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Hence, when making choice between thesoftening of the monetary policy and softening of the budgetary policy, thepower has selected the second variant. This meant that the Government hasaccepted the rules of the game including the worse collection of taxescombined with the expansion of the State expenditures and sharp expansion ofthe loans from the domestic market. In some aspects, this variant was worsethan the direct emission, because it deprived the powers of the freedom ofmaneuver and of the seigneurage; in other aspects it was better. At a certainflexibility of the Government, this tactics allowed to maintain the process ofthe inflation reduction, implementing, at the same time, certain populistmeasures aimed to attract the electorate.

In addition to the purely economicconclusions, one more conclusion, of the generally political character, as forthe role of the macro-economic stabilization problems may be made. There existsthe wide-spread idea that the democracy creates a less favorable environmentfor a stabilization process than a firm dictatorship due to the understandablevulnerability of the former to the short-term interest of struggle for thevotes17. Nevertheless, the practical experience of the Russiastabilization allows for an equally right conclusion. The elections at which avoter needs to see the reasonings in form of the results of the currenteconomic policy favor the selected process, not its rejection. Moreover, theexperience of the first three years of the Russian reforms shows that theabsence of real strategic alternatives for the stabilization policy makeit more vulnerable before various inflationist forces with clearly expressedlobbying interests18. After a series of abortiveattempts of the macro-economic stabilization, during 1992-1994, the powerscould become more decisive in their approach to these problems, just awaitingthe Presidential elections. It is also important that the stabilization showedits results to the beginning of 1996, thus yielding the most obvious politicalreasoning.

Financing of State expenses

The results of implementation of the FederalBudget in the first quarter-year became the most crucial topic for discussionsin the Parliament, mass media, and economic circles, in spring 1996. Thereasons for this were both the extremely low level of implementation of theBudget for the incomes and expenditures (see Table1.9) and the specialpre-elections political situation. The opposition tried to use the aggravationof the budget crisis to show the incapacity of the B.Yeltsin’s team to lead the country awayfrom the economic depression. At the same time, the President, tried tonormalize the situation by both separating the exact priorities of financing(unconditional repayment of the budget debts for labor remuneration before1April, repayment of debts for pensions before 1May, etc.) with sequesteringthe other expenditure items, and by developing and implementing the measuresaimed to increase the tax inflows to the Budget (drafting of a series ofPresidential Decrees, activation of the taxation service, etc.).

The reduction of the State expenditures ofthe Federal Budget at the beginning of the year was even greater than theincomes reduction. If compared with the end of 1995, the same level remainedonly for the servicing of the State debt due to the wish of the President tofulfill strictly the Russia’s liabilities to foreign creditors. All the other items werereduced, in January 1996, from 15,2% of the GDP to 7,1% of the GDP19 (seeTable.1.9). March, compared with February, the total volume of the FederalBudget expenditures grew (in aggregate) by 2% of the GDP. Nevertheless, ifcompared with the plan, the volume of the quarter-year financing of the FederalBudget expenditures made only 75.9%, of which a significant share was used torepay the debts for labor remuneration.

Table 1.9.

Execution ofthe Russian Federal Budget for 1996 (in % of the GDP)

1.02.96

1.03.96

1.04.96

1.05.96

1.06.96

1.07.96

1.08.96

1.09.96

1.10.96

1.11.96

1.12.96

1996

% of law

Incomes

Tax onprofit

0.94

0.94

1.11

1.27

1.28

1.34

1.34

1.36

1.32

1.29

1.31

1.44

56

Income tax

0.19

0.2

0.21

0.22

0.21

0.22

0.22

0.23

0.23

0.23

0.22

0.23

107

VAT, special tax,excise tax

4.6

4.42

4.64

4.59

4.52

4.71

5.06

5.44

5.57

5.57

5.80

6.64

87

Tax on foreign tradeand foreign economy transactions

0.92

0.98

1.33

1.27

1.24

1.29

1.18

1.16

1.10

1.07

1.03

1.01

77

Other taxes, levies,and payments

0.13

0.17

0.15

0.16

0.16

0.17

0.18

0.21

0.20

0.29

0.33

0.38

161

Total taxes andpayments

6.78

6.71

7.44

7.51

7.41

7.73

7.98

8.40

8.42

8.45

8.69

9.70

80

Non-taxinflows

1.11

1.78

1.69

1.08

1.73

2.23

2.94

2.83

2.68

2.58

2.49

2.80

107

Totalincomes

7.89

8.49

9.86

9.37

9.96

10.79

10.92

11.2

11.1

11.03

11.18

12.5

86

Expenditures

Stateadministration

0.09

0.29

0.33

0.33

0.28

0.33

0.33

0.28

0.26

0.25

0.24

0.24

54

Internationalactivities

0.68

0.64

0.62

0.62

0.61

0.68

0.69

0.70

0.88

0.93

0.90

1.18

99

National defense andlaw enforcement

2.39

3.44

3.6

4.17

4.05

4.03

3.97

4.10

4.0

3.89

3.83

4.10

80

Fundamentalresearch

0.04

0.24

0.26

0.32

0.28

0.28

0.28

0.28

0.28

0.29

0.27

0.29

64

Services to nationaleconomy

1.19

1.63

1.46

1.61

1.63

1.61

1.53

1.61

1.51

1.52

1.56

1.84

69

Socialservices

0.52

0.96

1.19

1.41

1.45

1.51

1.40

1.32

1.25

1.22

1.20

1.22

65

Servicing of StateDebt

1.5

1.27

1.54

1.36

2.26

2.09

2.07

2.04

1.93

1.89

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