The Russian government has sent to the State Duma a draft law "On the federal budget for 2024 and for the planning period of 2025 and 2026". The order was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

"When forming the draft of the new three-year budget, the government has traditionally proceeded from the need to fulfill social obligations to citizens and solve the tasks outlined by the president," the Cabinet said in a statement on its website.

As Mikhail Mishustin noted earlier, during the preparation of the country's main financial document, the authorities "tried to make verified and optimal decisions." As a result, the revenue component of the treasury was significantly increased, which makes it possible to seriously increase costs.

According to preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Finance, this year the volume of cash receipts to the budget should be slightly more than 28,7 trillion rubles. At the same time, in 2024, the value may reach 35 trillion, in 2025 - 33.5 trillion, and in 2026 - 34.1 trillion.

"Such significant growth will be possible due to the further development of our economy. At the same time, non-oil and gas revenues should be twice as high as oil and gas revenues, "Mishustin explained.

If in 2023 the budget should receive about 8.9 trillion rubles from the sale of energy resources, then in 2024 it is planned to bring this figure to 11.5 trillion, in 2025 - to 11.8 trillion, and in 2026 - to 11.4 trillion. At the same time, non-oil and gas revenues of the treasury may increase from 19.8 trillion this year to 23.6 trillion in 2024, and over the next two years will amount to 21.7 trillion and 22.6 trillion, respectively.

"Such dynamics will ensure unconditional financing not only of all commitments made, but also of other relevant priorities. This is social support for the most vulnerable categories of citizens, strengthening the country's defense capability, integrating new regions, as well as technological development and expansion of infrastructure. Resources for all these priorities are taken into account in the country's three-year budget, "Mishustin said.

It should be noted that this year the state is going to spend about 31.8 trillion rubles from the treasury. Meanwhile, according to the approved draft budget, in 2024 this amount should be 36.6 trillion, in 2025 - 34.4 trillion, and in 2026 - 35.6 trillion.

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Thus, according to the authorities, over the entire three-year period, planned spending will exceed the amount of revenues. In 2024, the budget deficit may amount to about 1.6 trillion rubles, in 2025 - 900 billion, and in 2026 - 1.5 trillion. However, experts consider such a gap between expenses and revenues to be uncritical.

"The budget itself will be a record in terms of expenditures and revenues, but the declared deficit is small, and it cannot harm the economy in any way. It is planned to cover it by borrowing in the domestic market, through the sale of debt securities, "Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, told RT.

Key priorities

One of the key expenditure items of the budget in the next three years will be defense spending. If in 2023 it is planned to allocate 6.41 trillion rubles for these purposes, then in 2024 the amount will grow to 10.78 trillion, but in 2025 it will decrease to 8.53 trillion, and in 2026 to 7.41 trillion.

"The structure of the budget shows that the main emphasis is on ensuring our victory - the army, defense capability, armed forces, fighters - everything necessary for the front, everything necessary for victory is in the budget. This is a considerable strain for the budget, but it is our absolute priority," said Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

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Another priority of the budget, the head of the Ministry of Finance called the fulfillment of obligations to citizens. So, in 2024, the authorities are going to spend 7.73 trillion rubles on social policy, in 2025 - 7.69 trillion, and in 2026 - 7.86 trillion.

In particular, the payment of a single allowance to needy pregnant women and parents with children under 17 years of age will continue. In the next three years, it is planned to allocate 4.4 trillion rubles for these purposes, which will make it possible to support more than 10 million families every month.

About 1.6 trillion rubles will be allocated from the budget for the provision of maternity capital. It is assumed that more than 4 million families will use these funds within three years. In addition, 482 billion rubles are provided to improve the living conditions of Russians with children, and more than 100 billion rubles are provided to support low-income citizens under the social contract program.

In addition, according to Anton Siluanov, significant funds will be used to re-equip production facilities in such areas as machine tool building, aircraft construction, new technologies, drones and communications. Also, the necessary allocations will be spent on the construction and repair of schools, the provision of road activities, the renewal of the infrastructure of ground electric transport, the development of regional airports, the provision of medicines to beneficiaries and social gasification.

In just three years, the government plans to allocate more than 10.8 trillion rubles from the budget for the development of the national economy. At the same time, national security and law enforcement will receive 10.07 trillion, health care - 4.87 trillion, education - 4.27 trillion, housing and communal services - 1.77 trillion, and culture - about 630 billion rubles.

As Anatoly Aksakov emphasized, there are no plans to raise taxes over the entire three-year period. At the same time, social payments will be indexed at a faster pace compared to the inflation rate.

"Treasury revenues will grow due to the activities of companies. The dynamics of some industries, for example, in the processing sectors, in the segment of mechanical engineering, instrument making, gives a high increase in GDP. These enterprises have grown markedly since the beginning of the sanctions pressure in 2022, and now they form a serious revenue base for the budget," the deputy added.

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Taking into account the current trends in the economy, experts do not exclude the possibility of a return to a budget surplus in three years. This point of view, in particular, was expressed by Nikita Maslennikov, Head of Finance and Economics at the Institute of Contemporary Development.

"Of course, much will depend on the rate of GDP growth and investment. To do this, we need to increase production volumes during the transition to the restructuring of the economy. If the reorientation to other markets and economic reforms are successful, then in the future we can reach an annual GDP growth rate of 3% or more, but this requires investment and labor productivity growth, which will allow us to return to a budget surplus, "the RT interlocutor explained.

Financial basis

The budget approved by the government is based on the forecast of socio-economic development. According to this document, following last year's decline of 2.1%, already in 2023, the volume of Russian GDP will increase by 2.8%, in 2024 and 2025 - by 2.3%, and in 2026 - by 2.2%. At the same time, inflation by the end of this year will be 7.5%, but next year it should slow down to 4.5%, after which it may reach the target level of 4%.

Meanwhile, the growth of wages of Russians in real terms, that is, taking into account the increase in prices, should be 2023.6% in 2, 2024.2% in 5, 2025.2% in 6, and 2026.2% in 3. In turn, the unemployment rate will continue to remain relatively low and will remain close to 3.1% throughout the three-year period.

In addition, a confident recovery in retail trade is expected. If in 2022 the volume of trade decreased by 6.5%, then in 2023 its value will grow by 5.8%, in 2024 - by 3.6%, in 2025 - by 3.4%, and in 2026 - by 3.5%. At the same time, investments should increase by 6% this year, by 2.3% next year, and by 2025% in 2026 and 3.

In general, as stated in the government, the forecast takes into account the current dynamics of the economy and the measures implemented by the country's leadership. First of all, we are talking about the implementation of the priority tasks set by the president.

"This is the expansion of foreign economic cooperation with our promising partners from friendly countries and the improvement of the mechanisms necessary for this, including transport and payment components. And also - strengthening technological and financial sovereignty. Advanced construction of transport, utilities and social infrastructure. Improving the welfare of citizens. Ensuring national preservation, protecting motherhood and childhood, supporting families who have children," Mikhail Mishustin said.