Alcohol and other budgeting problems

Experience in journalism teaches that not only words, but also seemingly quite objective figures mean nothing, except for the characteristics of who is their guide in the public information field. And even then not always. Therefore, the information provided must be accompanied by an indication of the source.

Thought, winter, illumination.  Photo by Elena Smoykina

Unfortunately, sometimes I forget about it myself.

As an example of deliberate confusion, we can cite the bill “On Amendments to Article 25 of the Federal Law “On State Regulation of the Production and Turnover of Ethyl Alcohol, Alcoholic and Alcohol-Containing Products and on Restricting Consumption (Drinking ) alcoholic products”. The document was introduced by three senators: Anatoly Artamonov, Sergey Ryabukhin, Vadim Dengin. It is aimed at the destruction of products and items seized from the illegal circulation of alcoholic beverages in an extrajudicial manner after three years of storage in warehouses.

The deputies tried to convince the authors that counterfeit alcohol is not necessarily bad and should at least be recycled, and perhaps put on sale.

The supporters of annihilation remained in the minority and held firm. According to them, the warehouses are filled with a huge amount of counterfeit products, it deteriorates and spoils everything around. The equipment of thousands of factories was confiscated. The court cannot cope with it, because it is often the subject of bail.

There was a lot of digital data in the discussion. “Since 2015, Rosspirtprom has seized and destroyed 129 million liters of illegal products from the places of seizure. At the same time, only 57 percent have been destroyed by court decisions. This product is most often not subject to return and turnover due to its obvious illegality, unsuitability. And the number of cases of return to the owner by court decision is minimal: there was only one case in the last seven years,” said speaker Sergey Ryabukhin.

According to the senator, at present, budget expenditures for the storage of confiscated products and equipment amount to over 70 million rubles a month. During these seven years of law enforcement practice, 864 illegal production plants were seized.

With all due respect to Senator Ryabukhin, he honestly fulfills his role, his figures do not inspire confidence. And not because he is unfaithful. It depends on how to count, what and for what.

As far as I know, the situation in the alcohol market reflects a covert trade war. She had two resonant events aimed at redistributing the market - Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign and the hostage-taking in Beslan, at that time the alcohol capital of Russia. Instead of returning the quality control lost back in the eighties, domestic production was replaced by imports and given it an advantage in the Russian market. Then, according to the model worked out on alcohol, a similar system was created in the market of tobacco, medicines, fish, vegetable fats, poultry meat, pork, and milk.

The situation is different. The players are changing. Verbal noise design is changing. The general goal is universal: to close domestic production and force people to consume harmful products. In general, the same goal in education, science, culture and cynology. Domestic production of alcohol has declined and moved to an illegal position. In my opinion, it was supervised by the deputies of the Duma faction of the Communist Party. The so-called legal alcohol in its main stream is of poor quality. At the same time, high-quality alcohol was driven into counterfeit. Who is fighting for what is unclear. On the same day, the 2023 budget was adopted in the second reading. By itself, what was written above about alcohol largely deprives the budget process of sense. Sometimes one of the opposition-minded deputies speaks with irritation about the second shadow budget. State support for agriculture, transportation, drug supply, the construction industry, and the banking system is largely spent on covering artificially created costs. This year there are new features.

The country is unable to digest everything it produces due to low consumer demand, many political prohibitions and the inability to switch to a mobilization format of the economy. Exports have declined, and revenues from exports have risen, significantly outpacing import costs. How much and at what price it will be possible to sell in the future is unknown. The world economy was under the absolute pressure of politics. Internal pricing is based on external market indicators that are not related to the real product. The authors of the 2023 budget failed to come up with anything other than maintaining the budget rule with cutting off part of the income.

Budget figures traditionally raise the biggest question. Forecasts go from department to department within impermissible limits. The amount of income can be planned with a finger to the sky. There are several reasons. Attempts by the chairman of the State Duma Budget Committee Andrei Makarov to involve the luminaries of economic science in the discussion on the budget were unsuccessful. Since the seventies, an "economic science" has been created that serves the colonial format. When discussing the budget, we talked about approximation, this mathematical method can really be the basis of forecasting. But in an era of turbulence, approximation is possible only in cycles, which liberal economists deny. There are no others left. In Russia, there are no mechanisms for forecasting, planning and pricing. The Ministry of Economics is considered to be the heir of the State Planning Commission, although its goal is the opposite, it seems to me, and consists in broadcasting external guidelines, slowing down development, chaos and the development of corruption. Therefore, the situation with expenses is no better than with income. They are performed poorly and arbitrarily change downwards.

Four and a half hours argued over the 2023 budget in the second reading.

The speaker, Andrey Makarov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, insisted on the rejection of all uncoordinated amendments. Makarov said that 750 amendments were received to the bill, 605 of them were recommended for adoption, 116 for rejection. The total amount of funds has been reallocated, and we can only redistribute funds in the second reading, including those reserved or transfer them. Redistribution recommended, about 2 trillion rubles.

Health care spending next year will increase by 1 trillion rubles compared to this year.

For education, by 2022, an increase of 9.7 percent or almost 500 billion rubles. The share of spending on education is about 5 percent - 4.9-5 percent in the federal budget, the share of spending on education from all sources of the consolidated budget for 2023 is 9.9.

Agriculture and fisheries in 2023 growth by 24.3 percent, or 117.1 billion rubles.

Makarov could be trusted if his arguments were subject to a single logic. But they are noticeably subordinated to the idea of ​​populism, which is opposed by the chairman Vyacheslav Volodin.

The authors of the rejected amendments each insisted on their own. Independent MP Oksana Dmitrieva has traditionally advocated science, education, bonuses for academic degrees, and an increase in the government's reserve fund. Dmitrieva explained how federal budget revenues are actually projected: “It is very easy to see that each time the amount of revenue is determined by the fact of the previous year's performance. That's all. That is a very unpretentious forecast. They do not even use any arithmetic operations, neither subtraction, nor multiplication, nor division, nor addition. It's just that roughly revenues with an accuracy of several billion are taken at the level of performance of the previous year.

In general, this practice for 6 years (from 2016 to 2022) gives overfulfillment in terms of income in the amount of more than 13 trillion rubles. Expenses are also adjusted, but to a lesser extent. Therefore, after all, it is proposed to adequately take into account budget revenues for next year and at least make, well, the most primitive linear approximation, since revenues for next year are not just at the level of the expected performance of the current year, but practically about a trillion less. Therefore, it is proposed in these amendments to take into account income adequately, simply at the expense of the forecast, and, accordingly, increase budget expenditures, and the deficit is obtained due to more adequate accounting of income, just normal accounts, the deficit is smaller, and it is proposed to take it into account in the amount of 2 trillion rubles.

You can again show the expenses, how the situation with expenses for previous years is going. Thanks".

“I already spoke about the consequences of the budget deviation when we considered it in the first reading, I think that everyone understands what this means for the country. But since this, what you have just seen, the proposed approximation, the approximation in this case is the basis for later saying why I voted against the budget, I will now explain why in St. Petersburg, which deputy Dmitrieva defends all the time , deputy Dmitriev votes, ”Makarov retorted.

I am very sorry, Andrey Mikhailovich, that as head of the budget committee for so many years, you still have not figured out what a set of process measures means. A set of process measures is the functional costs for the basic maintenance of budgetary institutions. These are subsidies to budgetary institutions and autonomous ones. This is basic funding. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov promised the deputies that they would meet more often next year.

The plenary session of the Duma on Tuesday began at 10 am and lasted six hours without a break. At the very beginning, President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Mario Diaz-Canelya Bermudez addressed the deputies. “On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of Cuba, I would like to convey to you the warmest friendly greetings, to all deputies of this convocation,” Bermudez said.

Then the Duma adopted a statement "In connection with the execution of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian nationalists." The application was sent to various parliamentary organizations.

In my current work, I do my best to break away from politics - who is Vasya to whom, and who is someone else's Dusya. The fate of man should not depend on it. In vain, politics constantly catches up from all the cracks.


Photo by Moskovskaya Pravda

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