Recently, there have been reports in the media that the Defense Ministry allegedly does not have time to master the funds allocated to it, returns them to the budget, which is reflected in the fulfillment of the state defense order. Deputy Defense Minister Tatyana Shevtsova answered the questions related to the financing of the Armed Forces and many others to the Military Industrial Courier.
- Tatyana Viktorovna, let's start with the execution of the budget 2015 of the year. You really have not mastered it?
- This is completely incorrect information that misleads readers. On the contrary, for the past several years, the Ministry of Defense of Russia has achieved, perhaps, the highest cash execution of federal budget expenditures, which is more than 99 percent. Judge for yourself: in 2013-m - 99,6, in 2014-m - 99,96, according to the results of 2015-th - 99,85. So blame us for nothing.
We not only economically, but also use the allocated funds most fully, although the volume of the budget of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation is constantly increasing. This speaks of the coordinated work of all the agencies of the department, clear planning, and the mutual coordination of the costs of the state defense order and the current maintenance of the troops.
The structure of our military budget is as follows. The content of the Armed Forces is 45 percent, the implementation of the State Armaments Program is 55. We don’t have any leftovers. There is a small amount of contracted expenses (2,9 billion rubles) - money planned for the works of the military-industrial complex that have already been done and which will be paid upon presentation of acts. But it could not affect the payment of money allowances and pensions.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Defense is the largest budget beneficiary in the Russian Federation with the most complex at the federal level budget structure covering all spheres of vital activity of the Armed Forces. In particular, 2015 year was very tense for us, because at the very beginning there were budget cuts. Under these conditions, the Ministry of Defense has taken serious steps to optimize resource provision.
First, the minimum allowable financing of expenditures in priority areas was determined at the stage of budgeting. Secondly, the rapid maneuvering of resources made it possible to pursue a balanced financial policy, including for re-emerging costs associated, for example, with the implementation of tasks in Syria. And at the same time, I will emphasize especially - to fulfill all social obligations, to achieve target indicators under the May presidential decrees, to ensure an increase in the intensity of combat training in the conditions of rising prices and deterioration of the macroeconomic situation in the country as a whole.
Thus, in 2015 we were able to fully meet all planned targets. In fact, the Ministry of Defense worked and continues to work like the State Planning Commission, providing the necessary synchronization of all types of resource support with the construction and development activities of the Armed Forces.
At the same time, we strive to improve the efficiency of budget expenditures. To this end, the projects of the “Effective Army” program are being implemented, and work has been carried out to monetize social obligations. This refers to a one-time subsidy for the provision of permanent housing to military personnel, and an increase in compensation for rent.
- And in the year 2016 you intend to change something in the approaches to the formation of the budget?
- We appealed to the president with a proposal to change the approaches to the formation and protection of the budget of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, providing for the consolidation in it of the basic (minimally sufficient) amount and expenditures for emergency purposes, and enlisted support.
The development of baseline military budget indicators has been organized, which are tightly synchronized in terms of terms, activities and funding. The justification of the need for spending on national defense is supposed to be carried out in the office of the Security Council of the Russian Federation as a body that assesses military threats and sets appropriate strategic and military economic tasks.
One of them is the recruitment of soldiers and sergeants with military personnel serving under contract. This work is carried out in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 2012 of 604. The results speak for themselves. From 2013, the ratio of servicemen on contract and conscription has changed from 1: 2 to 1: 1 by now. Today, there are even more contract servicemen than conscripts. On 1, January 2016, their staffing amounted to more than 350 thousand people.
When equipping the Armed Forces with new models of weapons and military equipment, the measures taken allowed to qualitatively change the level of manning and increase the combat readiness of the troops (forces).
- During the crisis, the country's budget is under great strain. Will this affect military spending?
- In the current economic conditions, of course, it is necessary to optimize the budget, including the Ministry of Defense. In 2015, he was sequestered at 3,8 percent, but I’ll emphasize once again all the social guarantees, as well as the plans for the construction of the RF Armed Forces. Have we requested additional funds for an operation in Syria? No, they did not. All expenses incurred in the estimates of the Ministry of Defense.
We are convinced that any sequester of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation should be viewed through the prism of national security. As is known, the Security Council of the Russian Federation is engaged in the assessment of threats. Therefore, we propose to consider the issue of sequestration on its site.
I repeat: the president supported our proposals. Although the decision on the sequestration of the military budget for the 2016 year has not yet been made, there is a discussion on this issue at the Ministry of Finance. We have an instruction from the President and the Prime Minister about this. The final figure is not defined, but the state defense order and the state registration number will not be reduced unambiguously. We must not forget about the current military-political situation.
- The question is one of the most acute and urgent: the social protection of servicemen and pensioners of the Ministry of Defense. How did he decide in 2015 year?
- Social security of military personnel is one of the priorities, the implementation of which largely depends on the country's defense. The monetary allowance for the year 2015, in accordance with the instructions of the President, was able to keep at a level not lower than the wages of workers in leading sectors of the economy.
The average level of monetary allowance for military personnel amounted to 62,2 thousand rubles. And although since 2012 has not been indexed, thanks to an effective organizational and staff policy, we are able to increase its size.
In 2016, the envisaged amount of funds allocated will allow for the payment of full allowance to military personnel. Despite the Ministry of Finance’s optimization of expenditures on this item, the Defense Ministry’s leadership does not plan any decisions leading to a reduction in the level of labor remuneration.
Taking into account the social importance of this issue, decisions were taken on the introduction of allowances for salary for military posts:
-for command (leadership) units - up to 20 percent;
- for diving work - up to 50 percent;
- for parachuting (landing with equipment) - up to 50 percent;
- for work related to the search and disposal of explosive objects - up to 50 percent;
-for the implementation of the norms of flying hours - 70 percent;
- for a high level of physical fitness - up to 100 percent.
The establishment of these allowances allows an increase in the average allowance of servicemen by one and a half times.
- Army veterans and fleet, among which there are many participants in the hostilities, with understanding, but ambiguously perceived the information that there will be no indexation this year. This issue is especially relevant for those who, due to health reasons, cannot earn extra money and live on the same pension. What is the actual situation?
- As you know, work to increase military pensions is ongoing. In 2015, pensions rose by 7,5 percent. In cash money, the average increase was from 600 to 1500 rubles. How did the 7,5 percentage figure appear?
Let me remind you that since October 1 2015, the size of the money allowance taken into account when calculating pensions is 66,78 percent. Prior to this (from October 1 2014-th) 62,12 percent was taken into account. 66,78: 62,12 = 7,5 percent. On 1 January, 2012 was, I recall, only 54 percent.
Since February 1, the money allowance taken into account when calculating pensions is 69,45 percent. Prior to this (from October 1 2015-th) 66,78 percent was taken into account. 69,45: 66,78 = 4 percent.
In general, for the year (February 2016 of the 2015 by February) the increase in pensions is about 12 percent. Since February 1, the average military pension is equal to 22 800 rubles. During this period, it increased by an average of a thousand rubles.
- No less painful was the question of providing servicemen with permanent housing. I say it was because today it is largely resolved. What is the situation with the payment of housing subsidies and official housing?
- In 2014, a new form of providing permanent accommodation with housing subsidies has been introduced. This made it possible to reduce the number of servicemen at the disposal of commanders (chiefs) to five thousand. Although on 1 January 2014, their number was 49 thousand. About 32 billion rubles have been spent on providing them with money allowances and other payments.
2014 billion in 26,5 was sent to 2015 to pay the housing subsidy to dismissed servicemen, and 37 billion rubles in XNUMX.
The experience of providing servicemen with service housing showed that taking into account the specifics of their activities (redeployment of troops, change of duty station), rent is most effective.
The advantages in this case are as follows:
- the soldier independently chooses the most acceptable option;
-the lack of costs for the maintenance of housing in the period of forced downtime (change of tenants);
-reduction of costs for the construction of office housing.
In connection with this ministry, a course has been adopted to monetize housing. In 2015, on our initiative, the size of monetary compensation for hiring (subleasing) housing to officers and warrant officers, which did not change from 1 in January to 2009, was significantly increased.
Now its size is not set in a fixed amount, as it was before, but depending on the cost of renting a dwelling in a particular subject of the Russian Federation, where the soldier is serving. In Moscow, for example, a family of three officers can receive a payment of 36,4 thousand rubles.
- For a long time, the wages of the civilian personnel of the Armed Forces lagged behind the "peaceful" sector. Like now?
- Today the picture is different. Last year, measures were taken to increase the level of labor remuneration of certain categories of workers in institutions of science, education, culture and health care in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation 7 of May 2012 No. 597, aimed at reducing (eliminating) the gap between public sector wages and the average for the region. We managed to significantly reduce this gap. Today, in a number of industries, the average salary of civilian personnel of the Ministry of Defense is even higher than regional values. In total, 7,9 billion rubles were spent for these purposes, of which 3,5 billion were found by optimizing the expenditures of the Ministry of Defense.
In 2016, all measures will be taken to maintain the achieved level of remuneration of employees of military units and organizations of the Ministry of Defense. We will not allow a reduction in the number of civilian personnel.
Regarding the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 682 of December 31 2015, which provides for a ten percent reduction in the number of civil servants, weighted decisions are made. Vacancies are being reduced in the first place. Employees "on the street" will not be dismissed.
- And another important issue is the system of interdepartmental control over the spending of state defense order funds. Is she effective?
- When drafting amendments to the law “On State Defense Order”, the investment role of the Ministry of Defense (as a state customer) in the country's economy was taken into account. After all, the placement of the state defense order provides current funding and guaranteed sales of the products of the participants of the state defense order, motivates to create jobs and develop production capacities, forms a source of social payments for enterprises.
The rules of the banking support system were formulated in such a way that such priority orders as salary and social payments, taxes, utility bills, were carried out without any restrictions. In practice, this approach has become a motivation to improve financial discipline in enterprises, had a positive impact on the mobilization of revenues to the budget system and the Pension Fund.
According to the data of the unified information system of the Ministry of Defense on calculations for the state defense order, budget funds received by defense companies from September 1 to December 31 2015 were spent in the following areas:
- calculations with cooperation - 66 percent;
-payment of taxes and fees - 11,2 percent;
-payment of wages - 11,2 percent;
-payment of goods, works, services at state tariffs (gas, water, electricity) - 1 percent.
Together with Rosfinmonitoring, we analyzed the direction to which the GOZ funds are sent in general. We saw that in some cases the money was not for the purpose of the contract. This does not necessarily mean that they are abducted. But there was such a thing when enterprises paid interest on loans, bills of exchange. We have introduced direct prohibitions into the law “On State Defense Order” on such operations. Since 1 September 2015, this is not possible.
Protected by our interests are also authorized banks that do not allow the transfer of funds for unforeseen articles. Now we see how money goes through cooperations or someone tries to cash them through third-fourth firms, deposit them for a long time at a large percentage. Immediately take appropriate measures.
With the introduction of such monitoring, tax payments to the budget went much more. So, the performance of the GPV is, as you see, not only new weapons and military equipment, but also our contribution to the country's economy.
The discussion of the size of the state defense order and the budget as a whole continues, but we hope that our proposals will be taken into account, because they are reasonable and connected with concrete measures to ensure the national security of the country.