SOCHI, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the government on Monday to work out a range of measures to boost growth and spur Russia’s faltering economy, but warned against changes to the country’s new fiscal rules.
“Many are proposing only using budgetary measures to speed up economic growth, and changing the fiscal rules for this purpose,” Putin said at a government meeting to discuss Russia’s economic woes.
Russia’s recently adopted fiscal rules link the country’s spending plans to long-term average oil prices, rather than projected oil prices.
“But it is obvious that budgetary measures are not enough to solve this task. Even if we change the fiscal rules, we’ll be confronted with certain risks,” Putin said.
Russia’s Economic Development Ministry cut its 2013 national GDP growth forecast from 3.6 percent to 2.4 percent earlier this month, amid stagnating exports and faltering investment.
Putin said the 2.4 percent figure was below global economic growth. “We have not experienced this for a long time,” he said.
Projects to develop infrastructure, especially in the transport and energy sectors, are among Russia's priority measures to boost economic growth, the president said.
“Its [infrastructure] absence is a serious obstacle and an inhibitor of economic growth,” Putin said, adding Russia frequently lacked ”long money” for infrastructure development. He called on the government to work out a mechanism for using the National Wealth Fund's resources for that purpose.
The fund is a sovereign wealth fund controlled by the Finance Ministry.