Russian Finance Ministry proposes decreasing funding for state media

The Russian News Agency, TASS, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise, Rossiya Segodnya, RT (Russia Today) and the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) may lose part of their subsidies. The Russian Ministry of Finance called these changes preliminary estimates. The government plans to reduce the cost of public media over several years.

The Russian Ministry of Finance has proposed to reduce funding for public media in the budget for 2017 - 2019, as reported by Vedomosti on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. These recommendations are contained in the methodological guidelines of the Ministry. The draft budget has not yet been formed. These are preliminary numbers, a source from the Ministry of Finance informed.

Rospechat (Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation) proposed to reduce subsidies to the two largest state news agencies – TASS and Russia Today. The budget would be reduced "to the extent of unjustified and duplicative costs of the agencies," the document reads. The exact amount of the reduction is not mentioned. In 2016 RT received 6.75 billion rubles from the state; TASS received 1.81 billion rubles, according to Vedomosti.

The Russian Ministry of Finance also proposed to reduce subsidies to channels that broadcast analogue television in cities with populations less than 100,000 people. The Finance Ministry proposes to allocate subsidies to the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), RT, the Ostankino Technical Center and Public Television of Russia (OTP), “only to the extent that it will not exceed the cost of socially significant software products." The budget of the VGTRK in 2016 amounted to 24.99 billion rubles; RT - 19 billion rubles, Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS) - 7.8 billion rubles, Public Television of Russia – 1.43 billion rubles, and the Ostankino Technical Center - 1 billion rubles.

For print media outlets, the budget reduction may concern Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The government will reduce the cost of media over several years, according to Vedomosti.

  Russia, Economy