"To the village, to the wilderness!" Will the new relocants raise the Russian village

"To the village, to the wilderness!" Will the new relocants raise the Russian village
"To the village, to the wilderness!" Will the new relocants raise the Russian village
11 November, 16:42Photo: 1MI
In 2020, covid came and the townspeople fled to the countryside. Until now, 1.5 times more people leave the capital than come. Almost every third Muscovite goes (not to the dacha, but with a change of residence permit) to the village. Is there any hope that these people will raise the village?

Victoria Pavlova

Everyone wanted to live in the countryside

The autumn of 2022, with partial mobilization, further fueled interest in country life - away from the military registration and enlistment offices. At the end of September, the demand for suburban real estate increased by 15-20%. By According to Irina Radchenko, Vice-President of the International Academy of Mortgage and Real Estate, this demand is formed largely due to the purchase of village houses.

- Realtors are already noting an increased demand for an urgent purchase of huts far from civilization. Those who can leave prefer to emigrate, but those who have no money and are not ready to give up everything move inside the country. At 100–200 km from Moscow, prices for such huts have not yet risen.

Photo:Новые Известия

President of the Free Economic Society of Russia Sergey Bodrunov notes that the trend of resettlement from cities will not be limited to the threat of quarantine or the front.

- This trend is global for countries that reach a certain level of industrial and post-industrial development. And I think long term. Cities are growing, and their planning for this is not thought out in advance. All this drives out of the city those who do not work in it on a permanent job - pensioners, for example. Secondly, people increasingly prefer to work outside the city because of pollution, the noise of megacities ... There is an outflow not only from Moscow, but from other large cities.

People want to live in their own home in the open air instead of sniffing exhaust fumes from city traffic jams and listening to neighbors drilling walls: in 2022, the share of private houses among all newly built housing will reach an 11-year high.

Photo:Новые Известия

The state is against the well-fed life of the people in the countryside

In theory, the government should listen to the wishes of the population. But only in theory. Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin recently presented the Development Strategy for the construction industry and housing and communal services until 2030. Urban planning policy should be linked to the Spatial Development Strategy. But! By 2030, it is required to improve the quality of the urban environment by one and a half times. Nothing is said about the rural environment. And the Spatial Development Strategy, despite its name, does not imply the development of the entire space of the country, but only the largest urban agglomerations, which should become the driver of the economy. Head of the research association of the Russian University of Economics. Plekhanov Sergey Valentey believes that such a policy will not lead to anything good.

- I am categorically against this strategy. Here we will have several dozen agglomerations in the Russian Federation, and around, what, a desert? If you invest state funds in the development of agglomerations, then you will not have enough funds to invest in other settlements. The frivolous argument of the supporters of this position is that the whole world is spontaneously moving towards the creation of agglomerations. Yes, it is, and at the same time, everyone who deals with the problem of resettlement has a headache that this process is wrong, it must be slowed down in every possible way, by any means. If we absolutize the idea of agglomeration, this means that we will have several capitals like Moscow, in the center of the regions - Orel, Bryansk, and in the rest of the regions there will be no one at all. Why is such a policy necessary? Reference to such objective processes that are taking place in the world is an indicator of illiteracy in the field of economic geography.

If the state really wants the villages not to be empty, it does not encourage people to escape to the flourishing metropolises. Residents of Alaska, for example, are entitled to regular payments from oil revenues, and income and sales taxes are zero. Italy is trying particularly hard to keep people from over-urbanizing. And she succeeds - only 68.4% of citizens live in cities. In the Molise region, each new resident is paid 700 euros per month for 3 years, the administrations of local towns and villages receive 10 thousand euros a month for infrastructure development. In Calabria, immigrants are ready to pay 800-1000 euros per month for several years. The authorities are ready to do anything, if only people would open their own business and support life in the regions.

Since 2002, federal target programs have been operating in Russia. They replace each other, transform, rise in price ... Now there is the FTP "Integrated Development of Rural Territories" for 2020-2025, which was developed and implemented not by the Ministry of Construction, but by the Ministry of Agriculture of Dmitry Patrushev . The FTP is supervised by Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko. Pleasure is not cheap: the original plan involved an investment of almost 2.3 trillion rubles over 5 years. Actual expenses will be higher - in August, Mikhail Mishustin added another 367 million rubles.

There are a lot of projects in this FTP : they will build roads, lay gas pipelines and water pipelines, provide people with Internet access and paramedical stations within a radius of up to 6 km, solve the employment problem, and provide people with new housing. Only now, only 2.58 thousand km of hard-surfaced roads should appear throughout the country in 5 years, which will be laid only to “publicly significant objects” and various industries. Leaving the house will still have to knead the dirt. Even fewer local water pipelines will be built - 1.65 thousand km, although only 68% of rural residents were provided with drinking water by 2020. During this time, only 20 projects of complex arrangement of sites for compact housing development are being implemented. On a national scale, this is a drop in the ocean.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the rural mortgage at a reduced rate of up to 3% (according to the Banki.ru portal, the average rate is 2.94%). There are several points that put an end to this venture. Firstly, a preferential mortgage for the construction of a private house can only be taken if the applicant enters into a contract with a licensed construction company (unfortunately, no quality guarantee is attached). In the Kaliningrad region, they complain that in this case the cost of construction increases by 30-40%. Secondly, the applicant has an obligation to register in a new house within 6 months after registration of ownership, otherwise the mortgage ceases to be preferential. All this is of no interest to those who do not want to lose their Moscow residence permit, which gives them access to medical care, social security, and high pensions.

But such an FTP, as experts believe, is an excellent field for corruption. Funds for the improvement of rural areas are distributed on a competitive basis. This scheme was criticized by the honored worker of science economist Vasily Uzun.

- The selection of winners will be carried out by the commission of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. Such a mechanism carries risks of corruption and unfair distribution. Thus, officials will hardly be able to process and adequately evaluate the many initiatives of citizens and organizations. In addition, the project provides, ceteris paribus, to give preference to settlements where there are jobs and a higher share of co-financing from extrabudgetary sources. This means that settlements with a high level of unemployment, low incomes of the population, low budget security will lose competitions, and, accordingly, their degradation will accelerate.

But in June 2022, the government updated the main goals of the FTP. The share of the total area of well-appointed residential premises was reduced from 50% to 48%, and the average monthly disposable resources (cash income, food from the garden, benefits, loans) in the countryside will only rise to 72.8% instead of the previously planned 80%. Living in the countryside will be poorer and in worse conditions.

The real rescuers of the village

With this situation, you can only count on fugitives from covid and military commissars. According to Associate Professor of the Institute of Demography. A. Vishnevsky National Research University Higher School of Economics Nikita Mkrtchyan, you should not bet on "relocators".

- Those people who work remotely can live in village houses for some time. But this does not mean that some IT specialist or sales manager will start working in agriculture - he will continue to work where he worked in a large city, the maximum that he will do is buy food at a local store, he even taxes there will not pay. I would not bet on relocants as those who will raise agriculture.

Tatyana Nefyodova , Doctor of Geography of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, adds that the geography of distribution of such “relocants” is very scarce. Russia cannot be populated with them.

- Much depends on the distance and arrangement of the territory. The Moscow region is the most popular, where dacha deurbanization with the preservation of a city apartment was characteristic of the entire 20th century and was growing, and COVID only accelerated this process. Hence the construction boom in the Moscow region and in the municipalities adjacent to it. At more distant dachas (and the dachas of Muscovites extend up to 500 km from Moscow), the conditions for deurbanization are insufficient. Only a few enthusiasts are ready to winter without normal roads, gas, water supply, etc.

Urban youth in their mass will not plow the land and graze a herd of cows. New settlers will simply live in their boxes, sitting at computer screens. Agricultural lands will continue to overgrow with weeds, and tractors will continue to rust. All the development that the territory can receive from such residents is the opening of VkusVill with the delivery of ready-made borscht and syrniki.

Today, the main influx of people for permanent residence and working at agricultural enterprises is provided by migrants! Since the beginning of the 90s, there has been an active replacement of Russians in rural areas by residents of neighboring states. The locals began to leave the villages en masse in 1994, when it became clear that one garden could not survive. During this time, 2.72 million people moved to the cities. But in their place came 2.2 million migrants from other countries. While the villages of Italy, the USA, Canada, and New Zealand are attracting young entrepreneurs from the cities, the countryside in Russia is gradually turning into a colony of the Central Asian countries.

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