Participants of the XIII Gaidar Forum in Moscow

A number of sectors of the Russian economy – for example, mechanical engineering and the chemical industry – need compensation for price increases… About it business representatives said, commenting on the discussion that unfolded at the Gaidar Forum between the heads of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank… Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov proposed to develop a comprehensive system of compensation for high inflation, while his interlocutors warned about the dangers of such a decision. The main topics and statements of the forum are in the material of Izvestia.

Moderate optimism

The Gaidar Forum – 2022 was held in a “television” format: studios were equipped on the basis of the RANEPA campus, from which broadcasts were conducted… At the same time, due to the pandemic, the number of participants was significantly limited: only speakers, their accompanying persons, technical staff and volunteers had access. The few journalists who were able to obtain full-time accreditation were not even allowed into the adjacent corridors by the security personnel. All they had to do was watch broadcasts from the press center and participate in press approaches.

Photo: RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov

The agenda of the forum turned out to be rich… Over two days, many sessions were held on various topics – economics, finance, education, healthcare, labor market, regional development, ESG, digital transformation. The forum was opened by the head of the government Mikhail Mishustin. In his video message, he assessed the recovery of the Russian economy from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic – in his opinion, it passed faster than expected. And speaking of inflation, which accelerated to 8.6% in annual terms in the first week of January, the head of government outlined a way to further slow it down.

Already this year there are plans to return to the usual parameters of budget rules., which will help reduce inflation and balanced development of the economy based on private investment, – he said.

Double-digit risk

The topic of inflation also became key at the session, where the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov met… The growth rates of prices in Russia could have been double-digit if the Central Bank had not taken active action, said the chairman of the regulator.

If we didn’t do that tightening of the policy, if we left [ключевую] rate as it is, of course, inflation would have been higher by about 4 pp. And we would have to raise the rates even more, – said Elvira Nabiullina.

Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina at the session “Russia and the World: Macroeconomic Priorities” in the framework of the Gaidar Forum-2022 “Russia and the World: Priorities” at the RANEPA

Photo: TASS / Sergey Savostyanov

In turn, without government measures to stabilize the price situation (introduction of duties and export quotas), setting maximum selling prices, inflation in 2021 could exceed 9%, I am sure Maxim Reshetnikov.

The head of the Ministry of Finance is also quite optimistic about the inflation problem. On the sidelines of the forum, he told RBC that, in his opinion, the peak of inflation had passed. In general, the difficulties in this area will be overcome by the end of 2022.

– We perfectly understand the tasks – which ones need to be solved, the budget has been adopted, we have good coordination with the Central Bank. Therefore, those problems, and problems, primarily of an inflationary nature, we see now, we believe that this year we will be able to solve them, and by the end of the year we expect positive results, – said Anton Siluanovspeaking at the forum.

However, the opinions on how exactly these problems should be solved were very different among the participants in the discussion. Maxim Reshetnikov pointed out the complex nature and long-term nature of inflation, as well as the need to find complex solutions, one of which may be direct compensation to consumers.

Maybe we need to gradually think and move away from restrictions, which, as a rule, are of a temporary nature, to systemic measures related to compensation for the rise in prices of certain goods to consumers… Without interfering in the markets themselves, to help consumers, and in a wide range – not only in food, but also on the same fertilizers, for example, – said the head of the Ministry of Economics.

Rector of RANEPA Vladimir Mau, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Reshetnikov, Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina and Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov (left to right) at the session “Russia and the World: Macroeconomic Priorities” within the framework of the Gaidar Forum 2022 “Russia and the World: Priorities “At RANEPA

Photo: TASS / Sergey Savostyanov

The state should compensate for the increased price increases for businesses carefully, argued Anton Siluanov.

Compensating for the rise in prices may have a secondary effect that will increase inflation. We need to endure– he noted.

However, this does not apply to citizens, families with children and pensioners – they need to be helped, the Minister of Finance is sure.

Elvira Nabiullina took a similar position.

– Certainly, targeted social support measures that allow vulnerable groups of the population to go through this period are very important. I agree that this should not be indexing around the whole circle, otherwise we will get just a spiral: inflation growth – cost growth and inflation growth again– she said.

To give or not to give

The truth in the dispute between the leaders of the financial and economic bloc, as usual, is somewhere in the middle, the co-chairman of Delovaya Rossiya Anton Danilov-Danilyan is convinced. Not all businesses need compensation – the majority of exporters, and besides, such spheres as pharma, manufacturers of personal protective equipment, feel great today.

– However, there are industries where the rise in the price of goods (most often imported) caused real difficulties, stopped important chains. Among them, for example, the chemical industry and mechanical engineering. They suffer from a lack of profit, which occurs due to imported inflation, – he stated.

Participants of the XIII Gaidar Forum in Moscow

Photo: RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov

According to the expert, the compensation mechanism could be based on the principle of minimum calculation of profitability, in which companies set the bar for profitability (for example, 3-5%) and subsidize the amount of funds that allows you to achieve it.

Compensation in cash can lead to similar consequences as direct price regulation, director of the group of sovereign ratings and macroeconomic analysis of ACRA Dmitry Kulikov is categorical.

“In my opinion, the state should apply compensatory measures in cases where the main management goals that were publicly declared are clearly not achieved, and at the same time there is a way to organize a non-distorting market balance,” he stated.

Tax moment

One of the central topics of the forum was also the development of the tax system. The head of the Federal Tax Service Daniil Egorov named simplification, trust and adequacy to realities as the three main priorities in this area., and the deputy head of the Ministry of Finance Aleksey Sazanov – administrability, collection and predictability. According to Sazanov, in 2022 the priority of the ministry in the tax area will be adjusting legislation to the global reform of taxation of international companies.

Head of the Federal Tax Service (FTS of Russia) Daniil Egorov at the session “Tax System: Priorities” in the framework of the Gaidar Forum-2022 “Russia and the World: Priorities” at the RANEPA

Photo: TASS / Mikhail Japaridze

According to the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes Andrei Makarov, who moderated the discussion, the popularity of offshore companies is caused by the instability of tax legislation, “disrespect” for the institution of private property and “the absolute power of the siloviki over business.” The representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Service did not comment on this statement.

The parliamentarian also asked the head of the Federal Tax Service about the need to return to the previous procedure for initiating criminal cases for tax crimes – only on the basis of materials from the tax authorities. Daniil Egorov replied that both positions have their pros and cons.

In general, the head of the Central Bank called the provision of growth rates as the main challenge for the economy of the Russian Federation and the world.… Nabiullina stressed that Russia needs special attention on the state of the labor market, as there is a shortage of labor of different classifications.

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