Andrei Belousov: Russia needs new economic model

 Andrei Belousov: Russia needs new economic model

The Russian economy will show steady economic growth of 4% in 2-3 years. Such an opinion was expressed by the presidential aide Andrei Belousov ahead of the meeting of the Presidium of the Economic Council under the President of the Russian Federation.

However, according to him, it is impossible do it on the basis of the current economic model. "One of the main tasks is the launch of a new model of economic growth. Everyone agrees here (despite different views) that the previous model of economic growth has almost exhausted itself," TASS cited the presidential aide as saying.

"It is almost impossible to squeeze more than 1-2% growth out of it. And if it is real, then it will not do any good. Therefore, we need to create mechanisms that implement the sources of growth in order to ensure access to the growth rate of 4%," the politician stressed.

According to the official forecast of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Russian economy will drop by 0.2% this year, but will grow by 0.8% next year.

"In general, there is an understanding that many challenges for us will be unsurmountable without economic growth. But it is possible to achieve economic growth in 2-3 years," Belousov noted.

One of the conditions to achieve this goal is to solve the problem of non-oil and gas budget deficit. Otherwise, if the oil price remains at $ 40-50 per barrel, Russia will start spending its reserves, the presidential aide said.

The non-oil and gas deficit is the difference between the amount of federal budget revenues, excluding oil and gas revenues. Last year, it stood at about 11% of GDP, while the budget deficit was 2.6% of GDP. This year the non-oil and gas deficit is expected around 10.7% of GDP with a total deficit of 3% of GDP.

He reminded that before the 2008 crisis, the Russian government planned to reduce the non-oil and gas deficit to 3-5% of GDP, and in the future to reach the goal of the non-deficit budget. "Then we had 5-7% of GDP, but during the crisis it jumped dramatically. We have not solved the problem of the budget deficit. We were at the equilibrium point, while maintaining the non-oil and gas deficit of 10% of GDP. The government has not managed to reduce it," the politician complained.

According to the presidential aide, another challenging issue for the Russian economy is the growing number of citizens with incomes below the subsistence minimum as a result of the recession and devaluation of the ruble.

Belousov noted that as a whole the Russian economy coped with the crisis and found a new balance point in the middle of last year. The number of citizens with incomes below the subsistence level is 13% of the population, it was 10% before the crisis. It's almost 5 million new poor people," he said.

In addition, the presidential aide warned that a number of sectors of the Russian economy are still at risk despite the stabilization of the economy as a whole.

"There are a number of serious unresolved structural issues. The first one is that a number of industries, such as automotive industry, railway engineering, construction, light industry, are at risk," the politician said.

The Government has developed anti-crisis programs aimed at stabilizing the situation in these sectors, Andrey Belousov concluded.