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- the rates of growth in the volumes of imports declined (from 22.5 per cent registered in 2004 to 16.2 per cent in 2005). Import of goods made US $ 125.1 billion (grew by 28.5 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of 2004), including imports from the countries outside the former Soviet Union, which made US $ 103.3 billion (a 33.4 per cent growth) and from the CIS member countries US $ 21.8 billion (a 9.5 per cent increase). The share of the countries outside the former Soviet Union in the total amount of imports from Russia increased from 79.6 per cent to 82.6 per cent, whereas the share of the CIS member countries declined respectively from 20.4 per cent to 17.4 per cent. In 2005, the surplus of the balance of trade made US $ 120.1 billion, what was significantly above the figures registered in 2004 (US $ 85.8 billion).

- investments in fixed assets increased by 10.5 per cent as compared with 10.9 per cent observed in 2004.

- in accordance with the preliminary data presented by the RF Finance Ministry, the amount of revenues of the federal budget made 102.8 per cent of the figures presented in the updated budget revenue and expenditure statement and almost 154 per cent of the initially estimated amount. In the terms of GDP share, the revenues of the federal budget made 23.6 per cent of GDP (by 3.5 p. p. above the value of the respective indicator as registered in 2004). The gold and foreign exchange reserves increased by US $ 57.7 billion and in the beginning of 2006 reached the historical high of US $ 182.billion.

- the rates of inflation were registered at 10.9 per cent, what was below the levels of 2004 (11.7 per cent), but above the initially set target level (8.5 per cent).

On the world market, the price of the Russian Urals oil made US $ 50.6 per barrel (above the figures registered in 2004 by 46.9 per cent).

The industrial output index made 104 per cent as compared with 104.4 per cent indicated in the original forecast of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and 108.3 per cent registered in 2004. On the whole, production and distribution of electrical power, natural gas, and water increased by 1.2 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in 2004, whereas extraction of mineral resources and output of manufacturing industries grew by 1.3 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively. In 2005, oil extraction, including gas condensate, made 470 million metric tons, or 102.2 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding year (109 per cent in 2004).

Transformation of export revenues in the expansion of consumer demand occurring at the background of a decline in the net rate of household savings persisted as the most important factor of growth in economy outweighing the effect of decline in the rates of growth registered with respect to industry and volumes of exports.

In 2005, the rates of growth in real disposable household incomes somewhat decelerated in comparison with the figures observed in 2004 (108.8 per cent and 109.9 per cent respectively). In accordance with preliminary data, the nominal gross average monthly wages and salaries made on average Rub. 8530 over the year increasing by 23.6 per cent in comparison with the value of this indicator registered in 2004, whereas the real wages and salaries grew by 9.7 per cent in 2005 as compared with the figures observed a year ago (10.6 per cent in 2004).

In the report On scenario based forecasts of Russias 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 there were presented scenario based conditions and parameters of the development of the Russian economy in 2007 through 2009.

The base (inertial) version (version 1) reflects the existing trend towards the deceleration of the rates of growth in the economy resulting from the stabilization of the amounts of exports, deteriorating price competitive power of domestic production and its substitution with imported products. In the framework of this scenario, it is expected that in 2006 the price of the Urals oil will be on the average at the level of US $ 54 per barrel, whereas in 2008 and 2009 the Urals oil prices should stabilized at the level of US $ 46 per barrel. Under the conditions set by this scenario, in 2006 the rates of growth in GDP should decline and make 6 per cent, while it is expected that in 2008 and 2009 these rates decelerate further and make from 5.0 per cent to 5.1 per cent.

The moderately optimistic version (which is viewed as the basis for the development of the long term financial plan for years 2007 and 2008) (version 2) envisages an acceleration of the rates of economic growth due to the implementation of a package of measures designed by the Government in order to facilitate an increase in the rates and quality of economic growth based on the assumption that the Russian businesses will adapt to the foreign competition sooner than it is expected in accordance with the first version. The rates of growth in GDP should increase and make from 5.8 per cent to 6.per cent a year (in the business situation on energy resources markets similar to that expected in the framework of the first version).

There were also analyzed versions taking into account different scenarios of the development of the situation on the world oil market. Version 1a proceeds from the conditions set in the base version with the exception of lower Urals oil prices (US $ 42 per barrel in 2007, US $ 35 per barrel in 2008, and US $ 34 per barrel in 2009). As concerns Version 2b, it proceeds from the higher levels of the world oil prices than indicated in Version 2 (US $ 55 per barrel in 2007 and up to US $ 60 per barrel by 2009).

The higher oil prices add to the dynamics of the second version of development about 0.4 to 0.3 p. p. a year, what permits to reach the rates of growth up to 6.2 per cent or 6.3 per cent a year. The crisis version 0 evaluates the prospects of development of the Russian economy in the situation, where oil prices drop two times (US $ 27 per barrel).

Basing on version 2, there were developed the Main Parameters of the Consolidated Financial Balance Sheet in the territory of the Russian Federation for years 2007 through 2009, which reflect the sources of formation of financial resources of the RF budgetary system and utilization thereof for the purposes of execution of state functions and fulfillment of social and economic tasks.

It is prognosticated that the revenues of the RF budgetary system will make Rub. 10 242.5 billion (34.8 per cent of GDP) in 2007, and Rub. 11 238.9 billion (34.0 per cent of GDP) and Rub. 12 519.billion (33.6 per cent of GDP) in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The aggregate expenditures of the RF budgetary system will make Rub. 9 086.8 billion (30.9 per cent of GDP) in 2007, and Rub. 10 123.billion (30.6 per cent of GDP) and Rub. 11 468.0 billion (30.8 per cent of GDP) in 2008 and respectively. In 2007, the investment related expenditures of the federal budget (without taking into account the funds allocated for the implementation of national projects and the provision of state support at the expense of the funds accumulated in the Investment Fund) will make Rub. 593.4 billion. In 2008 and 2009, the said expenditures should make amounts calculated and proposed by the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, i.e.: Rub. 657.5 billion in 2008 and Rub. 717.0 billion in 2009. Annual allocations for the formation of the RF Investment Fund are planned to make Rub. 77.billion in 2007 through 2009.

In accordance with version 1, by 2008 extraction of oil and gas condensate should stabilize at the level of 490 million metric tons. In the framework of version 2, it is expected that in 2007 oil extraction should make 495 million metric tons (102.7 per cent as compared with the level registered in the preceding year), whereas in 2008 the increment in oil extraction should make not less than 1 per cent a year, and in 2009 oil extraction may increase up to 507 million metric tons (101.4 per cent of the level reached in the preceding year). In accordance with version 1, in 2008 and 2009, exports of oil should stabilize at the level of 271 million metric tons, whereas version 2 envisages that this indicator will be at 283 million metric tons in 2009.

In all versions, projected target inflation rates for years 2007 through 2009 are planned to be within the following band: 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent in 2007, 4 per cent to 5.5 per cent in 2008, and 4 per cent to 5 per cent in 2009.

It is expected that in 2006 the Ruble exchange rate against the US dollar will appreciate and make Rub. 27.4 per US $ by the end of the year. In 2006, the nominal Ruble appreciation against the currencies of major trade partners of Russia should be at or below 1 per cent, whereas the real effective Ruble appreciation is expected to make 6.5 per cent. In the medium term outlook, the Ruble appreciation in real terms should practically stop and will make from 0 per cent to 1.5 per cent in 2008 and 2009, whereas as concerns the nominal Ruble exchange rate there is expected certain devaluation against the currencies of major trade partners of Russia.

In the framework of all versions, it is envisaged that the current VAT rate will be retained until 2009, whereas in the case in 2009 there will be set the 13 per cent to 15 per cent single VAT rate, the parameters of version 2 should be adjusted respectively. In 2007 and 2008, it is envisaged to continue the reform of excise taxation, whereas with respect to the tax on profits of organizations it is planned to permit tax payers to reduce the tax base of the current year by the full amount of losses borne in the preceding year since 2007.

It is envisaged to make amendments to the RF Tax Code with the purpose to take into account the expenditures for research and development in the course of calculation of taxable profits derived by organizations; these expenditures borne over the year should be taken into account already since 2007.

In 2007, the rate of growth in investments in fixed assets will make 9.1 per cent in accordance with version 2, what is by 1.6 p. p. above the value of this indicator set in version 1 (while in the framework of version 1 the share of borrowed funds in investments should make 55.5 per cent by year 2009, version 2 sets this figure at 56.8 per cent).

In accordance with the report, the major factors causing changes in the quality of economic growth will be the deceleration of the process of deteriorating of competitive power, retention of the trend towards the outpacing rates of manufacturing industries, and a significant improvement of the functioning of the oil sector, further development of the investment orientation of economic growth, and a certain abatement of the consumer boom in 2007 and 2008, whereas it is expected that it will persist through 2006.

Internal factors will be to an increasing degree determine both the level and the stability of the rates of economic growth. In this connection, the role played by the state economic policy and the investment climate will significantly enhance.

In order to reach the parameters of growth at or above the level of 5.7 per cent to 6.0 per cent a year, special attention should be paid to the package of measures aimed at the creation of incentives for economic growth, which should include, among other measures, larger expenditures of investment nature, including the investment fund and the expenditures for national projects (the investment sections of the respective projects).

High rates of growth in cash household incomes will persist. In nominal terms, in 2009 cash household incomes should increase by 83.6 per cent in accordance with version 2 (by 79.5 per cent in the framework of version 1), whereas the real growth in this indicator should make 38.7 per cent (36 per cent in accordance with version 1) as compared with the figures registered in 2005. In 2006 through 2009, the total amount of social transfers should increase by 76.1 per cent in the framework of version 2 (by 71.8 per cent in the framework of version 1).

In 2007, the amount of profits is prognosticated to make Rub. 5875 billion in accordance with version 1, whereas in the framework of version 2 and version 2b it should make Rub. 5885 billion and Rub. 6180 billion respectively. At the same time, the share of profits in GDP will decline by 0.3 per cent in accordance with versions 1 and 2, whereas in the framework of version 2b it should increase by 0.2 per cent of GDP, whereas the share of the payroll bill in GDP (as adjusted for the single social tax) should grow by 0.7 per cent of GDP and 0.3 per cent of GDP respectively. By 2009, the amount of profits should make Rub. 6855 billion in accordance with version 1, Rub. 7210 billion in accordance with version 2, and Rub. 7855 billion in the framework of version 2b.

E. A. Bolshakova A review of budget legislation introduced in March of In March, the legislation currently in force was amended as follows: there was published a resolution of the RF Government on the enforcement of the federal law On the federal budget for year 2006; the RF Finance Ministry approved by its order the implementation of procedures governing the setting up and maintenance of customer accounts for recipients of funds from the federal budget with respect to their operations with funds earned from entrepreneurial activities and other types of income generating operations; there was published an order of the RF Federal Treasury with respect to the procedures governing the registration and keeping of documents concerning the enforcement of court rulings envisaging the levying of recovery on funds of the budgetary system of the Russian Federation with respect to money liabilities of recipients of budget financing.

I. RESOLUTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Russian Federation 1. ON THE MEASURES AIMED AT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FEDERAL LAW ON THE FEDERAL BUDGET FOR YEAR 2006 No. 101 of February 22, 2006.

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