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Michael Delyagin: Reduction of Corruption Is Revolution and There Are No Bolsheviks in the Power Now

Michael Delyagin: Reduction of Corruption Is Revolution and There Are No Bolsheviks in the Power Now
04.10.2012

Source: "Мir Novostey”

“THE GOVERNMENT REMINDS ME CHIPMUNK WHO FILLS CHEEKS NOT BECAUSE IT WILL RESCUE IT FROM FLOOD BUT BECAUSE IT ISN’T ABLE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE,” – well-known Russian economist declared in the interview to "Mir Novostey”.

- Why the government refuses to cut down expenses? Why does it always look for possibility to raise income? Is it correct tactics? Whether reduction of expenses is impossible? How could such divergence of the draft of the budget with Putin's pre-election plans be explained? The ministry tries to resist to Putin?

- I wouldn't speak about “pre-election plans” because plans of the prime minister are made out not by newspaper articles, but by resolutions and edicts of the government as well as by orders of the prime minister.

To cut expenses down in conditions of created “third sector” of the economy parasitizing on the budgetary expenses with high degree of probability means to limit corruption that is fraught with indignation of a ruling party. It is politically dangerous.

While increase of incomes is caused by instinctive fear of global crisis. Thus chipmunk, seeing flood, instinctively fills cheeks with nuts - not because it will rescue it from water but because he isn't able to do anything else.

- The government decided to raise excises on gasoline. They again raise budget incomes at the expense of citizens? Thus the price for fuel in the stations has been already growing. What else should we wait? If everything will rise in price?

- Yes, certainly. Inflation in the middle of September has already exceeded last year's (5,0 % against 4,6 %) though last year tariffs of natural monopolies were raised higher, than this year and it was done half a year earlier (inflationary influence from such increase remains for several months though strongly fading at that).

In the economy of unpunished arbitrariness of monopolies prices all the time grow, only the speed of this growth changes. Impunity of abuse of monopoly position is caused by corruption character of the state: if monopolies don't price out plundering us, they could stay without money for bribes.

I think, if excise increase (senseless in situation when the budget chokes with money and evidently doesn't know where to put it) would be accompanied by restriction of corruption and arbitrariness of monopolies, prices for gasoline wouldn't change, or perhaps would even decrease.

- Don’t you think that it is a vicious circle? At first they want “to facilitate life” to the population. But a number of expenses, including social were cut in the budget in view of possible approach of economic crisis. They again start getting money away from people.

- Who else could they plunder? Corrupt officials? Thieves? Monopolists? From the legal point of view it can be interpreted as blasting of bases of political system, from economic point of view – as robbery of ruling class and from practical – as extremism, “incitement of hatred to social group named "the power”. One could get into prison, not to the government for such thing.

- Transfer of means of "Rosneftegaz" (a state company owning 75 % of shares of "Rosneft" and 10,75 % of shares of "Gazprom" which hasn’t been making contributions to the budget since 2008) to the government for implementation of Putin’s promises can become one of the variants of partial solution of problems. However the head of "Rosneftegaz" and "Rosneft" Igor Sechin declared that he would not give any money to the government without the decree of the president. "Rosneftegaz" plans to purchase different assets. What’s the game? How we could force oil and gas magnates to share at last? May be they have got saturated with yachts and mansions?

- “Different assets” at which "Rosneftegaz" aimed hardly mean yachts and mansions, nevertheless it’s production assets.

The fact that the state company doesn't pay dividends to the owner, that is to the budget, is a crying shame, but it could and should be corrected by representative of the state and the company. Desire to correct it will appear only if the state will start to serves society, not global business or business of officials forming it as it is now.

As far as I can judge, you are not interested in the methods of its improvement.

- If really there are no other ways to fulfill cheap social promises given by Putin? If not at the expense of people?

- Obligations if to execute them frankly, not being just humiliating, are not so cheap, but there are no problems. About 7 trillion roubles stay in the federal budget without movement – this money is enough both on construction of new, modern Russia without increasing of taxes and on normal social security.

Though Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich distinctly explained to all doubting that, as soon as it’s possible to judge, financial wellbeing of the USA is the main priority of all mankind and Russia will pay for this wellbeing. Therefore the main part of not used means – 4,7 trillion roubles – is frozen in the Reserve Fund and the Fund of "National Welfare" and supports the American and European financial systems.

Besides, already at the beginning of his amusing presidency Medvedev recognized non-purpose expenditure of means for the state purchasing, in other words, theft in the sum of 1 trillion roubles though experts gave considerably bigger indicators. Now decrease in corruption to the European or at least to the Chinese level that’s technically possible, will liberate not less than 2 trillion roubles for the budget which will be enough not only for fulfillment of Putin’s promises, but also as a whole for solution of all social problems of Russia.

Here we come across the problems with desires, not with possibilities. The offshore aristocracy ruling and owning the country can't weaken communication with the West: the Russian democracy isn't “sovereign", but “souvenir” in this question as well.

While reduction of corruption is revolution, but there are no Bolsheviks in the power.

- After all, probably, it’s still not known, HOW social obligations which Putin forces to carry out will be carried out, officials take this money out of our pockets? They will, as usually, steal one half, what will reach the population? As a result of Putin’s social "blessing", we will lose, probably, more than we receive? More to what extend? Perhaps, it’s even can be presented in figures?

- It was declared right after elections how Putin’s promises would be carried out: things which Putin mentioned directly and accurately would be executed at the expense of reduction of expenses on what he didn’t mention.

The main reason of the coming losses which we will bear in the social sphere – not Putin’s promises, but reform of budgetary organizations has been taking placed since July, 1 of this year? Its purpose was officially proclaimed as “Increase of the degree of serviceability of budgetary services” that is decrease in their availability. First of all it concerns education, medicine and culture.

As to concrete indicators – let’s wait for adoption of the budget, it should be corrected in the second reading.

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