Mikhail Mishustin reported to the State Duma on the safety of the economy in the new reality

Mikhail Mishustin reported to the State Duma on the safety of the economy in the new reality


The report on the work of the White House to the State Duma, presented on Wednesday, April 3, by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, is formally the last for the current government: after the inauguration, a new cabinet of ministers will be formed to one degree or another. In this regard, the report turned out to be broader than listing the results of work for the year – de facto, the current prime minister reported on the implementation of the strategic tasks set for him by the president in the context of the transition of the Russian economy from one “new reality” – Covid – to another, military, and about that it was possible to keep it on a stable trajectory. The head of government did not mention the new mechanisms of government, thanks to which this stability was ensured, although they have also already become the new reality of the White House.

On Wednesday, the government presented the State Duma with an annual report on its work—Mikhail Mishustin’s fifth. The report itself was formally devoted to the results of 2023, but in the context of the upcoming resignation of the government under the Constitution in connection with the inauguration of the president – and the subsequent appointment of a new cabinet of ministers – it was perceived more broadly: as the results of the work of Mr. Mishustin’s government as a whole. Let us recall that it began work in 2020 – as the prime minister noted, then the president identified two main tasks that guided the government: the implementation of socio-economic development programs and the improvement of the quality of public administration in general. However, the de facto work agenda almost immediately became anti-crisis – first because of the coronavirus, and then because of the consequences of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The main idea of ​​the Prime Minister’s report is that the White House “managed to soften the most difficult period of adaptation and form a solid foundation for further economic growth.”

Thus, the head of government recalled that at the end of 2023, GDP growth, according to preliminary estimates, amounted to 3.6% – higher than in most developed countries. However, even the figures in the economic part of the report, designed to illustrate successes, largely testified to the complexity of the circumstances: in particular, the prime minister recalled that in 2023 budget revenues were increased to 29 trillion rubles, by almost 5%, but in conditions of inflation by level of 7.4% (according to the prime minister, it became one of the “main challenges of last year”) this actually means a decrease in revenues in real terms.

Industrial production grew by 3.5%, its main driver was processing, which increased output by 7.5%. Let us note that the growth of industrial production last year was also supported by the needs of the military-industrial complex (see Kommersant, December 15, 2023) – for the government, as Mikhail Mishustin noted, ensuring the military operation was “the most important task.” Thus, according to him, “hundreds of enterprises, research institutes, design bureaus were additionally involved”, the output of necessary products was increased, in many positions “manifold” (for example, for cars and armored weapons – three times, for equipment, electronic warfare equipment – by nine times).

The results of 2023 were “decomposed” by the Prime Minister in more detail into six priority areas identified by the President at the end of 2022: increasing the welfare of citizens, “saving the people” and supporting families, accelerated development of infrastructure, achieving technological and financial sovereignty and expanding interaction with “friendly” countries. » countries. Among the results in the social sphere are the growth of the minimum wage above inflation (by 18%), the development of an integrated system of support for families with children, and the achievement of life expectancy at 73.5 years, above pre-Covid values. Among the economic ones, in particular, such as a record grain harvest of 145 million tons, the commissioning of more than 110 million square meters. m of housing, the launch of new mechanisms to support industry (for example, a cluster investment platform providing preferential loans for large priority projects, within the framework of which 36 initiatives worth 800 billion rubles were approved) and increasing trade turnover with “friendly” countries – it is already comparable “to the volume Russia’s trade with the whole world, which was four years ago” – more than $548 billion.

The prime minister also said that the government is completing the formation of large projects to organize the production of critically important high-tech products (including microelectronics and medical equipment), initiatives have been launched to develop “end-to-end” technologies (financing – 137 billion rubles, almost three quarters are private).

The government report paid virtually no attention to improving the quality of public administration – partly this approach was explained by the prime minister himself in his concluding remarks: “the result is more important than the process.”

In addition, the government’s report to the State Duma is a political procedure, which is probably why the prime minister focused his speech on making ideological introductions, omitting the technocratic part. It, however, as a set of mechanisms introduced by Mikhail Mishustin’s team for the rapid implementation of sudden and multidirectional tasks, ensured noticeable modernization and increased internal mobility and adaptability of the executive branch. Much work on digitalization, algorithmization, procedural unification of the work of power mechanisms and the introduction of automatic methods for resolving internal contradictions should have (based on the prime minister’s previous experience at the head of the Federal Tax Service) become the basis for the transformation of the prime minister’s term, but these ideas were quickly adapted to resolve problems and solve problems in the conditions of “new realities”.

Among such mechanisms is a significant amount of informatization of the work of the state apparatus, developed by the prime minister from the successful experience of digitalization of the Federal Tax Service, with the implementation (often, however, closed from external observers) of the principles of evidence-based government policy, based on data centrally and connectedly processed by a growing array of GIS under the control of top-level automatic systems (State Automated System “Management” and “Electronic Budget”). The adaptability of the government was also facilitated by mechanisms for operational accounting and correction of errors and inaccuracies in regulation, and the expansion of the perimeter of informatization through regional and municipal management, and the systematic removal of excessive administrative barriers through the expansion of control and supervision reform. Also important are the budget and treasury reforms, which formed from the funds of ministries, agencies and services a common pool of “government money” under its operational management, which significantly reduced the time frame for budget calculations and provided the possibility of dynamic financing of new tasks. Such a “technocratic” adjustment of the internal work of the government will allow the development of already launched and planned processes, regardless of the future leadership of the White House – if this post is again taken by Mikhail Mishustin, he will have to de facto improve the new design of the executive branch, the effectiveness of which he de facto and reported.

The government’s further tasks – in particular for this year – have already been largely predetermined by him.

As the prime minister noted, we are talking about “strengthening economic, technological and financial sovereignty” with “special attention” to meeting the growing demand for goods produced in the Russian Federation (including in cooperation with “friendly” countries), increasing the real incomes of citizens and advanced infrastructure renewal. For the first time publicly, Mikhail Mishustin also spoke publicly about the future tax reform with the growing burden on high corporate and personal incomes – albeit in general terms: “The tax system should not only ensure the flow of resources to solve national and regional problems – it is designed to reduce inequality, and not only in society, but also in the socio-economic development of regions.

Evgenia Kryuchkova, Oleg Sapozhkov


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