MOSCOW, March 9 – RIA Novosti. Constant monitoring of prices for basic goods and services will provide the government of the Russian Federation with additional information to assess the risks of their growth, but more important is how the Cabinet will dispose of these data and what measures will be taken if necessary, experts interviewed by RIA Novosti say.
On Tuesday, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Russian Federation announced the introduction of constant monitoring of prices for basic goods and services, assigning to ministries and departments the groups of goods and services for which they are appointed responsible. If the analysis of the situation shows a significant acceleration in the increase in value or the risks of a rise in price, the relevant departments will prepare proposals on possible response measures, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers said.
“It seems to me that it is always useful to have an alternative source of data regarding the prices of socially significant products,” said Alexei Devyatov, chief economist at Uralsib Bank.
He noted that since Russia is quite closely integrated into the global economy, the rise in world prices is reflected in what is happening inside the country. “In the event of sharp fluctuations, it always makes sense to protect domestic consumers in order to maintain a relatively healthy social and economic environment,” he added.
The chief economist of the Expert RA rating agency Anton Tabakh suggested that the monitoring of the Cabinet of Ministers would be prompt and could be based, for example, on data from retail chains. “Monitoring, of course, will not harm anything, because it is useful to know what is happening. Moreover, operational data is always better than (data) with a certain lag. As I understand it, government monitoring – it will be operational, according to retail chains. This is more modern, it is less scientific, the basket is less weighted, it is more concentrated, that is, a narrower range of goods, but at the same time, as they say, it is more focused, “Tabakh told RIA Novosti.
At the same time, he stressed that constant monitoring of prices is nothing more than a tool, and only time will tell how the government will be able to use it. “Knowing about something doesn’t help solve the problem by itself,” he is sure.
Devyatov also agrees with him, pointing out that the key question remains how the Cabinet of Ministers will restrain prices. “In my opinion, it is important to use standard economic instruments here, such as duties and quotas. Artificially restraining prices – in the absence or low duties – can lead to a deficit,” said the chief economist of Uralsib Bank.