Russia’s richest region cuts salaries by 20%
Shrinking oil revenues has its toll on the regional budget of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the oil-rich Arctic region located along the Pechora Sea coast. This year, the budget deficit will amount to 41 percent unless urgent measures are taken, the regional government informs.
«Time has come for difficult and painful decisions», Governor Igor Koshin says in a press release
The regional leader last week announced a 20 percent cut in public salaries. That comes on top of a 10 percent cut in 2015, as well as the dismissal of 115 people.
Following the lower oil price, the regional budget revenues in 2015 shrunk by a third, the Nenets AO administration says.
The new 20 percent salary cut will release about 200 million rubles, which will be spent on pensions.
«We have only two ways out of the situation», says Vadim Tyulpanov, the region’s representative in the Federation Council. «Federal transfers and cuts in our own spending».
Tyulpanov hopes Moscow will grant support. «The federal budget every year gets between 50-70 billion rubles of taxes from the region, now it is time that they reach out their hand for support», the senator underlines.
The major oil revenues and the sparse population has made the Nenets Autonomous Okrug the richest region in Russia. In 2014, the per capita GDP amounted to 4.2 million rubles, more than a million rubles higher than the second-richest - the neighboring Yamal-Nenets AO.
Only about 43,000 people live in the region, the lion’s share of them in the capital city of Naryan-Mar.