State Planning Horizon Expands

30 october 2019

Results-based management, the transition to long-term planning, the development of related infrastructure and the gradual reduction of public funds are among the trends characterizing the attitude of the state on the development of trunk infrastructure. Vladislav Onishchenko, the Head of the Analytical Center, spoke about it at a plenary meeting of the International Transport and Logistics Forum PROdvizhenie.

According to Mr. Onishchenko, a year ago, the main goal was to formulate tasks until 2024, including filling out the Comprehensive Plan for Development of the Transport Infrastructure with projects, and few experts thought about what would happen after 2024, that large-scale infrastructure construction projects with their subsequent monetization would take many years. Even when the projects are expected to be implemented quickly, e.g. digitalization-related projects, their planning, development and implementation take years. According to the speaker, a good example of the results-based management trend is a long-term development program for Russian Railways. Such management allows coordinating the implementation and amendment of the program while achieving long-term goals.

The second trend is the transition to work both in the short and in the long term. Mr. Onishchenko said that the Analytical Center, as part of its work, should form proposals for the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Transport Infrastructure, which could be taken into account if additional funds appear until 2024, and up to 2030 and beyond.

According to the Head of the Analytical Center, the challenge is the development of related infrastructure, which requires a modern solution. The case is the integrated development of territories. Thus, transport corridors are being built, but achieving additional flows or reducing transportation time requires ensuring the development of both main projects and interconnected regional ones, in particular, the construction of local roads, access roads. Otherwise, at some point, their absence will become a limitation to increasing passenger and cargo flows and will not allow unlocking the transit potential.

The next significant trend is the withdrawal of the state from infrastructure investment. Within the framework of the Comprehensive Plan, for example, budget funds of all levels do not reach 50%, the rest are funds of corporations, including Russian Railways. In the future, the state will welcome and develop the practice of attracting private investment. Other financial schemes, e.g. leasing, will be applied.

Mr. Onishchenko emphasized that productivity growth is very important, without which it is impossible to reduce costs and provide modern services. Such growth implies the development of digital products and new skills of the staff, which will ultimately increase competitiveness. Therefore, investment in staff training should be recognized among main investments.