On progress in implementing an additional package of anti-crisis measures to support people and the economy during the spread of the coronavirus infection.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good morning, colleagues. The measures of the second anti-crisis package in support of our citizens and the economy during the spread of the coronavirus infection have already started to work. To this end, the Government prepared the necessary legal framework. These measures will help solve the tasks that the President talked about at the meeting with members of the Government on 15 April.
We have implemented a personal income tax exemption for medical workers who are helping combat the novel infection. This measure will bring doctors an additional 80,000 roubles per month, medium-grade medical personnel and emergency physicians 50,000 roubles and paramedical personnel and ambulance drivers 25,000 roubles. I ask heads of the Russian regions to continue the regional extra payments to medical workers as well.
The programme of interest-free lending by the banks, including for medium-sized and major enterprises in the affected sectors, has been expanded. VEB.RF will provide a considerable share of guarantees for such loans in order to expedite their issuance.
The Government resolution has been signed setting the rules for granting non-repayable aid to business people in the affected sectors for the payment of wages and salaries and the solution of other urgent issues. May I remind you: the funds will be provided to the companies on the basis of one minimum monthly wage per employee. The recipients of such support must retain jobs so far as is possible: to a level of at least 90 percent. We should remove all barriers preventing this kind of aid for bona fide entrepreneurs. In view of this, the Government has decided that companies, which due to a variety of circumstances often have minor tax or insurance payment debts, will be able to qualify for subsidies, provided that the debt involved does not exceed 3,000 roubles.
The labour market is under permanent Government control. Those, who have regrettably lost their jobs from 1 March onwards, will get increased unemployment benefits and additional money for underage children: 3,000 roubles per month.
The benefit can be claimed remotely: employment agencies are now operating on an online basis. People can also get assistance in finding a job and make an appointment to undergo retraining. The Work in Russia portal is in place for this purpose. Among other things it helps us monitor the situation in the labour market. This is why I am asking the Ministry of Labour to work with the regions more actively to have the portal supplied with the latest data. There needs to be an increase in the number of enterprises using the portal. This is necessary to achieve better forecasting and take relevant decisions.
At the President’s instruction we have provided support for backbone enterprises employing large numbers of people. Such companies will receive loans for their working capital and for maintaining their employment levels at a rate not exceeding five percent. Each company will receive up to three billion roubles.
Currently, such companies number more than 1,100. Every week, the government commission led by Andrei Belousov considers the ministries’ proposals, on the basis of open and clear selection criteria, and decides on including enterprises in the lists of backbone enterprises, by sector. It is important that the lists are open and are published on the websites of the relevant ministries. Now we are considering the possibility of entering some healthcare and cultural institutions in such lists. Please, expedite this work.
We are also continuing to expand the list of sectors most affected by the coronavirus situation. Businesses in such sectors are receiving priority targetted assistance.
Practice has shown that financial aid should be supplemented by additional solutions, including regarding the removal of barriers.
We will facilitate the licencing procedure by expanding the areas to which the “automatic licencing” applies. I mean temporary connection of facilities to heat-supply systems, issuance of taxi driver licences and the classification of hotels. We will also extend the deadline for the payment of administrative fines for small- and medium-sized enterprises from 60 to 180 days. I am asking the Ministry of Economic Development and other specialised agencies to submit to the Government a joint draft law, taking into account this and other requirements, by 7 pm today. We should consider it in the interval between the May holidays in order to submit it to the State Duma for when it resumes its work.
As the situation changes for the better, we will have to look at a phased lifting of restrictions on the operation of certain organisations and individual entrepreneurs. I have instructed the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare and the Ministry of Health to prepare such proposals by the end of this week. The Government is currently already working on the third package of measures which is intended to restore normal economic activity. I am asking the Ministry of Economic Development to analyse all the proposals, put them together and submit them to the Government on 30 April.
On the President’s initiative the Government adopted a resolution to allocate six billion roubles in subsidies to limit the rate of mortgage loans for the purchase of new housing to not more than 6.5 percent a year. The measure will be in effect until 1 November and help those who contemplated improving their living conditions in the coming months and will support the construction industry at this difficult time.
I want to remind you that the Far Eastern Mortgage Loan programme has been in place since last December, offering a 20-year mortgage for the purchase of a home at an interest rate of 2 percent. Over 7,000 young families have already taken advantage of such loans. With a view to supporting people during the coronavirus infection a number of banks are working on an even greater reduction in interest under this programme. One of them, DOM.RF has lowered the rate to 1.6 percent per annum. To receive a loan on such terms, young families and participants in the Far Eastern Hectare programme will only have to confirm their income by providing a statement from the Pension Fund. We expect an increase both in the number of applications and the issue of loans.
Let’s get down to the discussion of today’s issues.