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1. Starting from 2005, FFSR financial resources should be distributed in the form of grants only for the purposes of equalization of the rated budgetary security of RF subjects (in 2004, the grants for the equalization of rated budgetary security of regions made about 94 per cent of FFSR). The subsidies for the state support of procurement and delivery of oil, oil products, fuels, and food products to the regions of Far North and the territories granted equal status, as well as subventions for compensation of tariffs on electrical power granted to the territories of the Far East and Arkhangelsk oblast were excluded from the composition of grants for the equalization of budgetary security.

In fact, this measure completes the next stage of the reform of equalizing transfers in Russia by setting forth the non conditional nature of distribution of all financial resources of FFSR. Yet since the switching to the unified formula of distribution of FFSR resources in 1999, certain components designated for the financing of individual types of expenditures persisted in the composition of the fund. The major factor behind the continuing existence of such components was the compromise, in the framework of which the switching to new principles of distribution of transfers provided from FFSR was accompanied by persistence of its targeted component. Gradually, this targeted component began to be singled out of the total amount of financial reserves on the basis of a unified formula and lost any con nection with its declared purposes (financing of the seasonal deliveries to the North and compensation of high tariffs on electrical power). The logical completion of this stage was the abolishment of the targeted component.

2. The approved Methodology of distribution of the financial resources of the Fund of Financial Support of Regions for year 2005 reduced the level of per capita rated budgetary security setting the cap on the right of regions to receive FFSR resources. The preceding methodologies made a region eligible for financial aid provided from FFSR in the case the per capita rated budgetary security in this region decreased below the value of the respec tive average national level. In 2005, the border separating the regions receiving and not receiving transfers from FFSR was set somewhat below the average national level: in the case the level of rated budgetary security of a region is above 60 per cent of the average national level, the region has no right to receive grants from FFSR. This provision permits to achieve a higher degree of concentration of financial aid in recipient regions. As a result, RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks in 2005 the number of regions not receiving grants from FFSR increased by 2 (the Sverdlov and Arkhangelsk oblasts)12.

3. According to the new Methodology of distribution of resources of the Fund of Fi nancial Support of Regions, the fund has ceased to single out the share of its resources previously (till 2005) aimed at the raising of the minimum budgetary security of most poor regions (subjects of the Federation with the minimal levels of per capita rated budgetary security) up to a single level (until 2005, the share of the fund allocated for these purposes made 20 per cent of its total amount). Since 2005, all financial resources of the Fund should be allocated for a prorated reduction of the gap between the per capita rated budgetary security of regions and the level of per capita budgetary security set forth as the criterion of equalization (i.e. the level of budgetary security set forth as the target of equali zation).

In accordance with the new principles of distribution of FFSR financial resources, the equalization of budgetary security is carried out in two stages. At the first stage, the grants provided from FFSR are distributed among the RF subjects, where prior to the distribution of FFSR financial resources the level of rated budgetary security is at or below the criterion of equalization of budgetary security, i.e. 60 per cent of the average national per capita level of rated budgetary security.

At the same stage of equalization regions receive 85 per cent of the resources nec essary to raise the level of their rated budgetary security to 60 per cent of the average na tional level of rated budgetary security. The gap between the actual value of the indicator and the level of 60 per cent of budgetary security is not covered in full, only up to 85 per cent. This measure is envisaged so that the regions with higher levels of budgetary security prior to the equalization could maintain their advantage after receiving grants from FFSR.

The use of the 0.85 coefficient in the course of raising the actual level of rated budgetary security of regions up to 60 per cent of the average national level in fact renders the effect from such an equalization identical to the prorate equalization. According to the estimates presented by the RF Finance Ministry, this amount should be significantly below the amount of FFSR: for instance, in 2005 it should make Rub. 83.7 billion (or 44 per cent of the total amount of FFSR).

At the second stage, there is distributed the FFSR balance. The remaining funds are distributed in proportion to the divergence of the level of the rated budgetary security of the region adjusted for the amounts of transfers received at the first stage of equalization;

however, the criterion of equalization (the level, towards which the amount of transfer is oriented) is the average level of budgetary security. Therefore, the balance of FFSR finan cial resources is distributed in proportion with the divergence of the rated per capita budg etary security of RF subjects registered after the first stage of equalization from the aver age national level of budgetary security.

In the framework of budget estimates for year 2005, 44 per cent of the total amount of FFSR was distributed at the first stage and 56 per cent at the second stage of equalization.

Thus, in the period prior to 2005, the process of interbudgetary equalization was car ried out as a process outlined in Fig. 15, where there are shown the level of per capita av erage rated budgetary security prior to the allocation of the transfer, after the first stage proportional equalization (distribution of the first portion of FFSR equal to 80 per cent of In 2004, 18 regions did not receive transfers from FFSR: the Lipetsk and Yaroslavl oblasts, the city of Moscow, the Republic of Komi, the Vologda and Leningrad oblasts, the city of St. Petersburg, the Nenets autonomous okrug, the Republic of Bash kortostan, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Udmurt Republic, the Orenburg oblast, the Perm, Samara, and Tyumen oblasts, the Khanty Mansi and Yamal Nenets autonomous okrugs, the Krasnoyarsk krai.

Section 2.

Monetary and budgetary spheres the amount of the Fund), and after the second stage after the raising of the level of budg etary security of the most poor regions to a common level (distribution of the second por tion of FFSR equal to 20 per cent of the amount of the Fund).

Average national level Heavily subsidized Subsidized regions Non-subsidized regions regions Budgetary security prior to equalization Budgetary security after proportional equalization Budgetary security after the raising up to the common level Fig. 15. Distribution of FFSR financial resources in accordance with the methods used prior to As Fig. 15 demonstrates, certain regions being in the interval of per capita rated budgetary security between points 1 and 2 are at the equal level of budgetary security after equalization in spite of the fact that prior to equalization these levels have significantly dif fered. In 2004, there were 33 such regions13. Therefore, it may be surmised that in accor dance with the formula of distribution of transfers used prior to 2005, there were created specific negative incentives for a rather large number of regions, since at the given low level of tax potential the amount of financial aid granted to such regions was too large.

However, the methods applied since 2005 are free of this flaw.

In Fig. 16, there is schematically presented the process of equalization of the per capita budgetary security carried out in accordance with two criteria applied in the Meth odology of FFSR distribution for year 2005.

The Bryansk, Ivanovo, Tambov, Pskov oblasts, the Republic of Adygeya, the Republic of Dagestan, the Ingush Republic, the Kabarda Balkar Republic, the Republic of Kalmykiya, the Karach Cherkessk Republic, the Republic of North Osetiya Alaniya, the Chechen Republic, the Republic of Mari El, the Republic of Mordoviya, the Chuvash Republic, the Penza oblast, the Komi Permyak autonomous okrug, the Kurgan oblast, the Republic of Altai, the Republic of Buryatiya, the Republic of Tyva, the Altai krai, the Chita oblast, the Aginsk Buryat, Taimyr (Dolgan Nenets), Ust Orda Buryat, Evenk autonomous ok rugs, the Kamchatka and Magadan oblasts, the Evreiskaya autonomous oblast, the Koryak and Chukotka autonomous ok rugs.

Budgetary security RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks Subsidized Nonregions subsidized regions Budgetary security prior to equalization Budgetary security after equalization in accordance with the first Budgetary security after equalization in accordance with the sec First criterion of equalization 60 % Second criterion of equalization 100 % Fig. 16. The principle of interbudgetary equalization used in the framework of the methods of FFSR distribution for year The data presented in Fig. 16 demonstrates that according to the new methods of distribution of grants for equalization of the level of budgetary security regions retain more incentives to make fiscal efforts. This result is achieved due to the fact that subjects of the Russian Federation with higher levels of rated budgetary security observed prior to the dis tribution of transfers also maintain their advantages after the distribution of FFSR financial resources.

4. In the course of elaboration of the Methodology of distribution of the financial re sources of the Fund of Financial Support of Regions for year 2005, there was reduced the number of industries used for the calculation of the Tax Potential Index (TPI) of regions. In particular, there were excluded such industries, the major share of taxes due to regional budgets from which is formed at the expense of indirect taxes (excises). The formula used for calculation of the tax potential index was also simplified (there were removed additional adjustment coefficients as concerns the sectoral structure of chemistry and petrochemis try, the sectoral structure of lumber, woodworking, and pulp and paper industry, the sec toral structure of light industry).

5. Alongside with the reduction of the number of parameters used in the framework of evaluation of the tax potential index, there was also reduced the number of parameters on the basis of which there is carried out the calculation of the Budgetary Expenditure In dex (BEI). Thus, since 2005 the methods of evaluation of the budgetary expenditure index are based exclusively on the factors determining the amount of expenditures of subna tional budgets on the whole: these factors include the level of wages and salaries in the re gion, the level of prices of housing and public utilities services, and the level of consumer prices in the RF subject.

It should be noted that the discussion with respect to the simplification of the Meth ods of distribution of FFSR financial resources as concerns the evaluation of the tax poten tial index and the budgetary expenditure index has been led for a rather long time since the moment of the introduction of the new Methods of distribution of FFSR financial re Budgetary security Section 2.

Monetary and budgetary spheres sources. Initially, the complexity of the formula of evaluation of the budgetary expenditure index has been determined by the large amounts of unfunded mandates, which the federal legislation devolved on the regional and local budgets. As a result, the methods of calcula tion of BEI took into account the interregional differentiation of budgetary expenditures across each type of regional budgetary expenditures regulated by the federal legislation.

After the enactment of the new Budget Code and federal law No. 122 FZ, the amount of unfunded federal mandates was significantly reduced, what permitted to substantially simplify the methods of evaluation of the budgetary expenditure index.

Somewhat different factors facilitated complication of the methods of evaluation of the tax potential index. In the course of introduction of the new Methods of distribution of FFSR financial resources the evaluation of the tax potential index has been carried out in accordance with a relatively simple method by the way of neutralization the average na tional share of tax withdrawals across major sectors forming added value of the subjects of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the distortions observed in the distribution of financial aid caused by the switching to the new methodology were compensated for by the introduction of a number of limitations on the marginal size of deviations of the amounts of grants calculated in accordance with the new methods from the actual amount of grants received over the preceding year. Later, after these limitations were removed on the initiative of certain regions, the methods were extended by the way of introduction of adjustment coefficients, which took into account the specifics of the tax burden on individ ual industries. It should be noted that in many cases the introduction of such coefficients either had no significant impact on the amounts of financial aid distributed in accordance with the methodology, or the respective impact was limited to several regions. The cessa tion of the use of such coefficients permitted to simplify the methods again by returning to its original composition.

6. Starting from year 2005, it is planned to carry out the distribution of FFSR financial resources proceeding from the new census data prepared by Rosstat, this will have a sig nificant impact on the distribution of FFSR financial resources among regions.

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