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Kudrin and Gref are invited to “brain” storm

The economic Council under the President will undertake the development of a programme of reforms

Кудрина и Грефа приглашают к «мозговому» штурму

Rector of the Russian presidential Academy of national economy and state service under the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Mau, the former Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Committee of civil initiatives Alexei Kudrin and the head of Sberbank German Gref (left to right)

The newspaper “Vedomosti” with reference to own sources reported that the authorities decided to revive the meetings of the Presidium of the economic Council under the President of the Russian Federation.

The last time the Bureau had met two years ago and since then no longer been convened. According to sources, this decision was due to the fact that the economic agenda and has formed a kind of vacuum. The government faces short-term objectives — to reduce the budget or to maintain the reserves prior to the elections in 2018, but long-term development strategy is missing. The development of a comprehensive program of economic reforms for elections and will have to deal with the Presidium of the economic Council.

As before, to lead the Council will be the President himself , Vladimir Putin. The Bureau will include both government officials and other current and former officials from the financial authorities. It is an economic aide Andrei Belousov, Central Bank Chairperson Elvira Nabiullina, President of Sberbank German Gref, the head of audit chamber Tatyana Golikova, Chairman of the Committee of civil initiatives Alexei Kudrin, rector of the Ranepa Vladimir Mau, rector of the HSE Yaroslav Kuzminov and economic Advisor to the President Sergei Glazyev.

Most likely, the first meeting of the Presidium will take place in may, and then will meet every two months. It is planned that the discussions will focus on a wide spectrum of themes — from macroeconomics and industry to demographic problems, and education. But the topic of the first meeting will be the acceleration of economic growth and sources for this. However, who exactly is Rapporteur, is still unknown. Media suggest that the most active participants of the discussion will be Alexey Kudrin and Herman Gref. Kudrin especially often writes with his vision of economic development, that he will be able to get ideas across to the authorities and to participate in the reforms, said one of sources.

However, not all experts believe that in this part of the economic Council are able to develop radically new economic programme and to develop effective reform. In the end, it was composed of exactly those people that determined economic policy in recent years.

Director of the Institute for applied political studies Gregory Left , explains this Bureau of the fact that alternatives to its participants simply do not.

First, the decision to convene the Presidium of the economic Council shows that the President is dissatisfied with the current proposals for overcoming the crisis, which he placed on the table. But the second point is, what other offers he can not produce. Even with the resumption of meetings of the Bureau, it will include the same people, who for the last twenty years has determined the economic course of the country and developed its economic policy. Other specialists now not.

An alternative point of view of the team Glazyev and Titov are not in demand. Moreover, this command itself does not exist. The liberal wing has the Gaidar Institute, around which is concentrated the bulk of economists and, in principle, with differences in the nuances and details they are soldered for many years the team. But their opponents, supporters of the development industry and the stakes in the real sector of the economy, there is no such team. It has no one to offer as an alternative for development and implementation of new economic policy. So, unfortunately, as there was a clear course on the way out of the crisis, and will not be.

— Why liberal bloc economists have nothing to oppose?

— Because all representatives of alternative positions are very different, and they cannot agree among themselves. They can’t work together and present a United front. While the representatives of the liberal economic wing understand that it is their only chance for survival and holding on to him. For this they are ready to unite and speak with a single line. This is exactly the reason we have no real liberal opposition. The economy is dominated by liberals, and in politics is Pro-government conservatives, while the liberal opposition can’t agree among themselves.

— Is there any prospect of the “United front” of economists with a different point of view?

— Such a prospect is not visible. The fact is that a principled position on this issue should take President. But supporters of alternative course still are unable to bring him to the weighty arguments that convinced him to start to inject money into the economy. The President, apparently, is still under the influence of ideas that need to contain inflation at any cost, and as soon as it reaches certain targets, the economy will rise immediately. But actually, the lowest inflation — in the cemetery. There is already nothing happens. Therefore, there is a danger that if we follow the current policy, we can instead get the economy cemetery.

Director of the research Institute of political sociology Vyacheslav Smirnov believes that the convening of the presidency needs to show voters that the restructuring of the economy underway.

— Real results from the activities of this Council to detect unlikely. It’s more ritualistic stuff, discussion for the sake of PR. By and large, this is the beginning of the presidential campaign of Vladimir Putin. Thus is created his economic program. Just by 2018, it will be created and will partially implemented. Meeting of the Presidium of the economic Council — is a tool that can show and demonstrate that some activity is conducted.

All the same, can the Council come up with fundamental reforms?

— A major economic reform is now impossible, because they will be associated with a serious reshuffle. The Cabinet, which is five years followed by one course of combating the crisis, cannot suddenly change it and start to reform themselves. Because in this case they will have to admit that previous policy was wrong. And then we need to change the Prime Minister, the head of the Central Bank and so on. If this is not done, it remains to say, all right, and just need to wait five to ten years, until things will get better.

The President does not like sudden movements. If the economic situation will get worse, as an extreme measure he at some time may head the government, thus enhancing its rating.

Economist, Professor of Ranepa under the RF President Vladislav Ginko the news of the convocation of the Council evaluates rather positively.

— In my opinion, if this economic Council will focus exclusively on the negative, success. We are well able to find and fix the negative aspects, but the fact that it is not always possible to solve all difficulties at once. Moreover, some problems have limited solutions. For example, increasing the level of welfare of the population — the question is endless and you will continually encounter.

The success of the Council’s activities will depend on whether they will be able to understand what the point of growth in our economy and how to use them correctly. Over the past year, such growth has been agriculture, defence and dual-use products, domestic tourism, infrastructure projects, including the construction of social infrastructure — schools, hospitals and so on. These areas have become real drivers of the economy.

The meeting of the Presidium of the economic Council is welcome. The President and the government listen to the opinion of a large circle of experts, both in Russia and abroad. There are no restrictions. The Executive perceives all sensible offers. But the criterion for their embodiment in life is not only economic efficiency and growth figures. With the implementation of various economic programmes of the government in the end focuses on the opinion of the majority. These steps must be approved and be the answer to the query that is generated in society.

Of course, this is not done instantly. The request could not be implemented the next day in the economic program. On the other hand, such a request may lead to the fact that proposals are implemented that go against what we call liberal course. For example, by 2018, may be adopted a progressive scale of taxation.

But can the Council during the economic reforms? The liberal block of the government too many critics, and in the composition of the Presidium entered the main people responsible for the present course.

— I would not quite agree with critics of the current course. Yes, we could spend a lot of money from our financial “jugs” and flood the economy with money. But the economy will not end in a year or two, so you need to strike a balance. On the one hand, to ensure high rates of economic growth, and to preserve the reserves. If we run out, and the situation in the world commodity prices will go further down, we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation. In addition, we do not know what will happen with the sanctions against our country. According to one estimate, they can be mitigated by summer. But on the other contrary, they can be tightened. We must be ready for any situation, and the foreign exchange reserves needed to cover critical imports — medicines, a number of food products.

We are in a difficult situation in which are looking for not only ways to survive the economy, but the growing point. The next Duma elections and presidential elections set even more power to make decisions that are popular and demanded by society. The authorities will inevitably focus on the needs of the majority population in the country, and experts of Council should consider it when developing their anti-crisis programs.


What can I say :))) – reminded of an anecdote…
The office (the Cabinet of Ministers Medvedev).

The morning office workers (Ministers) in the rush to move furniture from place to place, align everything inch by inch, the compass, etc.
In the middle of all this chaotic movement is an old lady in an embrace with a MOP, frightened looks on all this action. Mumbles to himself: “Just washed, now all trampled again, Herod, etc.”.
It was a long time looking at that, then asks:
Nice, what are you doing? Moving?
— No, grandma, we now the furniture according to Feng Shui move and we immediately sales will soar to the heavens.
— Son, I have worked here since before the revolution, the floors in this building soap.
Now, before the revolution there was a brothel.
So there, when revenue was falling, the bed wasn’t moved. There just BC%dei changed.

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