5 Apr 2021 17:31

Kudrin allows for possible halving of poverty in Russia as early as 2024

MOSCOW. April 5 (Interfax) - The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation believes that poverty could halve to 6.5% not by 2030 but as soon as 2024, but as this is "financially deep matter," the timelines could shift somewhat, the agency's chairman, Alexei Kudrin, said.

"We analyzed how it would be possible to achieve twofold reduction of poverty and within what timelines, whether this could be brought from 2030 closer to 2024. My expert, or to be more precise not expert but proven position in our [the Accounts Chamber's] report is that it is possible. We are working with the government in this regard," Kudrin said on Monday during a meeting of the presidium of the United Russia faction to discuss the outcomes of the Account Chamber's work.

According to Kudrin, "this path, let's say, has its own risks, which they [the government] are determining; we are discussing them with them."

"Perhaps, though, the government will not choose 2024 but distinctly earlier [than 2030]; this is what is now in the president's instruction. For our part, we are pushing and there are scenarios we are working out; we are working with both [Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana] Golikova and [presidential aide Maxim] Oreshkin on our proposals," he said.

The Accounts Chamber has developed its own model and shown how targeted support in different groups with reasonable funds could help attain double-digit reduction of poverty in Russia by 2024.

Kudrin proposed sharing the Accounts Chamber's suggestions with deputies, but behind closed doors. He clarified that he was requesting the government for this in light of the topic's sensitivity.

"If you like, we request not an open discussion, but we could show behind closed doors how this could happen, because at the government's request there are very sensitive things there. That is, we state there is such an option, then very high expectations arise [among people]," he said.

Kudrin said that despite the fact this "is a financially deep matter," according to his assessment "it is a reasonable one for the task we're talking about."

"But in the government's opinion, everything still needs to be weighed up here," he said.

Kudrin said on March 29 during a meeting of the Federation Council on the budget and financial markets that the Russian Accounts Chamber proposed broadening social support measures for the poor not only to families with children but also to other categories of citizens, as well as changing the means of payment.

"We believe it is possible to consider social support benefits that would proceed from the deficit of family incomes and extend to other categories of the population, and not only those with children. In this case, we see ways to reduce poverty and achieve the goals set by the president," he said, recalling that an analysis conducted by the Accounts Chamber last year had shown that around 20% of economically disadvantaged households were outside public policy. "We have to think about how to give anyone who is below the subsistence rate the opportunity to approach the state and on clear cut grounds receive help, support, and not be left to face such problems on their own," Kudrin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual press conference on December 17 last year that it was planned to reduce the number of Russians with monthly incomes below the subsistence level from 13.5% to 6.5% by 2030.