Agenda: reviewing the outcome of implementing, in 2019, the State Programme for Expanding Agriculture and Regulating the Agricultural Product, Raw Material and Food Markets, draft federal laws and budgetary allocations.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I would like to start today’s Government meeting with discussing the initiatives put forward by the President in his address on Tuesday. These are the most important areas of focus ranging from supporting people to helping the economy to grow. It is about aiding families with children, extending payments to medical and social workers who are battling the coronavirus infection, and expanding the preferential mortgage loan system. Today, we will make the decisions that are necessary to fulfill these presidential instructions.
Priority measures include paying 10,000 roubles for each child under the age of 16. We will release over 270 billion roubles from the Government reserve fund to this end.
Also, the Government will allocate additional funds to pay bonuses to doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers who are in direct contact with patients with the coronavirus. Over 20 billion roubles have been allocated to this end in June. A resolution will also be signed to extend such payments through July and August.
The President paid special attention to the labour market and instructed the Government, in conjunction with the regional authorities and the Bank of Russia, to come up with the corresponding measures to restore it to the pre-crisis level by 2021.
A large bloc of initiatives focuses on developing the economy, which will introduce changes to the regulatory system and tax environment and thus improve the business climate.
Permanent measures to support the IT industry are an important presidential initiative. The past months have shown clearly the importance of this field and how much promise it holds for steady growth of modern economy. It is proposed, in particular, to drastically reduce the insurance premium rate down to 7.6 percent and income tax to 3 percent from the current 20 percent. This will be one of the world’s lowest tax rates and this move seeks to achieve two key goals.
First, the tax burden of the domestic companies doing business in Russia should not exceed the tax burden of foreign companies that are making profit from the sources located in our country. Second, doing business on international markets should make more economic sense if done from Russia than any other country, to which domestic entrepreneurs may emigrate, physically or infrastructurally.
Colleagues, we have much to accomplish. We must work through the regulatory framework for implementing new presidential initiatives as soon as possible. I want all Government members to take this with utmost responsibility and to prepare everything that is necessary as soon as possible. I would like Deputy Prime Minister Grigorenko to monitor this job.
Also, the President pointed out the need to specify the national projects’ variables, deadlines and priorities, add the national action plan measures to them and put in the necessary financial resources. Mr Belousov, please make sure all the necessary changes to the national projects are made accordingly.
Today’s agenda includes additional support measures for small- and medium-sized enterprises and socially oriented NGOs that work with large numbers of clients. We are talking about companies from fields such as physical fitness and sports, hospitality, catering and other industries. As per Rospotrebnadzor’s requirements, they must comply with the epidemiological safety measures in order to look after the health of their clients and employees, and use personal protection and disinfection equipment during business hours, including face masks and gloves. Clearly, replenishing these reserves comes at a price. So, the Government will make 20 billion roubles in the form of a dedicated subsidy available to these organisations. These funds will support about 500,000 enterprises with a total number of over 1.5 million employees. Getting a subsidy is a no-brainer. All an entrepreneur needs do is go to his/her member area on the taxation service’s official website and contact a tax service official.
Today we will be discussing three draft laws aimed at supporting the system of territorial public self-governments. They comprise active and concerned people who are dealing with local things to do with their districts, streets and courtyards. Nobody knows better than the people themselves what really should be done to improve their neighbourhoods and who exactly needs care and attention. They are improving their environment, organising celebrations and other events and promoting social projects.
According to the Justice Ministry, there are some 32,000 such associations. Two thirds of them are operating in cities and the rest in rural areas. The system of territorial public self-governments appeared long ago, but they are not sufficiently developed as yet, including due to the fact they do not have any legal status.
Therefore, it has been proposed that territorial public self-governments should be assigned a legal status of non-profit corporate organisations and their activities should be equated with the operations of community-focused NGOs. That said, they will be entitled to government support, including financial, property and advisory support just as the other NGOs.
This will increase the status of territorial public self-governments, which will have broader access to resources. This means that people will be able to protect their rights more effectively and to take part in decision making at the local level.
The President has instructed the Government to work together with the State Duma to facilitate the adoption of a draft law on the prevention of above-ground oil spills and relief operations. The document has been adopted in the first reading, and today we will discuss the amendments prepared by the Government for the second reading in the State Duma. The amendments have been prepared very thoroughly and take into account the recommendations of the expert community and environmental organisations. Under the draft law, the companies that produce, transport and store oil and petrochemicals are to adopt plans for cleaning up potential oil and petrochemical spills, hold relevant exercises and establish special reserve funds for financing cleanup operations.
Our main goal is to prevent a repetition of the recent disaster which took place in Norilsk. With this aim in view, we are developing a legal framework that will enable us to promptly and fully clean up the consequences of such accidents. I hope that this draft law will be approved with support from our MPs already during the current session.
Today we will be also discussing agriculture. A national report has been prepared on the implementation of the State Programme of Agricultural Development in 2019. Overall, the agricultural sector has reported very good results. Last year, we had an excellent grain harvest, over 121 million tonnes or 7 percent larger than the year before. The purchase of agricultural equipment increased by over 30 percent year on year, over 500,000 hectares of land have been made available to farmers after amelioration, over 5,000 new small and medium-sized farming businesses have been established, and the share of food produce and agricultural raw materials in Russia’s exports increased to 6 percent in 2019.
These are only some of the achievements reported in agriculture. I would like to point out that the growth potential in all agricultural spheres is far from exhausted. At the same time, when we set large-scale tasks to our farmers, we should keep in mind the need to create comfortable living conditions for them, so that those who are working hard to make these achievements possible live in conditions comparable to an urban environment. Therefore, an important part of our work will be the development of rural areas, the construction and repair of roads, schools and rural health stations, as well the necessary infrastructure. To date, more than 60 percent of homesteads in rural areas have now been connected to a gas supply system, and access to running water has increased to nearly 68 percent. We will continue working in this sphere.