BAM was left without national prosperity

Russian Railways will pay for the roads to the east.
Russian Railways, which did not receive timely money from the National Welfare Fund (NWF), in 2017 will pay for the modernization of BAM and Transsib from its own funds. Changes in the project passport are already in the government apparatus. The reason for this was the rules for investing the funds of the NWF, indicated in the government resolution: they make it impossible to allocate the fund's money to a number of large investment projects, including BAM. The decision can be revised by the spring of 2018.

Vice Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev sent a report to Vladimir Putin on November 29 on the financing of the modernization of the BAM and Transsib (a copy of the letter is from Kommersant), drawing attention to the difficulties in transferring to the project funds of the NWF - only 150 billion rubles, of which 50 billion rubles. already mastered. The total cost of the project is 562 billion rubles.

"Kommersant" already wrote about problems with financing projects from the NWF after the adoption in August of government resolution number 1008, correcting the procedure for providing money and checking their intended use (see "Kommersant" on November 15). Under the new rules, the funds must be spent five days after the receipt. OAO RZD also faced other problems, in particular, because of the need for an obligation to buy back preferred shares (in exchange for them, money is given to the NWF). The law prohibits anyone, other than the Federal Property Management Agency, from owning shares in Russian Railways.

According to Yuri Trutnev, for the continuous implementation of the BAM and Transsib project, changes have been made to his passport that allow him to temporarily allocate his own funds to RZD, with their subsequent reimbursement at the expense of the National Welfare Fund, and also specify the financing schedule. The general director of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov also earlier asked the vice-premier Arkady Dvorkovich to give the company the opportunity to pay for the work on BAM from its own funds. Russian Railways told Kommersant that they are "in close contact with the government and are meeting understanding" without specifying the amount of debt to contractors. The source of Kommersant, who is familiar with the situation, says that "there is nothing that can affect the course of work."

One of the interlocutors of Kommersant asserts that it will not be possible to change resolution No. 1008 this year exactly, but a certain compromise version of it is expected by March. Another source of Kommersant says that the changes in the passport are already in the government apparatus and are "as close as possible to adoption." As for the changes to the decree, according to him, last week the report of the Ministry of Economy came out, which, in accordance with the instructions of Arkady Dvorkovich, plans to amend the resolution. "I think this is a matter of one to three months," he supposes. The Ministry of Economics did not respond to Kommersant.

Changes in the project suggest a return to the previous funding schedule from the SWF - tranches of 50 billion rubles. in 2018 and 2019 years. In August, Vladimir Putin agreed to shift the terms of funding so that the funds of the NWF come in 2017 and 2018. According to the letter of Yuri Trutnev, in 2019 the budget should finance BAM and Transsib by 80.8 billion rubles. (the draft investment program of JSC Russian Railways envisaged the receipt from the budget in 2018 of 25.8 billion rubles, in 2019 - 62.7 billion rubles). In 2018, revenues from the budget for the Baikal-Amur Mainline are not provided for, JSC Russian Railways repeatedly warned: there is a deficit of state financing - 88.5 billion rubles. Of these, Deputy Minister of Transport Alan Lushnikov said in an interview with Kommersant, 8 billion rubles. managed to cover from additional sources found by Russian Railways.

As Deputy Director General of IPEM Vladimir Savchuk says, Russian Railways should pay for the work already done, and the nuance is that the project should in any case be completed. If bottlenecks remain at BAM and Transsib, he explains, the planned volume of traffic will not be achieved, which will entail a shortage of revenue and a shortage of financing for the investment program, including the long-term program for the development of Russian Railways until 2025. On the one hand, says Mr. Savchuk, JSC Russian Railways as a holder of high investrejtinga has the opportunity to receive funds at an acceptable interest, on the other hand, the company can not attract excessively large volumes, as this will affect the covenants and lead to a rise in the cost of borrowed funds. It is unlikely that the company will be able to cover the entire lack of state financing of the project from borrowed funds, the expert sums up.