Mikhail Delyagin: Oil earnings drove the government crazy

The Russian government haven’t been competent enough recently. Gaydar has turned the economic reform into a national catastrophe, Kirienko has provoked a miners’ “rail war” and has put the country onto the brink of disaster, etc. Unfortunately, during the last months the process of getting stupid is developing faster than ever. Probably the flood of dollars gained from abroad for oil hastened the process. The chopping and changing starts from the Russia’s White House. Curious things are going on here. Special brigades for catching officials who are late for the office were created. The same brigades catch employees who use canteen during the work hours. The “victims” are lectured and sometimes even fined. Such measures were in practice during Breznev’s epoch. Nothing else was done to improve the effectiveness of the officials’ work. The officials used to perform 40 % of their duties before. Now they perform only 15% of their duties. The same things go on in ministries. After a speech about budget, which vice-minister of Finance made in the Federation Council, experts couldn’t understand what budget he is speaking about. The data he gave had nothing in common with the government’s budget project! The report of the Ministry of Taxes on the first and second quarters of 2000 points out that the regions shouldn't be offended. According to the report, the regions got 54% of the budget funds. Maybe that's not enough, but there is nothing to complain of. But they do complain. Why? - Because the regions use the report of the Finance Ministry, which says that the share of the federal budget in the revenue derived from taxes is 57%. It means that the leaders of the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Taxes break the legislation of Russia and should be dismissed for it immediately. Since a minister of Finance who breaks the law poses a threat to the security of the country, as well as a Chechen bandit does. Our reformers govern the country without knowing its Tax Code. They discuss budget policy and the reform without having any idea of the real actual state of affairs. In the report on the first and the second quarters of 2000 the Ministry of Finance admitted that it had made a mistake, underestimating the expense for central heating of state institutions buildings. Because of this mistake 9 milliard rubles are lacking. And what have the officials of the Finance Ministry done in order to correct the mistake? They told the employees of the state institutions to manage by own means, the official report of the Finance Ministry says. And only after the rocket forces had began to seize nuclear power stations “by own means”, the reformers promised to pay to the state institutions 6 milliard rubles. This year the Finance Ministry composed the budget in which a hole gapes. The amount of this hole is 3,2 milliard rubles. Moreover in reality 4,8 milliard dollars of foreign loan were laid in the budget. But nobody is going to give us this money. But the greatest “achievement” of the Finance Ministry is using of TWO DIFFERENT FORECASTS of the development of Russia while preparing one budget project. Calculating its main part the Ministry used the official forecast, made by the Ministry of Economic Development. But calculating the sum of money for economical assistance to the regions, the Finance Ministry used its own forecast, which doesn’t tally with the official one 50-70%. As a result Udmurdia failed to get 370 million rubles of transfers, Kurgan region - 441 million rubles, Magadan region – 482 million, Novosibirsk region – 773 million, etc. Amur region – 947 million. Khabarovsk territory set up a “record” – it didn’t get 1,9 milliard rubles of transfers. On the other hand, the government added superfluous transfers to Tula region (627 million rubles), Daghestan (609 million), Primorsk territory (824 million) and so on. The last example demonstrates that the members of the government have two different logical constructs in their mind. It looks like schizophrenia. That is not a disease, but a personal quality. It can’t be cured. One should change his personality to get rid of this quality. In order to get rid of the collective schizophrenia in the government, one should change the government.

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