The agenda includes: an integrated strategy for industrial development up to 2024 and for the period to 2035, remote registration with unemployment services, unemployment benefits, support for doctors and medical staff, disability registration, measures to prevent forest fires.
Excerpts from Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, dear colleagues.
Before moving on to the agenda, I would like to say a few words about the most important thing today – the measures we are taking to support people and the economy in this difficult situation, to protect our citizens and prevent the explosive spread of the coronavirus infection.
Yesterday, the President held a videoconference with the regions and gave the Government a number of direct instructions on additional assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, families with children and the unemployed. In the very near future, by the end of this week, we will develop all the necessary solutions.
One of the President’s instructions concerns online registration with unemployment services. Now it can be done via the Work in Russia website. I have signed the corresponding Government resolution to introduce temporary rules for the unemployed that will remain in force until the end of this year. As before, employment centres will be engaged in the registration of the unemployed, paying unemployment benefits, searching for new jobs and directing people to vocational training. But now all this will be done online. This will not only help people find jobs but also protect their health amid the spread of the coronavirus.
We are also preparing additional steps to support those who have lost their jobs. In particular, from April to June, unemployment benefits will be paid in the amount of the minimum wage, or over 12,000 roubles. This will apply to those who contacted the unemployment service after 1 March.
In accordance with the President’s instructions, special attention should be paid to those whose health is at greatest risk: doctors, paramedics, nurses, junior medical staff and ambulance drivers. Their salaries will rise, and they will have the same insurance guarantees as military personnel. I am sure this presidential initiative will be serious support for medical staff.
Now the main thing for all of us is to be prepared for any scenario. We should work ahead of the curve and proactively prepare additional support measures.
In the shortest possible time, the Government will draw up a schedule for transferring the bed fund of federal clinics to the regions. Earlier, we allocated them the necessary funding for the deployment of additional beds and the purchase of ambulances, ventilators and other equipment.
The governors must handle these funds most promptly and reasonably and they must have a clear picture of what is happening in their regions. The steps they take must be sufficient in terms of controlling the epidemiologic situation but they should not go too far and impede business activities. The Finance Ministry, following the President’s instruction, will provide the heads of the regions with considerably greater freedom so that they can manoeuvre spending the budget funds to cover the needs of the population and businesses.
Apparently, from region to region the situation differs in terms of the scale of the epidemic, the structure of the economy, the level of incomes and employment. It is crucial to offer a custom-tailored ‘anti-crisis therapy’ for each region.
The Government, for its part, will continue pursuing measures to support the economy and the healthcare system. Under the President’s instruction, we will work out a programme of additional aid for businesses so that companies will not have to dismiss their employees and would retain their wages. We will expand the repayment delay for mortgages and consumer loans so that more people could use it, we will refine the mechanism for automatic extensions of expired identification documents, including passports and driver’s licences, for at least three months, just as the President instructed us to do.
And of course, we should prioritise help to the most vulnerable citizens – the elderly and people with disabilities. I have signed a Government directive that simplifies the process of granting disability status. Until 1 October, the disability status will be granted only remotely. There will be no need to go to assessment commissions. Disability categories will also be extended to those who already have them. The rules will apply both to adults and children.
Another issue is the prevention of wildfires. The regions were given over 6 billion roubles back in December to ensure fire safety. As part of the Environment national project, over 3 billion roubles are earmarked for purchasing wildfire fighting equipment in 2020. According to the latest reports, 697 wildfires have occurred since the beginning of the year. The emergency situation was declared in two municipalities in the Krasnodar and the Trans-Baikal territories, and the wildfire watch regime in another 27 constituent entities.
Heads of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation must zero in on fire safety in their regions, prepare equipment, personnel, and conduct preventive measures. In case there are any violations in the region, they must be eliminated as soon as possible.
We will keep a special focus on this issue at the federal level.
Colleagues, I would like to inform you that today, a series of Government members’ meetings with party factions at the State Duma has ended. The meetings were held in a new and broader format with deputy prime ministers and respective ministers. I would like to express particular gratitude to Mr Volodin and all the heads of the party factions for the open and constructive talk. The meetings were really useful with regard to the MPs’ proposals on the steps to be taken to counter the spread of the coronavirus and to support people, the economy and the social sphere to the fullest extent. The initiatives from the State Duma colleagues should be given thorough consideration and used when drafting Government decisions. I would like to ask Chief of the Government Staff, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko to sum up the proposals given by the factions and MPs and submit them to the respective deputy prime ministers and ministers.
I am confident that our constructive and efficient interaction with the State Duma will be maintained.
Now let’s go over to the agenda.
I will start with the draft law the President spoke about yesterday. We are making amendments to the legislation in order to support the people who have lost their jobs.
We will change the procedure for calculating the average per capita income in the draft law and the draft Government resolution that are on our agenda today. Now we will not consider the incomes of the people who have become jobless. This will make it easier to render assistance and make it more targeted.
Importantly, the amendments to the law have been introduced simultaneously with the Government draft resolution. This means they will enter in force very soon.
In addition, we will discuss today a new integrated strategy for the processing industry up to 2035. It is aimed at building an industrial centre with a high potential in our economy that will be competitive in the world market. In this way we will facilitate the resolution of the tasks set by the President in his May Executive Order.
It is vitally important for up to half of the current companies to actively introduce different innovations. It is also essential to use digital technology to the utmost. Labour productivity at medium-size and large non-resource based companies must grow by at least 5 percent per year. This is our goal. Of course, there are many issues in the current situation but we must think about the future. We must considerably expand our exports, in particular, by selling machines and equipment.
The draft determines key tasks for every industry. Thus, for the car-making industry it is the formation of a big market of spare parts. For medicine this is a four-fold increase in the production of medical goods. The manufacture of socially important products must also become a sustainable and structurally balanced industry.
We hope that despite the current sanctions and temporary difficulties linked with the coronavirus pandemic this strategy will help us to substantially build up production in the processing industry, almost by 93 percent overall, and by 180 percent in high technology sectors. This will be good for our positions in the global economy, and, of course, for the formation of new sources of income for people and businesses.