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The Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) is asking the federal government for about 4 billion rubles to close the budget holes that have arisen due to the fall in oil prices. The economy of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug is almost entirely dependent on the cost of oil, and by the third quarter it became clear that the district budget, drawn up on the basis of $ 57 per barrel, would not receive about 30% of revenues. Deputies and experts believe that lobbying the interests of the district at the federal level will be the first real challenge for the new governor of the NAO Yuri Bezdudny.
The district meeting of deputies of the NAO at the end of last week appealed to the government and the Ministry of Finance of Russia with a request for financial assistance. In their letter, the deputies talk about the difficulties faced by the region’s economy, which is directly dependent on the sale of oil produced in the district, and ask for a cash tranche as part of helping regions affected by the coronavirus. Now the Nenets Okrug is not included in this list, since its economy is not officially considered mono-directional, but the deputies are asked to approach their issue individually.
Natalya Kardakova, Chairperson of the Legislative Assembly’s Commission on Economic Policy and Budget, said that, following the results of nine months, a shortage of funds is predicted to fulfill the assumed expenditure obligations. Thus, according to the data of the Federal Tax Service for the Arkhangelsk Region and the NAO, as well as according to the information of Zarubezhneft-Dobycha Kharyaga LLC, in 2020, compared to 2019, tax and non-tax revenues to the district budget are forecast to decrease by more than 30%, or by 5.8 billion rubles Adjusting some budget parameters and reducing costs allowed saving 1.9 billion rubles, added Ms. Kardakova.
According to the deputy, 85% of these funds will be used to fulfill social obligations, pay salaries to public sector employees and other necessary support measures. “We live in the Arctic zone, and we need this support. For example, we need to reimburse the difference in the electricity tariff. Let’s say its price is about 6 rubles. per 1 kW, and in remote areas of the NAO it reaches 50 rubles. for 1 kW. Nobody will pay for this price, so the district budget takes part of the costs on itself. All this is the life support of the district, we are forced to do this (send an appeal to Moscow. – “Kommersant”) “, – added Ms Kardakova.
One of the first to publish information about the serious financial difficulties of the NAO was its governor Yuri Bezdudny. At a press conference in late September, dedicated to his inauguration, he said that the shortfall in income would amount to about 6.5 billion rubles, while fulfilling social obligations requires about 12 billion rubles. The NAO budget revenues are made up approximately equally from three main sources: the Kharyaga production sharing agreement, property tax and income tax. “We are losing in the budget under the items“ Income tax ”and“ Agreement on Kharyaga ”. These two components lead to such a result that the district will have to cut costs, ”said Mr. Bezdudny.
“Now behind every construction or renovation project in the district is the execution of national projects, be it housing or infrastructure. At the finance commission, we reviewed the report on the implementation of national projects, and out of the pledged 6.5 billion rubles. now executed for 4.2 billion rubles. We have to ask Moscow, ”the deputy noted.
In his opinion, the failed unification with the Arkhangelsk region would hardly have helped to resolve this issue (the heads of the two regions announced the start of the merger process in early May 2020, but after massive protests in the NAO they abandoned this idea. hand to Moscow to replenish the budgets.I believe that whether funds will be allocated to the district will depend on the new governor, how he lobbies this issue at the federal level.Under the previous head of the NAO Alexander Tsibulsky (in April he was appointed acting head of the He won the gubernatorial elections there in September. – “Kommersant”) was the opposite picture: there was enough money in the district, I do not know whether this was his merit, or whether the macroeconomic situation developed this way, “Chuprov noted.
“At the same time, it is necessary to understand that the increase in budget expenditures in the district, as a rule, coincides with attempts at serious hardware changes: the last time this happened when trying to transfer powers to the NAO of the Arkhangelsk region in 2008,” the expert notes. In his opinion, Governor Bezdudny will face a “rather painful period” of budget cuts in the NAO, especially in the part affecting the interests of the “expanded administrative class.” An example of this is the proposal made at the same October session of the NAO Legislative Assembly “on very liberal terms” to provide a pension to former top executives of the district at the level of up to 45% of their considerable salaries by Russian standards, Mr. Treskin adds.
Anna Zemlyachka, Arkhangelsk

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