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Ex-finance minister: Russia should introduce new budget rule not earlier than in 2 years

January 16, 15:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

After a sharp drop in oil prices in the past year the budget rule actually did not work and its suspension was fixed in the 2016 budget

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Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin

Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russia should introduce new fiscal (budget) rule not earlier than in two years and use extra oil revenues to finance budget deficit until 2019, former Finance Minister and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic Research Alexei Kudrin said in an interview with TASS.

"Now it is important what the [new] budget rule will be. I would stop at for $50 per barrel but in two years. Now, if the oil price is higher before 2019 - for example $60-70 per barrel, - I would like these revenues to be spent and when the budget deficit occurs we could use them to reduce the deficit," Kudrin said.

Budget rule is the mechanism of formation of Russia’s budget. It determines the maximum level of spending on the basis of oil prices. The aim of the rule is to make the budget less dependent on market revenues. The essence of the rule is that additional revenues that are raised from sale of oil and gas should be transferred to the Reserve Fund. Such additional revenues emerge in case when the actual price of oil exceeds the price in the forecast.

After a sharp drop in oil prices in the past year the budget rule actually did not work and its suspension was fixed in the 2016 budget.

In late 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it would be reasonable and necessary to form the new budget rule. He stressed that although the budget rule faced a lot of criticism working under this rule is better than the situation when budget revenues are distributed without this rule.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said earlier that the development of a new budget rule and its approval is the key task of the Finance Ministry in the near future. The Finance Ministry plans to introduce a new budget rule from 2020. This rule is expected to reduce the effect of volatility of commodity markets on the economy of Russia. 

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