Agenda: Russian Railways draft financial plan and investment programme for 2021-2023, federal bills and budget allocations
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, colleagues,
Before we start discussing the agenda, I would like to say a few words about the most important issues. Yesterday, the President addressed a session of the State Council and the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects and announced a decision to double special payments for medical personnel treating coronavirus patients during the New Year holidays.
The Government has drafted the relevant resolution. All doctors and medical nurses eligible for special increased social payments will receive them already in January.
These people now assume tremendous responsibility, as they treat coronavirus patients virtually 24/7.
The vaccination campaign will continue during the New Year holidays. This, too, is an additional burden for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. It is important that we support them. I ask the Ministry of Healthcare, the Social Insurance Fund and regional leaders to do everything in their power and to make sure that these people are paid on time and the presidential instruction is fulfilled.
Yesterday, we also discussed the implementation of the instruction to provide payments for families with children under eight. The payments have already been received by families raising in total over 13 million children. I would like to note that it is possible to apply for the presidential payments until 1 April. We must continue monitoring the situation with the provision of state support, so that all applications are examined on time and the parents and trustees get the required payments without excessive red tape. Please make sure that the people know what they need to do to receive the presidential payments for children.
In addition, we discussed the draft integrated plan to achieve the national development goals at the State Council’s meeting. On the whole, the President supported our proposals with clear guidelines for the next ten years. The document linked national goals, projects and state programmes. It contains a detailed breakdown of national goals for all aspects and regions. It is important that we specify all key indicators regarding the 2020 results as early as in the first quarter, so that people would know what specific results to expect from the implementation of the national development goals, and so that they would feel real improvements in the most diverse spheres.
I would like to ask my deputies to coordinate this work within their remit.
And now, let’s get down to the agenda. The Government continues to stabilise prices for socially important goods, including bread and baked goods, under the president’s instruction. Today, we will allocate five billion roubles for companies producing flour, bread and baked goods, so as to reimburse them for part of their grain purchase and end-product sales expenses.
We hope that these measures will make it possible to support producers and to keep acceptable prices on bread and other products that our people buy almost daily.
We will also review a bill on providing free access to socially important national online services. We have listed about 400 such services during an experiment. This includes 40 government services websites, about 90 websites and services for distance learning, and ten websites for ordering medications.
The list of websites, which will be accessible free of charge, will also include popular social media networks, websites for children and parents, information and virtual-reality pages, as well as internet versions of leading media outlets. Any person, regardless of his or her income, will be able to access government services and socially important services for free.
The agenda also includes amendments to legislation regulating subsoil use. The Government suggests changing the procedure for bidding on the right to use land plots rich in mineral deposits. From now on, the bidding will be held in the form of online auctions only. There are a number of measures set out to prevent someone from thwarting them. We hope that the draft changes will make a procedure for bidding on subsoil use more open.
Today, we will discuss a large package of issues concerning the transport system.
First of all, this involves support for regional road expansion projects. The Government is to allocate over 170 billion roubles’ worth of federal budget funding for these purposes in the next three years. The money will be used to repair, overhaul and build regional, inter-municipal and local roads.
This will allow the regions to create modern, high-quality road infrastructure and to introduce intelligent transport systems for automating traffic control processes in major cities.
And one more issue. We will review a draft financial plan and investment programme for Russian Railways until 2024. High-priority large-scale corporate projects call for expanding railway service in the Far East (the so-called Eastern Operating Domain comprising the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway), creating convenient transport corridors for accessing ports on the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, as well as building a modern high-speed railway system under a project to develop the Central Transport Hub. This also includes an entire range of other innovative projects, some of which were recently unveiled at the transport forum’s exhibition.
The company’s three-year investment programme exceeds two trillion roubles, including over 730 billion roubles to be invested in railway expansion projects as soon as next year.
At the same time, we need to pay special attention to expanding commuter train service. People should be able to quickly and comfortably reach any destination using inexpensive public transport.
Another important aspect is efforts to renew the railway infrastructure and rolling stock. This includes purchasing new electric trains and locomotives, creating digital marshalling yards, installing automated and remote control systems, and introducing resource-saving technologies.
Russian Railways is a leading national company that provides employment in the transport sector and many affiliated areas. The successful implementation of the corporate investment programme is an essential pre-condition for developing regions and accomplishing tasks under the Comprehensive Plan for the Modernisation and Expansion of Trunk Infrastructure.