The reserve fund of the Russian Federation may be exhausted in 2017
According to the forecast of the Central Bank,The reserve fund of the Russian Federation in 2017 can be completely exhausted. The Central Bank arrived at this conclusion by analyzing short-term statistical information. It is assumed that after this the government will resort to using the funds of the National Wealth Fund (NWF).
With the forecasts of the Central Bank agree and the Ministry of Economic Development. The ministry noted that today the Reserve Fund is going to finance the budget deficit, but spending too fast will lead to their exhaustion by 2017.
At the same time, representatives of the government emphasize that Russia will not remain without reserves. According to experts of the Ministry of Finance, with careful and balanced use of the Reserve Fund, it may be enough until 2019, but for this it is necessary to take measures to reduce budget costs.
What will happen to the reserve fund?
To attract funds from the Reserve Fund, the government was forced to resort due to the increasing budget deficit caused by falling oil prices.With the cheapening of “black gold” on the international market, Russia faced a shortage of money to fulfill its social obligations, which is why it was decided to use the Reserve Fund.
The fact that funds from the fund are spent too quickly started talking in early 2015. However, then the government relied on the recovery of oil in the price and reducing the budget deficit.
In the second quarter of last year, the price of a barrel really rose to $ 60, but then again collapsed to $ 40. Today, representatives of the authorities recognize that if the cost of oil remains low, it is unlikely that it will be possible to reduce the rate of spending of the Reserve Fund.
If the current macroeconomic indicators of the Reserve Fund are maintained, it is unlikely that it will last for long, and how long the NWF will “hold out” is not yet known. Earlier, experts estimated that at an oil price of $ 40 per barrel, the government spends half of the Reserve Fund in 2016.
Ways to solve the problem
Experts in the field of economics note that the government should take urgent measures to reduce budget expenditures, because when there is no money left in the Reserve Fund, unpopular financial decisions will have to be made regarding taxes and social benefits.
In addition, when planning the budget and developing anti-crisis measures, the likelihood that oil will continue to fall in price should be taken into account, because, according to OPEC, the cost of a barrel will be able to return to $ 70 only by 2020.
Earlier, the former head of the Ministry of Finance, A. Kudrin, proposed combining the Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund so that they could be managed as a single instrument. He noted that the boundary between these two funds is very conditional, therefore their separate existence can be called inexpedient. At the same time, today those problems are relevant, for the solution of which these funds were created.
According to Kudrin, the use of these two resources will allow the government to fulfill social obligations and keep taxes from growing. However, the Ministry of Finance noted that it is impossible to technically combine the Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund, since there remains a need for separate accounting of the invested funds of the National Wealth Fund.
Thus, there is only one way out - to optimize the costs of the budget. Already today, the government is developing measures to reduce the budget deficit and redistribute the expenditure structure.At the same time, the authorities stressed that the cuts in budget expenditures should not affect the sectors that are strategically important for the country.
Summing up, it can be argued that the future of the Reserve Fund depends on two factors: the situation on the world oil market and government actions. Today, the country's leadership is taking measures aimed at preserving state reserves, but their effectiveness will be visible only with time.