Tatarstan counts on help from Centre: republic loses fourth of annual income

Falling incomes

Tatarstan has been among the most affected Russian regions in the fall of budget incomes in 2020. Also, because of the measures taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic. And the authorities of the republic are counting to fix the situation with the help of federal support. As Finance Minister Radik Gayzatullin said at a meeting of the Tatarstan State Council’s Committee for Budget, Taxes and Finance on 19 May, the republic was the second region after Moscow in the amount of fall in budget incomes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consolidated budget hasn’t received 25 billion rubles for the first time in four months compared to the analogous period last year.

Radik Gayzatullin said that tax and non-tax incomes in the consolidated budget of Tatarstan in the first quarter of 2020 totalled 49,8bn rubles, including 7,2bn — non-refundable payments from different sources, including the federal budget. The share of income tax in the total income accounted for 28,78 billion. Budget expenses are 47,4bn rubles.

The minister clarified that the shortfall in budget income in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the analogous period last year was 19%, mainly due to a lower income tax, and in January-April it intensified and amounted to 25% (25bn rubles).

Gayzatullin talked about plans to address the Russian Ministry of Finance “to obtain specific financial aid”. Later head of the committee Leonid Yakunin specified that it wasn’t a loan, not a loan at a zero-interest rate, but refundable support from the federal budget.

Yakunin especially paid attention to the fact that in the last four months income tax payments had fallen by almost a billion.

Money for “stimulating handout”

“Budget replenishment of the regional fund of compulsory medical insurance in the first quarter of 2020 was 14,6 billion rubles,” Chairwoman of the Planning and Economic Analysis Office of the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund Guzel Galkina reported in front of the participants in the meeting, “12,1 billion rubles are interbudget transfers from the federal fund’s budget, 2,4 billion come from the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Galkina specified that 5,6 million rubles of interbudget transfers from the federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund were received “to pay stimulating payments to health care workers for detecting cancer”, while 124,3 million were “to create an insurance reserve to pay salaries to doctors and nurses”.

“220 million rubles have been received by the Republic of Tatarstan for medical aid rendered to residents of other regions in the first quarter,” the speaker said.

Guilty accounts payable

Budget expenses of the local Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund in the first quarter of 2020 are about 11,6 billion rubles, it is 80% of the money that replenished the fund’s income. 11 billion rubles were sent to health care organisations of the republic to pay for assistance, including 295 million for people insured in other Russian regions. And the fund sent 527 million rubles for medical advice to Tatarstan residents outside.

The participants in the session reminded Galkina of an eternal problem of Tatarstan health care: big sums annually leave the republic, which has enough modern, well-equipped health care centres, to pay for high-tech help to Tatarstan residents in other regions — more than the republic receives for services of residents of neighbouring republics and regions.

“We shouldn’t forget that 313 million is accounts payable we have had as of 1 May, while we have paid 227 million rubles during the quarter, moreover, we received 220 million rubles from other regions,” the representative of the fund replied. “It turns out that the situation isn’t so bad. In April, we received 62 million rubles from other regions and sent 57 million rubles to other regions...”

Galkina also said that due to the coronavirus pandemic and suspended scheduled medical check-up of the Tatarstan population, the money designed for these purposes in 2020 were spent to increase the per-capita medical advice rate.

“A positive tendency outlines”

At the end of the session of the committee, its chairman commented on key numbers and decisions prepared by parliamentarians to stabilise the financial and economic situation that was shaken up under the influence of restrictive anti-virus measures.

He said that at the moment the budget had lost about 31 billion of tax payments from “businesses on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan” since the beginning of the year, including over 900 million rubles hadn’t been received in the local budget. Together with federal taxes, the losses have made up 52 billion.

“If the losses in the first quarter affected mainly income tax and excises, now we are talking about other taxes too. Expenses are reducing, indeed, but all priority social obligations are met,” said Leonid Yakunin. “While capital investments and other secondary issues are suspended at the moment until it gets clear. A positive tendency outlines if payments to the budget in April were 75% compared to last year, in May they have already been 82%, enterprises began working in April.”

By Inna Serova. Photo: