Moscow states amount of subsidies for Chechnya and Crimea in 2017

Moscow states amount of subsidies for Chechnya and Crimea in 2017
View of the Heart of Chechnya mosque in Grozny

Federal grants for Chechnya and Crimea in 2017 will remain almost identical to those of 2016, while the amount of subsidies for other regions will be increased by more than 15%, according to the amendments for the second reading of the budget.

Following the pointed retort by the Republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov against the reduction of the federal funding, Chechnya will receive 40.4 billion rubles of subsidies in 2017 — almost as much as in 2016. This follows from the government's amendments for the second reading of the budget for the 2017-2019 years. Last Friday, the State Duma Committee on Budget approved them without discussion.

Subsidies for the Republic of Crimea will slightly decrease in 2017 (down to 37.2 billion rubles), according to the same amendments.

Chechnya and Crimea will receive some of the subsidies, i.e. the so-called subsidies to the regions for the alignment of budgetary security, per standard procedure. The distribution of grants for the alignment was submitted in the addendum approved by the Committee, along with relevant state amendment. Those grants were distributed in late November at a meeting of the tripartite commission, which includes members of the parliament, senators, and officials of the Ministry of Finance, members of the Budget Committee explained earlier to RBC. According to this addendum, Chechnya is to receive 24 billion rubles in 2017, and Crimea — 18.5 billion.

These figures impressive, but they are hardly above average. For instance, at the same time Dagestan will receive 52.4 billion rubles in 2017, Yakutia — 36.6 billion rubles, and Kamchatka — 37.16 billion rubles. Even in 2016, these three regions, are expected to become the major recipients of grants for the alignment of budgetary security. In total, the federal budget will allocate 614.6 billion rubles for this kind of regional subsidies in 2017, which is 100 billion rubles more than in 2016.

In a separate amendment, the government decided to allocate the subsidies of another kind for Chechnya, Crimea, and Sevastopol — for the budget balance. According to the initiative, Chechnya will receive 16.4 billion rubles for this purpose, Crimea — 18.65 billion, and Sevastopol — 5.17 billion (the grant for the alignment of budgetary security for Sevastopol is provided in the amount of 2.17 billion rubles). This state amendment was also approved by the Duma Committee on Budget. The distribution of subsidies for the budget balance for other regions was not clarified by the amendments.

As a result, Chechnya and Crimea will receive of one of the largest federal grants in 2017: the financial support for Chechnya (excluding various subsidies and subventions provided the same way as for other regions) will reach 40.4 billion rubles, for Crimea — 37.15 billion rubles. In 2016, Chechnya will receive grants of about 41 billion rubles, and Crimea — 37.8 billion rubles.

Neither government officials, nor the management of the budget committee gave any explanation to those decisions. Lawmakers had no issues with the government's initiative.

The total amount of subsidies from the federal budget to the Russian regions for 2017 is estimated at 738.3 billion rubles — about 97 billion rubles (15%) more than expected at the end of 2016, according to the draft of the federal budget, which is now being prepared for the second reading. This means that grants for other regions (except Chechnya and Crimea) will grow by more than 15%.

In late October, the Head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, spoke out against the Ministry of Finance plans to cut funding for the republic’s budget. He claimed that previously Chechen authorities "went with budget cuts," but the current plan of the federal government puts the social obligations of the republic’s leadership in jeopardy. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov replied that Kadyrov’s fears were premature — the Chechen leader could not know what amount of grant the republic would receive in the coming year, as the inter-budgetary transfers had not yet been distributed.

Crimea and Sevastopol authorities did not openly request increased funding the federal budget. However, the government not only envisaged subsidies for these regions, but also introduced a large package of amendments for the second reading, which provided them with additional subsidies across the board.

Other amendments prepared for the second reading

A quarter of budget credits will be reserved "as a safeguard"

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