The Development of the Soviet Budgetary System

The Development of the Soviet Budgetary System

The Development of the Soviet Budgetary System

The Development of the Soviet Budgetary System

Excerpt

This essay attempts to trace the development of the Soviet budgetary system before the second world war through three main periods-- War Communism (1918-20), the Mixed Economy of the New Economic Policy (1921-9), and the Planned Economy (1930-41). In the light of wartime and post-war experience, a final chapter ventures some suggestions on how far the pre-war budgetary system was a purely historical phenomenon resulting from the special conditions of Soviet industrialisation, and how far it is likely to be permanently appropriate to directly planned economies in the U.S.S.R. and elsewhere.

In dealing with so large a theme over so long a period I have necessarily had to concentrate my attention on those aspects of the Soviet budgetary system which appear to be most important for a general assessment of its main characteristics, and which most distinguish it from the systems of other countries. The technical problems of the organisation and administration of the assessment, collection and disbursement of budgetary funds are therefore treated in summary fashion, although reference is made to sources in which these matters may be pursued further. Similarly the annual budget figures and data on their fulfilment are not analysed in detail, but are adduced only to illustrate the main features of the evolution of the system. Particular attention is given to the part played by general economic policy and development in shaping the main features of the budgetary system in each period; but in this treatment the economic policy of the Soviet government is taken as given--no attempt is made at a critique of this policy or at a fresh analysis of the development of the economy; my aim is rather to see how far budgetary policy was appropriate to the general policy of the government. Thus the scope of the argument is restricted.

The present book is a revised version of a Ph.D. thesis presented at the University of Birmingham in 1954, with a final chapter added. I should like to express my gratitude to the Treasury Committee in Foreign Languages and Cultures, which awarded the scholarship that enabled me to pursue studies in this field, and to the Research Board of the Faculty of Commerce and Social Science Board of the Faculty of Commerce and Social Science . . .

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