SOCHI, February 16 / TASS /. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expects that the effect of debt restructuring on regional loans will amount to about 240 bln rubles ($4.2 bln), said he at a gubernatorial fiscal meeting on Friday at the Russian Sochi Investment Forum.
"The debt load remains significant, to solve this problem, we've provided loans in previous years, over the last three years, their total volume exceeded 1 trillion rubles," Medvedev said. He recalled that in 2017 "a very important event took place - we restructured debt on similar loans in 73 regions where the debt load was the most sensitive, the loan repayment period was extended to 7 years, under certain conditions, even up to 12 years," he added.
According to him, "as a result, only this year the effect of the restructuring will amount to 240 billion rubles." "For the regions, this is a serious financial resource," Medvedev believes.
He noted that "now the revenues of the consolidated budgets, the regional budgets are growing: the number of surplus budgets has increased, and the deficit ones have decreased". Speaking about the measures that are taken to balance regional budgets, the prime minister noted that the distribution of the most equitable, predictable and transparent transfers from the federal budget.
He recalled that "to achieve this, last year all agreements between the federal center and the regions, as well as the distribution of all subsidies have been agreed upon for the next three years," said Medvedev. "The regions will have more confidence when planning their budget, and will be able to carry out a more balanced loan policy" Medvedev said.
The prime minister mentioned another measure, that he called stimulating the regions, to develop its own economic potential. "This is the key task and the most difficult one," he said. He specified that "since last year the regions that have shown the highest growth rates are receiving grants, only 20 billion rubles. And this year, a new rule is in effect - regional budgets will receive an increase in the corporate income tax, the federal budget has already allocated 37 billion rubles for this year."
According to Medvedev, this is "not just a reward for good work," but also assistance in compensating for possible decreases in subsidies from the federal budget. "Development of its own potential, withdrawal from subsidies is a common strategic task," the prime minister stressed.