Assets of the National Economy of the USSR

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Assets of the National Economy of the USSR


the aggregate of material and monetary resources that are created, distributed, and used in planned fashion in extended socialist reproduction to ensure stable and high rates of economic development. The assets constitute the bulk of the country’s national wealth. They include fixed capital stock, circulating capital, reserve funds, and insurance funds.

Fixed capital stock comprises productive and nonproductive capital. Productive capital is the means of production (industrial structures, transmission systems, machinery, tools, and transport equipment). Productive capital is used for extended periods, its value being gradually transferred during use to the goods produced. The value of the USSR’s productive capital as of early 1976 exceeded 800 billion rubles, with by far the largest part at the disposal of state, kolkhoz, and cooperative enterprises and organizations.

Approximately 50 percent of the productive capital is concentrated in the national economy’s principal sector—industry. High growth rates for productive capital are typical of the USSR economy. The growth of productive capital increased by a factor of 1.5 during the ninth five-year plan (1971–75) alone, with new capital accounting for 43 percent of the total value of productive capital. The rapid growth of productive capital, together with the technical improvement of capital, has created conditions for the growth of output, the increase of product quality, the intensification of production, and the acceleration of scientific and technological progress.

Nonproductive capital is the capital constituting the material basis for such nonproductive areas as science, education, housing, municipal services, and public health. The value of this capital as of early 1976 was approximately 450 billion rubles, with nearly 60 percent of this representing housing. The growth of nonproductive capital makes possible further improvements in the standard of living of the Soviet people; it allows an expansion of sociocultural services and an improvement in housing conditions. The extended reproduction of fixed capital stock is realized through capital construction carried out in accordance with national economic plans; these expenditures are financed by the accumulation fund from national income and by the amortization fund.

Circulating assets comprise the monetary resources advanced as productive circulating capital and circulating funds of enterprises (associations). Circulating capital comprises the objects of labor utilized during the course of the production cycle, transferring all their value to the finished product. Circulating capital takes the form of raw materials, basic and auxiliary semimanufactures, fuel, other objects of labor, work in process, and expenses incurred in advance. Circulating funds include finished products in the warehouse, goods that have been shipped, accounts receivable, and monetary resources (in cash or on deposit). As of early 1976, total circulating capital in the various sectors of the national economy was 314 billion rubles, including 234 billion rubles in inventories. The minimum amount of supplies in an enterprise’s (association’s) own working capital, the amount necessary to ensure uninterrupted operation of the enterprise (association), is determined on the basis of norms, with consideration given to the production program for a given year. Any increase in the norm resulting from modifications in the production plan is usually covered by monetary accumulations, increases being provided for in the financial plan.

Reserve funds of the national economy comprise the material and financial resources that are temporarily excluded from circulation and that are intended to satisfy needs not foreseen in the annual and long-range national economic plans. Centralized state reserves include inventories that are formed in accordance with material balances ratified by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the State Planning Committee, and the State Supply Committee. The role of reserve funds grows in proportion to the scale of socialist production and the complexity of intersectorial and foreign economic relations. The funds guarantee the stable and dynamic development of the economy, permitting flexibility in the use of material and financial resources.

Insurance funds constitute a special type of material and monetary resources; they are designed to cover damages caused by natural disasters and certain other accidental occurrences. State insurance is one of the principal sources for the formation of centralized financial insurance funds. State reserves are also used for insurance purposes.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.