Georgy Malginov, Candidate of Economic Sciences, Head of Ownership and Corporate Governance Department of the Gaidar Institute, noted that issues of the state property policy were in the sidelines against the backdrop of recent months. 
The implementation of the Forecast Plan (Program) for privatization of federal property and Principal Guidelines for privatization of federal property for 2020-2022 approved by the Russian Government Resolution No. 3260-r of 31 December 2019 continued in the previous year, i.e. since before the crisis phenomena caused by COVID-19 pandemic began.
Transactions involving assets earmarked for privatization based on special decisions by the RF President and the RF Government, taking into account market conditions and the recommendations of leading investment consultants, were not conducted, while some of them were excluded fr om the program as a matter of fact. As a result, only 3 companies remained in this group by the end of the year out of 8 originally included.
Moreover, the second year of implementation of the federal privatization program for 2020-2022 was marked by a clear acceleration of privatization according to standard procedures. In 2021, blocks of shares (shares in authorized capitals) in 55 business entities were sold (23 in 2020), and decisions on privatization conditions were taken in respect of 64 federal state unitary enterprises (FSUE) (16 in 2020). With more active privatization of JSCs (business entities), the number of Russian treasury assets sold rose to 393 units (against 312 in 2020), which is the maximum for the entire sale period since 2011.
Thus, the number of privatized unitary enterprises has quadrupled, the number of sold blocks of shares (stakes) in business entities has more than doubled, and the number of privatized treasury assets sold increased by about a quarter. These results reached or even exceeded the best annual values of the previous privatization program in 2017-2019, which is reflected in the financial results.
According to the report of the Federal Property Management Agency on implementation of the privatization program for 2020-2022 with reference to the data of the Federal Treasury, proceeds from sales of blocks of shares (stakes) in business entities not regarded as largest, amounted to Rb 5.27bn in 2021, thus exceeding both the forecast figure reflected in the privatization program for 2020-2022 (Rb 3.6bn) and the figure for the preceding year 2020 (Rb 4.1bn). The growth in sale of treasury assets was more modest. The amount of transfers to the federal budget was about Rb 1.03bn against Rb 0.9bn a year earlier.
Further prospects for the privatization process are linked to a new approach to planning in this area.
The most important among the amendments introduced by the RF Government Resolution No. 1401 of August 23, 2021 in the Rules for elaboration of forecast plans (programs) of privatization is as follows:
the program of privatization of federal property is now developed for a 3-year planning period with an annual shift of the beginning and the end of the planning period by 1 year in accordance with the period for which the federal budget is approved. This scheme appears to be a synthesis of the pre-2010 practice of the annual approval of privatization program and the subsequent extension of the planning period from 1 to 3 years. In essence, it aims at continuity of the privatization process and subordinating it to budgetary priority.
However, the starting and the ending dates have been shifted by 2 years with regard to the existing 3-year privatization program for the period of 2020-2022, i.e. the period of 2022-2024 became a new time interval. This led to the assertion of a new version of the above document by Resolution No. 3993-r of the RF Government dated December 30, 2021, which de facto stipulates a new privatization program for 2022-2024.
Generally, its quantitative parameters differ little from the original version, although the group of companies to be privatized through individual schemes has been significantly reduced. Only two JSCs are declared to terminate state participation in the capital: "Makhachkala Commercial Sea Port and Almazjuvelirexport Foreign Economic Association (following the transfer of its authority to export precious metals and precious stones and to sell representative batches of rough natural diamonds to another authorized organization). With respect to VTB Bank (PJSC), it is planned to reduce the RF interest in the authorized capital to 50% plus 1 ordinary registered share.
It is planned to complete privatization of 83 FSUE and government enterprises, 221 business entities (including stakes in 11 OOO), 1.135 objects of other property of the RF Treasury in 2022-2024. These values are close to those contained in the initial version of the forecast plan for 2020-2022, except for a certain growth in the number of business entities to be privatized.
As for the federal budget revenues from privatization of federal property, excluding the value of shares in major companies holding leading positions in the respective sectors of economy, they will amount to Rb 3.9bn in 2022 and Rb 0.9bn in 2023. The amount of expected revenues in 2024 will be projected taking into account changes to the privatization program in the current year.
The reference to the State Program (SP) "Management of Federal Property" has been replaced by a reference to the SP "Public Finance Management and Regulation of Financial Markets" (subprogram (SP) 6 "Management of Federal Property") in a new version of the current forecast privatization plan (program), reflecting the inclusion at the very end of 2020 of PP 6 into the aforementioned SP, which has been in place since 2014 under the auspices of the RF Ministry of Finance. The implementation of the state's property policy took place in 2021 exactly in this format.
Since the beginning of 2022, the State Program "Public Finance Management and Regulation of Financial Markets" has been in force in a new version which has affected the trend (subprogram) "Management of Federal Property". The objective of the SP in this regard is to ensure by 2030 growth in revenues from dividend payments of business entities, wh ere the Federal Property Management Agency is a shareholder (participant), by no less than 2.5 times (as compared to 2021).
In this context, it is worth mentioning that the corresponding Government Resolution of 2006 was redrafted in 2021. It stipulates a common standard for JSCs including federal shareholdings to direct at least half of their profits to dividend payments instead of 25% (since 2012). In calculating the dividend base, items of income and expenses not confirmed by cash flows (e.g. related to revaluation of property or differences in exchange rates) will no longer be taken into account in compliance with international experience and gradual spread of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Russia.
The impact of such a decision on the budget system is not entirely clear. Meanwhile, the transfer of dividends   constituting the lion's share of all property income in the federal budget, after reaching a peak in 2019 (Rb 441.6bn) has fallen for the second year in a row. While in 2020 they fell by 4.3% (to Rb 422.7bn), in 2021 they have already fallen by almost 20% (to Rb 339.5bn). It is also clear that the new political and economic situation that started evolving at the turn of winter and spring of 2022 may dramatically affect not only this, but many other aspects of property relations and government policy in this area.