The agenda includes: a coronavirus epidemic update, payments to medical and social workers, enhancing the accessibility of mortgages, expanding the special tax regime for the self-employed, reopening tourism, culture and sports businesses. The meeting was held via videoconference.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good morning, colleagues.
We are providing all-round support to our medical personnel who continue fighting the coronavirus infection, as well as to those who are working with individuals who need constant support. In accordance with the President’s instructions, additional payments have also been stipulated for the staff of social organisations who were working at nursing homes and similar establishments. This is a difficult and very important job. A Government resolution has been signed to extend stimulation payments for social workers for two months, until 15 September 2020. In addition to this, similar payments will also be made for the personnel of municipal social establishments; as of now, only the personnel at federal institutions have the right to such payments. Social workers will continue to receive these payments even if they themselves are infected with the novel coronavirus or other diseases.
As for the situation with the coronavirus across the country, the number of new cases is declining. Over the past 24 hours, we have recorded 6,700 new cases. The number is decreasing despite an increased number of COVID-19 and antibody tests. We will continue to increase the number of tests. This helps identify new cases quickly, helping the patients and preventing them from infecting those around them. Instructions have been signed to allocate nearly 3.5 billion roubles from the Government’s Reserve Fund to Rospotrebnadzor for the production of COVID-19 test kits for use at federal and municipal establishments. Next, we are working in accordance with the President’s instruction to enhance the accessibility of mortgage loans. According to the Bank of Russia, last May the average interest rate on such loans was reduced to 7.4 percent. However, it can be lowered still more, thanks, in part, to the launch of a reduced 6.5 percent loan interest mortgage programme. Acting under the President’s instruction, the Government has promptly prepared amendments to the rules for the issuance of such loans. The relevant resolution has already been signed. The largest mortgage loans for residents of Moscow, St Petersburg and the Moscow and Leningrad regions has been increased from 8 million to 12 million roubles, as well as from 3 million to 6 million roubles for residents in other regions. This is a significant amendment that will help a large number of people buy flats in new residential blocks and so improve their housing conditions. Owning a house or a flat is a vital objective for all people and families.
Starting 1 July, we will expand the special tax regime for the self-employed to all regions. And the minimum age for those who can register as self-employed will be lowered from 18 to 16 years.
This is a large-scale programme that is important both for the economy and those who have their own businesses. By registering in a simple mobile app procedure, the self-employed will receive the legal status and the ability to work without keeping financial records and without making obligatory visits to tax agencies. The best part is that they will gain access to the support we provide to legitimate businesses.
The form of operation we have offered the self-employed is part of a comprehensive system of contactless tax administration we have created in Russia. It is very convenient for people and businesses.
As of today, there are over 750,000 self-employed people working in 23 regions. Over a half of them have never declared their income before and were not officially registered as employed. Now over 2,000 people register as self-employed every day.
A startup tax capital of 10,000 roubles is stipulated for the support of the self-employed in the initial period. In addition and acting under the President’s instruction to help such people amid the coronavirus, we have approved an additional tax capital worth one subsistence wage. It will be allocated automatically and can be used to pay future taxers.
In accordance with the plans for the gradual lifting of the coronavirus restrictions prepared by the Government, life is returning to normal in an increasing number of regions. People are thinking about ways to spend the remaining summer months.
Starting 1 July, over 70 regions will open up to tourists. Overall, the demand for tourism services is growing. But the average occupancy so far varies between 20 and 30 percent across Russia. To accelerate the rehabilitation of the tourism sector, we have added it to the list of the affected industries and have approved additional measures to support tourism in the national action plan.
One more piece of evidence that life is returning to normal is the revival of culture and the opening of landmark museums, including museum estates such as the Moscow Kremlin, the State History Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The federal museums located in the regions are preparing to open their doors to the public as well.