Russia to protect itself from crisis with 'airbag'
The government of Russia is considering the creation of a special anti-crisis reserve for next year. "Now we are discussing the creation of an anti-crisis financial reserve," Gazeta.ru cited a federal official as saying.
According to the official, the government could create a financial 'airbag' for unforeseen expenses.
The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the 'airbag' reserve is likely to be formed from "sources which can be obtained due to the difference in the price of oil, which is fixed above this fixed price." "That is, if the oil price will be above $60 in the practical project of the budget, all additional revenues associated with the price above $60 per barrel should be pumped into the reserve fund," he explained.
According to him, the Finance Ministry, using this reserve, intends to secure the economy from risks in the event of an extreme drop in oil prices. "Prices may drop if the US Federal Reserve System raises its key interest rate by strengthening the dollar in relation to all financial instruments, including the oil quotes. Also, everyone is waiting for the return of Iranian oil to the foreign markets. Hence the need for a reserve, because the price of oil could drop to $20 per barrel," Anatoly Aksakov stressed.
An associate professor of stock markets and financial engineering of RANEPA, Vasiliy Yakimkin, in his turn, expressed the view that the government will optimize the tax system to fill the new reserve fund. "I think it's possible to find several hundred billion rubles there. Of course, oil sector will suffer from the change of the formula for mineral extraction tax and export duties. But the oil companies will shift the tax burden on domestic consumers by raising the prices of petroleum products. Therefore it is better to increase export duty - then the prices will rise for overseas buyers, not for the Russians," he said.
Another way is the optimization of leases of public buildings and income from equity funds. "By extracting Russian money from the US economy and placing it in Russian banks with an interest rate of 10%, the revenue will be around $8 billion. Given the rate of 70 rubles to the dollar this is, respectively, 560 billion rubles," Yakimkin noted.
"In general, an anti-crisis reserve is a good thing. The country has an opportunity to organize such funds just to be safe. In the case of the deterioration of the economic situation and a tightening of the sanctions," the expert concluded.