MOSCOW, December 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has major reserves and to the question where to take money Sberbank President German Gref said that “further privatization is a good source.” “This is very big money, which can be yielded in the years to come,” he said with confidence in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
However, “it is inadmissible to spend the budget revenues from state property sale for current expenditures,” Gref believes. “These revenues should be invested in new investment projects. So, we will create permanent sources of tax revenues, and they can be spent for anything,” he said.
Russia has almost no debts, the minimal budget deficit, but “you forgot about the capital outflow,” as “we are ranked in the second hundred of countries in the figures of the investment climate,” Sberbank president recalled.
Gref noted that Strategy Partners Group, a Sberbank daughter company, and the Davos Economic Forum have conducted a survey and set 12 priorities, in which Russia needs some changes. “The top priority is the quality of work of the institutions. The judicial system, state agencies, services and law enforcement agencies. The second priority is the infrastructure. The quality of roads, ports, railways, communication lines, electric power lines. The third priority is macroeconomic stability. On the one hand, we have the one, but the positive effect of no debts and the minimal budget deficit is minimized with the dependence from the oil prices. The fourth priority is the quality of pre-school and school education. The fifth priority is the condition of higher education. The sixth priority is the health care system,” he pointed out. “There are six more factors of competitiveness, which push our economy downward, but should lay a basis for growth,” Gref said.
“The demographic decline is one more serious global challenge that we are facing,” he remarked. “Starting from 2012 we will witness a sharp decline of workers in economy and the growth in the number of pensioners. With such demographic situation the countries rarely succeed to show a good economic growth rate,” he stressed.
Gref, who headed the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in 2000-2007, said that for him “freedom is one of the most important values, particularly in the expression of his thoughts.” He recalled that “during his work in the government he had never concealed his point of view,” but “the then president Vladimir Putin did not shut the mouth to us and did not make us say something else that we did not believe in.”