Alexander Deryugin, Researcher, Budget Policy Department, the Gaidar Institute, commented to “Davydov. Index” on the results of the budget performance in HI, 2020, with its deficit amounting to approximately 2% of the GDP.
“The Ministry of Finance does not announce the figures, since there is still no actual forecast for the relative size of GDP for this year to be provided by the Ministry of Economic Development. The GDP size, reflected in the budget law (in my opinion, RUB 12.9 trillion per year), is no longer relevant. Therefore, in fact, the Ministry of Finance knows exactly the size of the Ruble deficit, but has no understanding about the size of the deficit as a percentage of GDP and cannot calculate the final indicators.

The position of the Ministry of Economic Development can also be justified. This spring, there was at least some vision related to the future development of coronavirus and corona-induced crisis and everyone focused on China, however, now the situation is different. We observe that China was either cunning or took some draconian measures in order to level the situation, while other countries failed to repeat it. We know examples of the USA, Brazil, etc. Apparently, the Ministry of Economic Development is also in no hurry to submit forecasts, since it is not completely clear whether there will be a new outbreak of the disease.

The Ministry of Finance also faces problems regarding the forecast of federal budget revenues until the end of the year, since all their forecasts are based on macro indicators provided by the Ministry of Economic Development. As for the criticality of the budget deficit amounting to RUB one trillion, there have been worse cases, i.e., the crisis of 2008-2009 with a large federal budget deficit. In addition, there is a reserve fund that we have. Therefore, I do not see any criticality for the performance of both federal and regional budgets this year”.