MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Russia’s federal budget deficit will not exceed 2% of GDP in 2017, which is lower than initially planned, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a government meeting on Thursday.
"We do not expect this year’s budget to exceed 2% of GDP, which is lower than we initially planned," he said, adding that "the planned figure is 2.5% (of GDP - TASS)."
According to Siluanov, Russia’s federal budget deficit amounted to 0.3% of GDP in nine months of this year. Budget revenues reached 16.7% of GDP in the period, which is an increase of 1.7 percentage points compared with the previous year, due to a rise in oil and gas revenues of 1 percentage point amid the oil price standing at an average of $50.6 per barrel, and a surge of non-oil and gas revenues of 0.7 percentage points due to tax revenues.
Meanwhile, Russia’s non-oil and gas budget deficit for nine months of 2017 hit the lowest level in five years of 6.8% of GDP, Siluanov added.
The Russian National Wealth Fund volume will reach 3.7 trillion rubles ($62.51 bln) or about 4% of GDP, he said.
"This year, we will fully use the resources of the Reserve Fund, as stipulated by the budget law, we use less from the National Wealth Fund," the Minister explained. "According to our estimates, we will use funds from the National Wealth Fund in the amount of 662 bln rubles ($11.2bln). Thus, as of January 1, 2018, the volume of the National Wealth Fund funds will amount to 3.7 trillion rubles ($62.51 bln), or slightly more than 4% of the GDP," he said.
Siluanov noted that the budget rule and the Russian budget for the next three years take into account the possibility of replenishing reserves, which are necessary due to dependence on the raw material component and oil and gas revenues.