In his annual address to Russia’s parliament, Vladimir Putin said that Russian economic growth should be increased three to four times in near future.
MOSCOW, December 4 (Sputnik) – During his address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russian economic growth should be increased three to four times in near future.
According to the Russian constitution, the president addresses parliament every year with a speech focusing on the country’s current situation and on the main aspects of domestic and foreign policy. Leaders of the Constitutional, Supreme and Arbitration courts, regional governors, heads of traditional religions and other prominent public figures take part in the event along with deputies and senators.
The first address was made by Boris Yeltsin on February 24, 1994. This year, this tradition celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Putin Tasks Central Bank With Crackdown on Ruble Speculation
The government and the Central Bank of Russia must make a “harsh and coordinated effort” against speculators trading on fluctuations of the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
“I request the Bank of Russia and the government to make a harsh and coordinated effort intended to discourage the so-called speculators from trading on fluctuations of the Russian currency exchange rate,” Putin said during his annual address to the Federal Assembly.
On November 18, head of Russia’s Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina said that controlling the foreign currency market is impossible in the current economic conditions.
On December 2, Russia’s Economic Development Ministry stated that it had revised the economic forecast for 2014 and 2015. According to this new forecast, the average annual ruble exchange rate for 2015 has been revised upward to 49 rubles from 37.7 rubles per US dollar. The yearly average dollar rate for 2015 was expected to be 37.7 rubles per dollar against 35.67 in 2014.
A new forecast for Russia’s economy will be presented by Russian Central Bank board of directors on December 11.
In recent months, Russia’s economy has been showing signs of a minor slowdown due to geopolitical tensions over the situation in Ukraine and the continuing decline in oil prices. The Russian currency’s exchange rates are hugely influenced not only by external factors, but also by speculation, that someone is buying currency in order to sell it at a higher rate in the future.
Russia Must Learn to Combine Holding Down Inflation and Stimulating Growth
Russia needs to learn how to combine two goals of holding down inflation and stimulating economic growth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
“We need to preserve a sustainable macroeconomic situation and have an inflation of 4 percent in the middle term, but, I repeat, not through suppressing business activity. We must finally learn how to combine two targets – holding down inflation and stimulating growth,” the president said during his annual state-of-the-nation address.
He said that Russia’s savings should become a source for investing in development.
“Our savings should work for the national economy and be directed at development, not at assisting capital outflow,” he said.
On December 4, Russian Central Bank announced that its board of directors will present a new forecast for Russia’s economy during a meeting on December 11. According to Russia’s Central Bank’s latest forecast, inflation in Russia was expected to peak in the first quarter of 2015 and could reach approximately 10 percent.
In recent months, Russia’s economy has been showing signs of a minor slowdown due to geopolitical tensions and the continuing decline in oil prices.
Putin Urges Government to Ease Business Controls in 2015, Give Tax Exemptions
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the government on Thursday to limit business controls in 2015 and give incentive tax exemptions to companies, including two-year tax benefits to new businesses.
“The government needs to make all of the necessary decisions in 2015 to switching to such a system… to a system of limitations,” Putin said during his annual state of the nation address to the parliament.
The president proposed that all business checks be made transparent and public, and small businesses starting from scratch get a two-year tax exemption.
“We need to put into practice the previously made decisions to ease the tax burden, first of all for those who are just beginning their work. As was agreed, small businesses that register for first time will have a two-year tax exemption,” he said.
Vladimir Putin also called for a four-year freeze on current tax rates and a “full amnesty” for capital returning to Russia in a move to repatriate billions worth of assets stored in offshore tax havens. He stressed however it would be a one-off offer. Putin’s aide Dmitry Peskov noted that Russian businesses that might be caught sheltering taxes past a certain date could face punishment.
The address comes as the Russian economy begins to feel the impact of the Western sanctions that were imposed on Moscow in the wake of Crimea’s secession and the start of a crisis in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s Economic Development industry warned of recession in 2015 amid calls on the nation to brace for hard times ahead.