According to the preliminary data, the efforts to adjust budget undertaken by the Government, in particular by the Comission for non-payments, as well as by the newly formed Interim Emergency Comittee (V.CH.K.) have been futile. As the data represented in the Table 1 shows, the amount of total revenue has decreased in October against September by some 1-2% of GDP. Besides, the budget deficit has also reduced to the extremely low level on the background of the ongoing trend of the budget expenditure's. fall
Table 2. Budget deficit by 1995 - 1996 (% GDP).
* Preliminary data
** Estimation (service of governmental borrowings taken into account)
The peak of the redemption of the GKO in October caused a sharp augmentation of the secondary budget deficit (see Table 2.)
As one may see from the figure below the dynamics of the consolidated budget aggregates slightly differs from the federal ones.
Despite of the efforts of the above agencies, the boosting trend of the arrears to the federal budget continued. That became possible at the extent of the increase of the VAT arrears to the federal budget. At the same time the rate of the Profit Tax fell.
In October – November 1996 the rate of consumer price growth was rising as before. In October inflation amounted to 1.2% or 15.4% annualized. The preliminary assessment of November consumer price index is 2 –2.4% (26.8 – 32.9% per year). The dynamics of weekly inflation depicting on fig. 1 shows the CPI increase from zero and even negative level in August 1996 up to 0.6% in the first half of November. In December, according to our estimates, the rate of inflation will remain at November level and the annual price growth for 1996 will amount to 23 –24%.
On November 1, 1996 the new compulsory reserve requirements for commercial banks was introduce. So, it was reduced from 18% to 16% the reserve rate on the ruble current accounts and time deposits with term up to 30 days and from 14% to 13% on time deposits with term up to 90 days. On currency accounts the one was increased from 2.5% to 5%. It is necessary to note this change is able to cause the following results. First of all, the restructuring of reserve requirements in favour of ruble liabilities led to some softening of the monetary policy. Second, the increase of reserve rate on currency accounts has to result in restructuring of banks’ liabilities in favour of ruble share. Third, the decline of ruble borrowing costs contributes to a decrease of interest rates on bank loans (see section about interbank loan market).
In October, second time for the last half year, Russia did not receive from IMF the next tranche by EFF program. A strict position of IMF officials seems to be quite substantiated against the deterioration of tax collection in August – September 1996. But, the refuse to transfer $340 million under these political circumstances is able to make the relations between IMF and Russia worse.
The hard situation with the Federal Budget performance caused the activity of political opposition fighting for the change of economic policy. In particular, one can emphasise the approval by the State Duma the amendment to the consent commission’s results for the Federal Budget for 1997 project on November 12, 1996. In this document it is proposed to increase the ratio M2 to GDP up to the ‘world level’ which, by the deputies’ interpretation, means 21%. The deputies do not evidently understand the absurdity of this proposal which consisting in the fact that there is no opportunity to affect the volume of real money supply directly.
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