National projects in Tatarstan: in what the republic to invest 44,7bn

Realnoe Vremya launches a series of articles on what “the new rails of the Russian economy” represent: part 1

New national projects designed until 2024 have received a budget of more than 25 trillion rubles. Tatarstan will spend 44,7 billion for these purposes in the next three years, and most of all — on roads, demography improvement and education. Realnoe Vremya starts the series of articles on the importance of national projects of 2019-2024 and how they will be implemented in our region.

A devil's dozen of national projects

It became known about the launch of new national projects in Russia for the first time from the decree of President Vladimir Putin of 7 May 2018, and by the end of the year the final list of their directions had been formed. In total — 13 national projects, the devil's dozen, covering to some extent all spheres of life of Russians.

According to the government, Russia is going to spend more than 25 trillion rubles for the implementation of national projects in the period from 2019 to 2024. Out of this sum, 13,16 trillion will be allocated by the Federal Treasury, 4,9 trillion — regional budgets, the rest will be collected from extra-budgetary sources. In Tatarstan, the coordinating body for the implementation of national projects is the ministry of economy headed by Farid Abdulganiev. In the next three years, 44,7 billion rubles will be invested in the implementation of projects in the republic, including 34,1 billion from the federal budget.

In this series of articles, Realnoe Vremya decided to study on the example of the republic how national projects are implemented in a particular region, what will be spent billions of dollars of the state on and how they can improve the lives of the population. In the introduction, we will remind what expectations are associated with them by the country's top officials and for what these projects are criticized.

Here are the 13 national projects approved by the government of the Russian Federation: Healthcare, Education, Culture, Comfortable environment for life, Safe and high-quality roads, Housing and urban environment, Ecology, Economic growth, Science, Small and medium-sized enterprises, Digital Economy, Labour Productivity and Employment Support, International Cooperation and Export, as well as Comprehensive Plan for the Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure.

In the regions, national projects are divided into so-called regional projects in more narrow areas. If there are 13 national projects, then there are 49 regional projects in Tatarstan. Now 12 national projects are being implemented in the republic — all except for the Comprehensive Plan for Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure. For most of them, the federal centre and the republic have already signed agreements on subsidies, and therefore, the costs for 2019 and the next three years are already known.

Most of the money will be spent on roads and education

The Safe and High-quality Roads project has become the largest in terms of costs for three years in Tatarstan. It is planned to allocate 13,1 billion rubles on it in 2019-2021, including 7,3 billion rubles from the federal budget and 5,8 billion rubles from the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan. Out of it, in 2019 it is planned to allocate 5,4 billion rubles, including 3,1 billion rubles from the federal budget, 2,3 billion rubles from the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan. This national project includes three regional projects: Road Network, System-wide Measures for Road Development and Road Safety.

Within these projects, they will not only repair the roads in the region but also install cameras and automatic weight and size control posts, as well as purchase medical equipment to assist victims of road accidents.

But if we take funding for 2019, the most expensive will be the national project Education. Its funding for three years is 6,6 billion rubles, and 6,1 billion of them will be spent in 2019. The thing is that this national project includes the costs for WorldSkills 2019, which is 5,2 billion rubles. However, Education includes seven regional projects in a variety of areas. They involve the construction of new schools and the renewal of the material base in the existing ones, the introduction of various forms of additional education, both for students and for teachers. In addition, within the framework of the national project, it is planned to introduce a digital educational environment in schools.

Demography and healthcare go hand in hand

Another large-scale project is the national project Demography. It includes five regional projects, for the implementation of which in the next three years it will be directed 7,0 billion rubles, 1,8 billion rubles of which — in 2019. Demography involves the creation of additional places in the nursery, additional payments for the birth of a child, retraining and advanced training of women on leave to care for a child up to three years. At the same time, the national project also works to increase life expectancy: it will develop medical services and additional professional education for the elderly.

Besides, the national project includes the regional project Sport — the Norm of Life, which will develop the sports infrastructure of the republic, as well as the regional project Strengthening Public Health — it involves various kinds of anti-drug activities and promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Although part of the Demography activities is directly related to the health sector, the main activities will be developed within the independent national project Healthcare. It is planned to allocate 5,7 billion rubles on it in 2019-2021, 1,3 billion rubles of which are provided for the implementation of the national project in 2019. Healthcare includes seven regional projects, which have activities for controlling specifically with cardiovascular diseases and Oncology, as well as the development of the provision of primary healthcare. In addition, Health, like Education, promotes digitalization, but in medical institutions.

Also, within the framework of the national project, there are regional projects: Provision of medical organizations of the health care system with qualified personnel, which provides for various payments and grants for health workers, Programme of development of children's healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan, including the creation of modern infrastructure of medical care for children and Development of export of medical services in the Republic of Tatarstan.

Large construction projects in national projects

The budget of the national project Housing and Urban Environment is known only for 2019: 3,1 billion rubles are planned to be allocated for three regional projects, including 2,3 billion rubles from the federal budget, 726 million rubles from the budget of Tatarstan. Oddly enough, the project tightly crossed with Education in the framework of the regional project in 2019 will build two schools. More large-scale construction planned in in the regional project Formation of a comfortable urban environment, within which 54 public spaces are to be built. The third regional project called Sustainable Reduction in Uninhabitable Housing, which is going to resettle emergency houses.

Also, a large-scale construction involves the national project Ecology, which for three years will spend 5,8 billion rubles, 1.9 billion rubles of which — in 2019. Within the framework of this project, there are four regional projects: Clean Water, Improvement of Volga River in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, Preservation of Forests of the Republic of Tatarstan, Formation of Complex System of MSW management. Within the first two, they are going to build and reconstruct treatment and water intake facilities of the republic, in the third — to plant forests (and to purchase the necessary special equipment for forestry). The fourth regional project involves the construction of waste sorting stations and environmental technology parks.

The national project on SMEs is going ahead of plan

The economic block of national projects opens with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Support for Individual Entrepreneurial Initiative with a budget of 2,8 billion for three years (1,3 billion of which will be used in 2019). It includes five regional projects, and they involve a wide range of measures to support entrepreneurship: from the issuance of soft loans and the provision of state guarantees on loans to training activities and the construction of industrial parks. This also includes an experiment with self-employed citizens, 60,000 registered self-employed in the country by the end of the year — one of the key indicators of the national project.

In early July, the ministry of economy has summed up the first interim results on this national project, and so far the ministry is being ahead of the plan. It is known that the number of entrepreneurs in Tatarstan has increased by 4,400 in the first half of the year, the annual plan for the number of existing portfolio of micro-loans “entrepreneurship support Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan” was fulfilled at 120,8% and the plan for the volume of financial support provided to SMEs with the support of the Guarantee Fund of Tatarstan was implemented at 110,7%. In addition, the semi-annual indicator on the number of SMEs exported with the support of the Centre for coordination of support for export-oriented small and medium-sized businesses was achieved at 102,2%.

By the way, the development of exports is also an independent national project with a budget of 186 million rubles for three years. In 2019, they will spend 38,6 million rubles. This project supports both the export of goods and services, such as telecommunications, information or financial. A separate regional project was created for the export of agricultural products, which will carry out a complex of measures to improve the fertility of the land.

Also, the national project Labour Productivity and Employment Support can be attributed to the economic block, for the implementation of which 304 million rubles are provided in 2019. It is also related to export: it is within the framework of one of the regional projects in Tatarstan the Regional export standard 2.0 will be introduced — the standard of work of the state and the business community to support exports. Also within the framework of the national project, there are a number of training and advisory activities to improve productivity in Tatarstan companies.

Modest ‘Culture’ and mysteries of ‘Digital Economy’ and ‘Science’

The budget of the national project Culture is the most modest at the moment. Over the next three years, 83,6 million rubles will be spent on this line, 56,4 million rubles of which — in 2019. The list of the regional projects in the Culture is as small: Cultural Environment, Creative People and Digital Culture. In the first regional project, funds will be allocated for the construction, reconstruction and re-equipment of cultural organizations, in the second — for grants for creative teams and training of cultural workers, and Digital Culture involves the creation of virtual concert halls of Tatarstan museums and libraries.

There is no information about the budget of the national project Digital Economy of the Russian Federation yet. However, the main part of the national project activities are already being implemented within the framework of the existing state programme Otkrytiy Tatarstan, designed for 2014-2021. Its total funding for this period amounted to 23,6 billion rubles.

The national project Digital Economy of the Russian Federation in Tatarstan includes five regional projects. They will develop information infrastructure, train specialists in KFU, Innopolis and other educational institutions, launch and update state digital services such as the portal of public services. In addition, the activities of business incubators in the field of IT fall under the same national project.

Also, there is no data on the federal project Science. This is due to that the agreements on the implementation of regional projects on this national project have not yet been concluded. Science events start only in the second half of 2019. It is only known that during the implementation of this national project in Tatarstan on the basis of large universities there will appear research centres — for example, in the field of agriculture, chemistry and medicine.

What is expected from national projects and why they are criticized

The directions of national projects became a kind of new “May Decrees” at the beginning of the fourth presidential term of Vladimir Putin. With them, the authorities of the country and, first of all, the president himself connects ambitious goals — including economic ones.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also raised the topic of national projects at SPIEF 2019. In his opinion, it is the national projects that should stimulate the growth of the Russian economy, which is now growing at a not particularly impressive pace. But at the same SPIEF 2019, the national projects were criticized by Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Aleksey Kudrin. According to him, national projects will give the economy a maximum of one per cent growth per year and are unlikely to contribute to the achievement of national goals.

Later, Kurdin said that not all regions are ready to fulfil obligations under national projects. Only 11% of subjects of the Russian Federation consider the goals feasible. At the same time, 15% consider the tasks of national projects impossible, Kudrin told the State Duma deputies. Another 38% of regions see the risks of failure. However, Kudrin did not oppose the national projects as a whole.

The mechanism of realization of national projects is already running, and it seems it is also not going smoothly. The Committee on budget and taxes of the State Duma in conclusion on amendments to the budget criticized the government's implementation of national projects. More than half of the projects have been executed by less than 20%, the effectiveness of the implementation of state programmes is questioned.

The Kazan Kremlin in recent statements raised another interesting issue related to national projects — the proportion of funding. Several heads of regions complained about difficulties with financing at the meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, and it was reported that the share of financial support of the subjects was higher than originally expected.

By Alexander Artemyev

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