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INSTITUTE FOR THE ECONOMY IN TRANSITION RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES November 2007 MONTHLY BULLETIN Moscow 2007 Institute for the Economy in Transition, 1996.

5 Gazetny pereulok, Moscow 103918, Russian Federation Phone: (495) 203-88-16 Fax: (495) 202-42-24 E- Mail: tagor@iet.ru 1 The political and economic results of November 2007 (S. Zhavoronkov)..................................................... 3 Budgetary and Tax Policy (. Kirillov, . Mamedov).................................................................................. 6 Inflation, Monetary and Credit Policy (P. Trunin)..................................................................................... 12 Financial Markets (N. Burkova)................................................................................................................ 16 Real Economy Sector: trends and factors (O. Izryadnova)......................................................................... 23 Business Survey in November 2007 (S.Tsukhlo)....................................................................................... 26 Foreign Trade (N.Volovik)........................................................................................................................ 32 Factors of Economic Growth in 2000-2007 (E. Astafieva)......................................................................... 35 Financial Results of the Program for Additional Provision of Benefit Recipients with Medicines (S.V.Shishkin)................................................................................. 39 Investments of pension savings in the system of mandatory pension insurance in the first half-year 2007 (L. Mikhailov, L. Sychiova)............................................................... 41 A socioeconomic estimation of the annulment of a number of draft deferments (N. Kardashevsky)............ 46 Major developments in inter-budgetary relations within the last six months of 2007 (V. Nazarov)............ VAT for international transactions in commerce: Russian practice (N. Korniyenko)................................. Meetings of the Government in November 2007 (M. Goldin).................................................................... Review of Economic Legislation over November 2007 (I. Tolmacheva).................................................... Review of Regulatory Documents Concerning Taxation over November-December 2007 (L. Anisimova)........................................................................................ Review of the Budgetary Legislation over October 2007 (M. Goldin)........................................................ Major developments, discussed in the survey On November, 26, 2007, in accordance with the Law, the Federal Council has appointed the elections of the RF President. Therefore, there are less than two weeks before the nomination of candidates. In the course of Duma elections, the "United Russia" has arranged a massive promotion campaign, backed by various forms of government power in favor of the leading party. Communists turned out to be the second favorite among the leaders of the elections.

The initial data on the dynamics of the basic indicators of the Russian industrial sector for November discredit the expectations for accelerated rates of production growth. The continued slowdown in consumer demand reduces the level of enterprises' satisfaction with the volume of sales and forces them to restrain the output growth. The increased surplus stocks of products and disregard of the dynamics in consumer demand in previous months can provoke further decline in production growth.

The growth of investment in fixed assets within January-October of the current year accounted to 20.9 per cent and generated extension of construction works scale by 23.2 per cent and volume of processing industries by 9.8 per cent.

Despite the sustained trend of outrunning import growth in September 2007, favorable conditions in the world market encouraged accelerated growth in exports. The growth of the Russian imports was increasingly influenced by the price factor.

In October acceleration of inflation continued: the CPI made 1.6 per cent as compared with 0.3 per cent for the relevant period of the preceding year. Within January-October the inflation acceleration has reached 9.3 per cent against 7.5 per cent of the preceding year. This trend is based on an upsurge in food prices in response to the changed conditions in the world food market and to the significant increase in the monetary offer earlier in 2007.

In October there was observed a substantial decrease in the reserves of commercial banks in the RF Central Bank due to the sustained tense situation in the inter-banking credit market.

In October, substantial growth was observed in both, revenues and expenditures of the federal budget. The increase in revenues was largely based on by two factors: the reduced gap between actual budget execution and the estimated values, as well as the elections. The volume of the RF Stabilization Fund is steadily growing in both, absolute terms and GDP share. Foreign currency reserves, the volume of which has exceeded USD 455 bln by mid-November, is continuously growing.

In November, the weakness of the American economy provoked negative expectations of investors throughout the world, including the Russian stock market, where a decline of shares quotations, as well as low activity of investors were observed. In contrast, the investors were more active in the market of derivative financial instruments, particularly in the RTS.

The RF government has reviewed the results of the federal budget execution for the nine months of 2007.

The reasons for insufficient execution of the federal budget expenditures in 2007 were disclosed.

In October and November 2007, a number of legislative acts have been adopted on amendments to the procedure of implementation of the program on supplementary pharmacological assistance, provided to the citizens in the framework of government social assistance from the federal budget. The most significant amendment in the program is the transfer of key responsibilities in that area to the Subjects of Federation.

In November 2007, the RF government continued to work in the area of tariffs regulation in order to stabilize the food stuffs prices. Amendments were made to the Regulations on the RF Investment Fund, clarifying the objectives for its assets allocation for implementation of investment projects. Public discussion on redistribution of tax proceeds between various levels of government power has been resumed.

The political and economic results of November S. Zhavoronkov On November 26, in accordance with the law, the Council of the Federation unanimously set the date for the next election. Thus, it is less than two weeks until the anticlimax (when the name of the nominee for successor will become known) the initial registration of candidates must be completed before December 18. United Russia had held a large-scale promotion campaign backed by the administrative resource, that is, various forms of applying government powers in favor of the party in power. The communists have turned out to be the second favorite of the election campaign. This country has become the scene for a special operation unprecedented in the history of Russian elections the confiscation, without any court proceedings, of millions of copies of promotion editions of the parties in opposition, which were officially issued and registered at the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The last month of the parliamentary election campaign was sufficiently tense. However, it is noteworthy that another, no less or, perhaps, even more - important aspect, that of the forthcoming presidential election campaign in March 2008. In late November, once again, numerous rumors began to circulate concerning V.

Putin being elected for a third term in office. Since the legitimate possibility of such a reelection for him (amendments to the Constitution) had been exhausted, it all had to do with semi-legitimate opportunities (some sophistical interpretation of the law enabling him, say, to resign from his post before the announcement of the presidential election and to be balloted during the election campaign as a deputy to the Duma).

But on 26 November, in accordance with the law, the Council of the Federation unanimously set the date for the new general election. Thus, less than two weeks remain until the anticlimax (that is, until it will become known who is going to be nominated for presidents successor) the preliminary registration of candidates for president (the submission of documents concerning the creation of an initiative group to the Central Election Commission) must be completed by 18 December. So far there are no grounds for any assumptions to be made other than the frequency of some or other persons being featured by the central mass media agencies. Thus, in November, next to Putin, the most frequently shown figures were Prime Minister V. Zubkov, United Russias leader B. Gryzlov and First Vice Prime Minister S. Ivanov.

No big surprises occurred during the election campaign. United Russia launched a large-scale promotion campaign backed by the administrative resource (that is, various forms of applying government resources in favor of the party in power - from compulsive collection of money to compulsive appointment of civil servants to carry out electioneering tasks). The only difference was that this time it enjoyed the direct participation of V. Putin. Thus, for example, in Krasnoyarsk he declared: What is "United Russia", is it an ideal political structure.. It has not yet developed any stable ideology or principles for which the partys overwhelming majority would be ready to fight and put at stake their authority. So the question arises why I have topped "United Russia"s list with my name Simply because we have no better option, anyway Among the partys merits he mentioned the absence of populism, smooth interaction with the Government, and then added that therefore United Russia deserves gratitude for all the authorities good deeds. In an event of the partys victory in the election this smooth interaction would continue, he promised. Besides, he, Putin, will then have a moral right to ask from all those who are going to work in the Duma and in the Government that they truly implement the decisions outlined today. As for his specific role in the future, Putin kept silent, having only remarked that different variants do exist.

It should be said that United Russias election campaign, similarly to the Kremlins propaganda in general, was largely built on opposites. And V. Putin also personally participated in direct criticism of opponents. He depicted a certain collective image of his opponents. Today we are being taught by those who ten or fifteen years earlier were holding key positions in the Government and the Federal Assembly They are exactly those who in the 1990s, while holding high official posts, were acting to the detriment of society and the State by serving the interests of oligarchic structures and wasting national treasures. It is they who have turned corruption into the main tool of political and economic competition All these people have by no means left the political arena. You will find their names among the candidates and sponsors of certain parties. They want to take their revenge, to come back to power, to get access to spheres of influence. And to gradually restore the oligarchic regime based on corruption and lies Some want once again to confiscate and redistribute everything, and some - to steal it away. Now they will come out into the streets they have picked up this trick from Western specialists, they have practiced it in the neighboring republics, and now they will try it here In fact, this image both fits and does not fit many parties the CPRF (which once had a majority in the Duma), the SPS (the Union of the Right Forces, whose members have held posts in the Government), as well as the non-parliamentary opposition. But first of all, as demonstrated by the propaganda on the state-owned TV channels, it applies to the SPS. A special operation unprecedented in the history of Russian elections has been launched against that party. It is not for the first time that black technologies or administrative pressure were applied to candidates in Russia But this time, without any court warrants, millions of copies of promotion editions, officially issued and registered at the CEC, were confiscated their total number, most probably, exceeding 15 million.

Thus, the authorities did not rely solely on propaganda, but resorted to coercive measures. As a matter of fact, there were cases both in neighboring countries and in some Russian regions when victory was achieved by candidates deprived of any access to the TV media, who had distributed promotion printed matter on a mass scale. The SPS, who seemed to have been hibernating the whole of October, responded by a sharp turn towards rhetoric. B. Nemtsov was made the public face of their promotion campaign, while their rhetoric depicted the SPS as an open opponent of V. Putins course. The SPS joined the actions of the nonparliamentary opposition The March of the Disagreeing. The partys rating began to grow - owing, among other factors, to the TV channels servicing the binary model For Putin against Putin. This failed to increase the SPSs chances to get into parliament, but, nevertheless, helped it to get out of the ghetto.

The situation, on the contrary, became aggravated for Fair Russia. The extremely unsuccessful speeches of its leader S. Mironov on TV channels, coupled with the ongoing attacks on the party in the regions (for example, on the eve of the election the name of D. Kuzmin, the Mayor of Stavropol, who had won at the election to the regional legislative body, was removed from the list of candidates, and a criminal case was initiated) and the unexpected lack of centralized funding increased the risks of the partys failure at getting into the Duma.

The veteran of Russias politics, V. Zhirinovsky, is boosted primarily by his own history. Never, in those fifteen years, have his results at a federal election slipped below 5 %. The current absence of Zhirinovsky from TV channels cannot remedy the fact of his having been present there for three and a half years, while he, on his own part, is using rather successfully the alternative ways of distributing promotion products.

Therefore his chances, most probably, are bright enough.

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