Budget Subsidies + “Private Concession Initiative” = Stopper for Social Infrastructure Development

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33917/es-6.180.2021.30-39

The overwhelming majority of social infrastructure facilities remain in state ownership, requiring special formats for attracting private investment without possibility of disposition and loss of their destination. Mechanism of public-private partnership doesn’t leave any other option for such projects, and the “private concession initiative”, which has become widespread in recent years, is best suited for projects focused on commercial activities, although this limits its application to social facilities. Non-competitive basis of this format relies on the market offer of the investor, whose rationality does not imply social behavior and whose activity is obviously not intended for budgetary participation. Recently, there has been an increase in cases of government authorities taking commitments on budgetary co-financing of agreements concluded as a result of such initiatives, which is often fraught with systemic violations of budgetary legislation. Connivance of the control-supervisory and judicial authorities results in formation of skewed law enforcement practice, in 36.2% of projects investors receive

additional rental income from the budget, objectively not justified. This not only results in budget overpayments, but also devalues competitive formats that were previously quite successful — at present only 1/5 of social projects are concluded through a competitive process.


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Social Choice Dilemma in Concluding Concession Agreements

DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.33917/es-5.179.2021.16-27

Result of the government’s many years of efforts to liberalize the market of social services is a huge number of organizations that are privately owned — 45,9%, but which have minimal impact on the infrastructure development. The reason is that private business alienates long-term and capital-intensive projects, and the overwhelming part of the social infrastructure (for sports facilities it constitutes 95.2%) remains in the state and municipal ownership. The state mistakenly classifies concession projects as investment projects that are paid back only through fee-based exploitation. Thus, social policy is being deprived of a promising mechanism — transformation of concession agreements into the basis for socialization of private investments, infrastructure and services. The identified problems of social disorientation in specifying criteria for evaluating the proposals of participants in concession tenders form the basis for asocial conditions of concession agreements, which makes social services inaccessible to the general population. Commercialization of the activities of social facilities is admissible (although in a limited sense), but at the same time, services at state tariffs or free of charge should prevail. There is a need for systematic scientific and methodological work on cross-cutting incorporation of this approach into the current regulatory framework and guidelines in order to create a network of basic social infrastructure for all segments of the population.