by main directions – prevention, treatment, research and development and construction.
As it is shown in Table 2, up to 73% off-budget funds are spent on prevention, while in the framework of the Federal Target Program only 29.2% (RUR 56.8 mln) is spent for prevention. In real terms the state of affairs is better while considering national project “Health” (RUR 1.5 bln, including measures for hepatitis B and C prevention), in relative terms the proportion of these expenditures in the National project is below the half – 48.4%. Such a situation is in many respects caused by the absence of the state strategy, directed to preventing measures necessary in connection with AIDS patients’ treatment. It turns out that budget funds are directed towards fight with the consequence and not with causes of such a dangerous phenomenon as immunodeficiency virus.
Besides, an important factor is the regional differences in budget funds distribution. Despite the fact that the main part of the funds in regional budgets is spent for prevention, the level of such expenditures is critically low as compared with the volume, which is necessary to solve the problem of infection threat. The federal budget funds are received mainly by the regions where the critical number of HIV infected people is registered, the regions, where the registered number of people infected by HIV is not that big remaining aside. But if the strategy of treatment instead of prevention will be continued then soon considerably bigger funds will be needed to treat the patients in those regions of the Russian Federation, where there is still a chance to prevent the growth in patients’ number.
The solution of even more ambitious problems is envisaged in the federal budget for 2007. For instance, the total sum of federal means for AIDS prevention and fight is suggested to be RUR 8.15bln, which is by nearly 2.5 times higher than in 2006 (table 3). According to the Federal Target Program “Prevention and PT TP Paper was prepared with the assistance of Non-Governmental Organization “Trans-Atlantic Partners against AIDS” Fight against the Socially Important Diseases for 2007-2011”TF FPT the increase of expenditures for subprogram P “AntiHIV/AIDS” will be equal to 80%, including capital investments of 112%.
The financing of the measures in this field at the expense of international sources will be continued in 2007. In total international grants and loans, directed to the measures of AIDS fighting and prevention will be equal to USD 34.9 mln in 2007, which corresponds to 11.5% from the volume of the Federal Budget funds for HIV/AIDS counteraction.
Another important constituent of the government policy in the field of AIDS fighting is the subprogram “Anti-HIV/AIDS ”of the Federal Target Program, which was mentioned above.
The aim of the subprogram “Anti-HIV/AIDS” is to decrease the number of the observed HIV-infected pregnant women, who are included in the program of vertical HIV transmission prevention, and the increase in the proportion of domestically produced medicines in the total volume of antiretrovirus medicines purchase.
- development of HIV distribution prevention methods;
- development of diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation of HIV-infected patients;
- the decrease of death rate among HIV-infected patients, development and application of domestically produced antiretrovirus medicines; construction and reconstruction of the buildings and installations;