Journal section "Public finances"

Assessing the Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Condition of Regional Budgets: The Far Eastern Aspect

Leonov S.N.

Volume 15, Issue 6, 2022

Leonov S.N. Assessing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the condition of regional budgets: The Far Eastern aspect. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(6), 153–166. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.9

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.9

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The purpose of the work is to determine major features and consequences of mitigating the adverse effects of a noneconomic shock caused by the 2020–2021 coronavirus pandemic in the process of implementing the regional budget policy of RF constituent entities within a large macroregion, the Far East of Russia. We analyze the impact of the pandemic on the budget revenues of Far Eastern regions, estimate changes in the dependence of regional budgets on federal transfers. We show changes in the level of transparency in intergovernmental fiscal relations in the macroregion and the extent of autonomy of the authorities of Far Eastern constituent entities of the Russian Federation in decision-making during the crisis period in terms of the formation of regional budgets. To identify statistical patterns, we use general scientific methods based on official data from the RF Federal Treasury, the RF Ministry of Finance, and regional authorities of Russia’s Far Eastern constituent entities. We show that in the Far East, the first and second waves of the epidemic had the most significant impact on regional budgets, and the pace of overcoming the coronavirus crisis was different in various regions. Regions specializing in the manufacturing industry are recovering faster; the process is slower in mining regions. The main condition for overcoming the budget crisis was a large-scale increase in federal aid, which allowed most regions to compensate for the loss of their own budget revenues. The impact of the third and fourth waves of the coronavirus crisis on the economy of the Far East and the regional budget sphere as a whole is assessed as weak. Mining industries continued to stagnate; as a result, in the analyzed period of 2020–2021, problems related to forming the tax base were noted in the majority of mining regions. Thus, we may predict that the state of regional budgets will depend more on the transfer support from the federal center. We reveal the absence of clear criteria in the provision of transfer support to the regions. Transparency of the aid provided to RF constituent entities has deteriorated during the pandemic crisis, which may lead to the emergence of adverse factors in regional development due to the desire of regional governments to lobby for special financial preferences from the federal center. The novelty of the research is due to the fact that we consider the aforementioned range of issues while comparing federal trends and the situation in the Far East under the increasing pressure of external noneconomic shocks caused by the lingering coronavirus pandemic. The materials of the article can be used in the educational sphere and in the work of state authorities at the federal and regional levels to improve budget policy


far east, Far East, coronavirus pandemic, regional budget policy

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