North Caucasus accused of being ineffective
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation in its report criticized the state support allocated for the socio-economic development of the North Caucasus regions in 2017-2019.
In 2017-2018, 8.8 billion rubles were allocated for the implementation of the state program to develop the North Caucasus Federal District until 2025, of which 5.5 billion rubles were allocated from the federal budget. In 2019, another 2.4 billion rubles were allocated from the federal budget for the program, but the investment climate in the North Caucasus Federal District has not improved, only a few investment projects were successfully completed, and problems in the labor market remain, the auditors noted in the report.
During this time, only 9 investment projects out of 27 were completed. 577 jobs were created in the region, which does not affect the situation at all, since about 70 thousand new jobs are created in the macroregion annually. Only 22% of the planned volume of extra-budgetary investments was attracted in 2017, and 36% in 2018," Interfax cited auditor Svetlana Orlova as saying.
"The mechanism for selecting, financing and implementing projects is complex, non-transparent and fraught with corruption risks." Joint-stock companies of constituent entities of the North-Caucasian Federal District receive money, while the federal authorities do not have the authority to participate in the management of their activities, RBC cited the report a saying.
"At the same time, control over the spending of budget money is lost," Orlova emphasized, adding that the ministry approved the list of investment projects for 2019 rather late, which creates risks of non-compliance with deadlines.
The Ministry of North Caucasus Affairs agreed with the conclusions of the Accounts Chamber as a whole, but indicated that it was due to a delay in implementation deadlines. According to head of the department Sergey Chebotarev, the number of implemented investment projects has reached 12 after the Accounts Chamber's examination, and by the end of the year it is planned to complete another 10 projects, which will create another 1000 jobs and attract 6.6 billion rubles of non-state investments.
At the same time, Chebotarev promised to incorporate the auditor's comments.