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13 Apr 2018

More money goes unspent in Belarus-Russia Union State budget

MOSCOW, 13 April (BelTA) – The Union State budget underspend is increasing, the press service of the Accounts Chamber of Russia told BelTA following a session to review the operations report on the Union State budget execution in 2017 prepared jointly with the State Control Committee of Belarus.

“The analysis of the Union State budget execution in 2017 has once again revealed the problems in the management of financial resources and in the work of public customers of joint programs and activities in the Union State. In 2017 the revenues budget of the Union State was equal to RUB6.8 billion. The budget expenditures were RUB4.1 billion which was the worst figure for the past four years. On 1 January 2018 the Union State budget amounted to RUB2.8 billion, an increase of 38.1% over 2017.

“As in previous years, the board paid attention to the insufficient level of revenue planning, especially, that of the TRO Soyuz TV company from business and other income-generating activities. As of 28 March 2018, the Union State standard document, which determines the procedure (methodology) of planning the non-tax revenues of the Union State budget, was not adopted by the Standing Committee. Meanwhile, the planned indicators of revenues from the TRO Soyuz activities continue increasing. If in 2017 these revenues were projected at RUB1 million, in 2018 this figure is projected at RUB4.5 million, or 4.5 times up,” the press service said.

The audit also showed the uneven expenses in the Union State budget. Almost 40% of budget spending took place in Q4 2017, which creates the risks of untimely execution of the Union State programs.

“The total amount of undistributed budget resources and the money unclaimed by the administrators and recipients amounted to RUB749.3 million, up more than three times over 2016,” the Accounts Chamber said. “The main share in the amount of unused budget funds (91.3%) is the underspend in the section "other expenses", which is due to the late approval (in December 2017) of the Union State three new programs. The lowest demand for budget funds was posted in the section “protection of the environment and natural resources, hydrometeorology, cartography and geodesy”. The reason is the extremely low budget performance in Belarus under the Union State Hydrometeorological Safety System program for 2017-2021 (25.4%).

In general, only five sections of the functional classification posted a budget execution rate of 99%. Five out of the twenty-four major beneficiaries (20.8%) used all the funds allocated from the Union State budget.

In 2017, RUB2.3 billion was channeled into nine programs (98.9% of the target set in the budget breakdown). This is the best indicator in the last three years (98.4% in 2015, 96.8% in 2016). The actual volume of spending on the Union State programs and its share in the total volume of budgetary allocations has been growing since 2015 (RUB3.2 billion and 65.4% in 2015, RUB2.9 billion and 61.3% in 2016, RUB2.3 billion and 56.6% in 2017). The decrease totaled 8.8% versus 2015.

“The analysis has shown there was an underspend on every Union State program in 2017. In Russia, the money was fully utilized on five programs. Another four programs posted a budget execution rate of 99% and more. This rate ranged from 25.4% to 99.2% in Belarus,” the Accounts Chamber noted.

The Union State expenditures on 26 projects totaled RUB1.2 billion (97.7% of the target). Out of them, 7 projects met the target. “The underspend is mainly due to the great amount of time required to estimate the budget expenditure, the late start of the allocation process, long procurement procedures, the untimely submission of bills for the services provided by contractors, the postponement of several projects, and the late adoption of new Union State programs,” the Accounts Chamber clarified.

The meeting participants decided to submit the operations report to the Union State PA and the Union State Standing Committee.

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