MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a regular meeting with government members on Wednesday. "The main issue on the agenda will be measures to overcome the economic recession in 2016," the Kremlin press service reported.
The Bank of Russia announced on September 11 that it expected this year's economic downturn at 3.9-4.4% of GDP, and in the future - at 0.5-1.0%. The Economic Development Ministry projects a 0.9% GDP growth for 2016.
At a meeting on the federal budget projections for next year held on September 22, the head of state said it was necessary to take measures to overcome the economic recession, but the budget deficit should not exceed 3% of GDP.
"It is necessary to ensure stable balance and sustainability of public finances, significantly reduce the dependence of the federal budget on oil prices and quotations. The planned budget deficit for the next year should not exceed 3% of GDP," he said. Putin said that the budget deficit target was one of the most important for the government in the budget process. "To achieve this level, I ask to look carefully at the revenue side of the budget," Putin said.
In recent weeks, the draft federal budget for 2016 has been discussed at a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. At these meetings, the Finance Ministry proposed to leave the budget spending in 2016 at the level of 2015, that is, to reduce them to 650 billion roubles ($9.79 billion) against the planned amount for 2016 in the three-year plan for 2015-2017. In this case, the budget deficit will amount to 2.8 - 2.9% of the country’s GDP.
According to the president, although the situation in the economy is difficult, it’s not critical, and there are opportunities to enhance the country’s economic potential. Putin instructed the Cabinet to find equilibrium between supporting economic growth and the budget balance.
Russia was faced with the current economic difficulties after a significant decline in energy prices and the introduction of sanctions restrictions. In early September, Putin said that, in his opinion, the Russian economy had virtually adapted to the new oil prices. Speaking of the measures to overcome the crisis, the president said that "the general line is the free enterprise expansion, red tape reduction in our economic system, improving the decision-making system and the business climate.".