Dvorkovich speaks about 'relatively successful' implementation of anti-crisis plan
The Russian government managed to successfully implement the anti-crisis plan, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview to the 'Russia 24' television channel.
"It was impossible to completely avoid the economic decline, however, it was lower than in 2009, so the overall implementation of the anti-crisis plan was relatively successful," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
"Nevertheless, this work is not over, many of the programs that we have started in 2015 will be continued in 2016: support of the automotive industry, transport engineering, light industry, housing and, of course, agriculture," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on December 22 that Russia’s economic anti-crisis plan has fulfilled its task. “It has helped to a great extent, not completely, of course, but to a great extent, to neutralize the influence of external factors on the economy,” he said at a meeting on the execution of the anti-crisis plan.
"We concentrated the economic resources on supporting the most vulnerable points in the economy and in the social sphere. In addition, it much supported the process of import substitution," he added.
At the same time Medvedev noted that although the anti-crisis plan has served its purpose, the government would not stop working on the areas designated in the plan.
A professor of the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics, Alexander Abramov, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that "the government, of course, managed to achieve the key objectives set out in this plan". "First of all, it is the preservation of the relative stability of the banking system and the ruble exchange rate. It is also the preservation of the gold and foreign exchange reserves, prevention of a systemic crisis in industry, agriculture and so on," he explained, adding that, "on the other hand, the government has failed to develop a program of further growth."
"It was achieved, perhaps, through the strengthening of the financial discipline, quite effective activity of the tax authorities and more or less successful policy of the Central Bank," the economist believes.
According to him, "an agricultural development will continue more or less steadily in the next year." "The machinery, of course, is going through hard times until the economic growth will revive again. The construction will also be in a rather difficult situation, because the problem is, that GDP has dropped a little, but the real income of the population dropped much more," the expert predicts.
"It seems to me that there will be no significant progress in the light industry, because of the absence of investment. And people's demand for the goods of light industry, of course, is moderate now due to the difficult economic situation," Alexander Abramov concluded.
The professor of the RANEPA Chair of Finances, Money Circulation and Credit, Yuri Yudenkov, in his turn, noted that "in terms of social programs, the government managed to keep its commitments". "But I wouldn't be so sure about other programs mentioned by Dvorkovich. From the digital parameters point of view, the decline in all those areas (automotive industry, transport engineering, light industry, housing and, of course, agriculture) was maybe not strong as expected. Once again, I want to repeat that the crisis is turning into stagnation, but it is not the merit of the government, it is a natural cycle of production and its decline," he said.
The expert also questioned the possibility of entering the country's economy from the crisis in the next year. "In the first quarter of next year the Central Bank is expected to issue another 1 trillion and in the second another 1 trillion rubles. So I think that in April we will be living in a different reality," the economist noted.
Speaking about the development of the economy in the first half of 2016, he named the "three equally likely scenarios." "If oil remains in the hallway of $ 35-40, the ruble will be dropping slowly. If oil falls rapidly, the ruble will fall rapidly too. But if oil prices rise, it is still not the fact that the ruble will change its position against the dollar. If oil prices remain at current levels, the ruble will be falling by 10 cents per month. That is, the economy is in a deflationary state, so there will be a slow decline. Only if the economy and agriculture begin to rise, then there may be any movement. But not in 2016," Yuri Yudenkov predicts.