The Ministry of Digital Development plans to significantly expand state support for preferential lending to companies for projects of their digital transformation. The ministry proposes to involve the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies, which will become the operator of the program, to scale up this mechanism. The Ministry of Finance notes a great demand for such loans at a subsidized rate, issued to businesses by authorized banks in the amount of up to 10 billion rubles. only at 1-5% per annum. It is assumed that by the end of 2024 the loan portfolio of this program will grow one and a half times – up to 150 billion rubles.
The Ministry of Digital Development has prepared a draft government decree on the approval of the rules for granting budget subsidies to the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT). This money will be allocated to the fund to support the selection of digital transformation projects for which Russian companies can receive bank loans at preferential rates – RFRIT is also appointed as the operator of this program.
Let us explain that this support measure was introduced by government decree No. 1598 back in 2019 and is intended for businesses ready to implement domestic software products, services and platform solutions based on end-to-end digital technologies. The lending program for companies and preferential factoring for developers allows you to take loans through authorized banks at a rate of 1 to 5% per annum – up to 5 billion rubles. for one project and up to 10 billion rubles. into “blocks” from several projects. Banks receive reimbursement of income that was not received due to low interest rates on loans in the form of subsidies from the Ministry of Finance. The program is designed until 2024 inclusive; both companies with state participation and private companies can become borrowers.
In an explanatory note to the project, the Ministry of Digital Science notes that, given the high demand for such loans and their high budgetary efficiency, the use of the mechanism should be scaled up. The tasks set: by the end of 2024, provide support to more than 250 projects, increase the current loan portfolio by one and a half times – up to 150 billion rubles. and include more than 50 banks in the program.
De facto, the department’s initiative is linked to the government’s plans for import substitution: we are talking about the introduction and development of domestic software. “Currently, 39 projects have been supported for a total amount of about 40 billion rubles. Borrowers include the T Plus electric power company, MTS, Russian Post, Russian Railways, and the Komos Group agro-industrial holding. 19 banks, including backbone banks, are currently participating in the program, ”the Ministry of Digital Industry told Kommersant.
The Russian Information Technology Development Fund, as the operator of the Ministry of Digital Science program, is tasked with popularizing this support mechanism and scaling it up. The Fund will provide organizational, methodological and consulting support for the selection of projects, including examination of documentation, methodological support, analysis of information on the implementation of projects (now most of these functions are performed by the Federal State Budgetary Institution CECI, subordinate to the Ministry of Finance). According to the head of RFRIT Alexander Pavlov, the definition of the fund by the program operator will allow concentrating on one site the entire line of financial instruments and expertise for the development of the IT industry. According to him, in the future, the instrument of concessional lending can be replicated for export loans for foreign consumers of Russian IT solutions.