"Today we're going to discuss the regional experience in energy conservation and energy efficiency as well as ways to encourage investments in the regions," said Analytical Center expert Grigory Mikryukov opening the Roundtable 'Extrabudgetary Funding Arrangements and Experience of Implementing Energy Efficiency Investment Projects in the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation'.
The First Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Science, Education and Culture of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Liliya Gumerova talked about a draft federal law on state coordination of investment activities. The draft federal law was developed on instructions from the Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko on the basis of the contest: Annual Public Award 'Regions – Sustainable Development'. "The experience of holding the contest allowed us to develop a number of promising mechanisms to ensure coordination between the existing executive authorities at different levels, entrepreneurs and banks when selecting investment projects and preparing them for implementation. As of today a system of cooperation and some very promising financing mechanisms for industry specific projects have been developed and are already being used in practice," the expert said.
There are a lot of projects out there but oftentimes they don't get developed because they run into problems at the regional level, Ms. Gumerova noted. For this reason, in November 2018, the Board of Trustees of the contest decided to step up its cooperation with executive authorities of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, where work meetings were organized. According to the expert, individual meetings that take into account the specific features of each territory proved the most effective. "Later on a draft federal law was developed that includes a nationwide regulation for the selection and support of investment projects that qualify for state support of investment activities," Ms. Gumerova concluded.
Tatiana Platonova, a representative of the Ministry of Economic Development talked about the Regulation developed by the Ministry of Economic Development for supporting investment projects that are being implemented or are to be implemented with state support. "We do have more than enough people and companies willing to invest in the regions but they don't know who to contact regarding the issue. This happens because we don't have proper coordination. Investors cannot agree terms with the regions and obtain the information they need," the expert said. "And if the investor doesn't have enough money their next problem is getting a loan from a bank. It's practically impossible to collect all the documents needed to get a discount interest rate." According to Ms. Platonova, a nationwide regulation has been created to solve these problems; it defines the rules for how public authorities, banks and businesses should interact with one another when implementing investment projects. "At the moment it's the most effective tool for bringing investments to the regions," the expert believes.
The discussion included a presentation on previously implemented energy efficient investment projects in the Tambov Region and draft concession agreements in the Ulyanovsk Region, as well as a review of the mechanisms for off-budget project financing.