Russian Economic Reform


“Decentralization” of power and finances

The issue of “decentralization” of power and finances (away from Moscow to the regions) is currently a fairly hot agenda item. However, in my view, its strongest proponents are going to be disappointed by the result. This is not so much because of a lack of will by most people involved in examining and making decisions on this issue — but, by very practical impediments which would be there irrespective of who is president!

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Published on November 27 2011

Regional “decentralization” – realistic or not?

A working group on “decentralization of power” led by vice-premier Dmitry Kosak is due to present a report to President Medvedev by 1 December. Medvedev has in the past pushed the idea of greater decentralization of power, and his economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich has suggested the introduction of regional sales taxes to increase regional fiscal autonomy.

According to an article in “Vedomosti”, the Kosak working group has considered the possibility of abolishing the post of presidential plenipotentiary to Federal Districts – which, on the face of it, would be a move toward “decentralization”. Each of the 8 plenipotentiary Federal Districts encompasses a number of the 83 Russian regions (oblasts, krais, republics, federal cities).

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Published on October 30 2011
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Russia’s “Vertical Fiscal Imbalance”

One paper prepared for Group 12 says that there is a “critical level of economic differentiation between the regions”, and suggests that there are no easy ways of overcoming this. The “All-Russian Council of Local Self-Government” has prepared its own paper, but again there are no easy answers to this sector’s financial dependency on higher levels of government.

Jeff says that ….

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Published on June 23 2011

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