'Not only are Russia's regions economically diverse, but the policies that regional governments have adopted to deal with the strains of economic transition also vary widely. Some regions have generally embraced market reforms, while others have sought to preserve enclaves of socialism, with price restrictions, large subsidies, and barriers to trade.' Reforms of Russia's budgetary system at the subnational level are vital to preserve macroeconomic stability, improve the efficiency and accountability of government, and enhance incentives for local and regional governments to vigorously support economic growth. Previous analytical and reform efforts have focused on possible changes at the federal level and in the system of center-region relations. An opportunity now exists to make progress by providing reform advice and conditional aid to policymakers at the regional and subregional level. This report focuses on opportunities for reform at the subnational level. It reviews recent trends in fiscal adjustment, budgeting, and government debt at the regional and local levels in Russia. It analyzes major problems and suggests a number of measures and performance indicators that could form part of a reform strategy initiated by the Government of Russia.
Publisher: World Bank Publications