Agenda: children’s summer holidays; developing a tourist cashback programme for school and university students; expanding support for AI-powered projects; improving government services for the self-employed and SMEs.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, colleagues.
The summer season and children’s summer holidays are coming up. It is a time when kids can improve their health, recuperate and relax. Of course, it is important to keep children busy with enjoyable activities and show them the beautiful places in our huge country. The President spoke about this recently at a meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Russia – Land of Opportunity autonomous non-profit organisation. It is high time we made all the necessary decisions to arrange safe holidays for children this year and ensure that as many kids as possible can enjoy time in summer camps.
Despite the coronavirus restrictions, some 20 percent of the summer camps were open last summer and, according to sanitary regulations, they operated at 50 percent capacity. However, more than 1.3 million children had a chance to visit a summer camp and, thanks to sanitary measures, there were no COVID-19 outbreaks among children and staff.
The COVID-19 situation is settling down. The Government instructed the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare to prepare proposals on changing the requirements for the health promotion campaign in order to increase the capacity of summer camps by 25 percent. The document has been drafted and is currently subject to public review. (Addressing Tatyana Golikova) Ms Golikova, please take personal responsibility for this matter. Children must be able to go on holiday this summer.
It is essential that our sea resorts can accommodate children from other regions because last year they could only go to summer camps in their local areas. Camping sites were closed. This year, we plan to reopen them. But every region will decide on whether the camping sites should open based on the epidemiological situation. This year, regional officials must obtain all the necessary instructions regarding children’s holidays from medical doctors.
At the last meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Russia – Land of Opportunity organisation, the president instructed the government to work on the expansion of the tourist cashback programme so that it would be available for school and university students all year round. This programme has produced good results. This year we have allocated two billion roubles to continue it. And, of course, it is important to support students so that they can cut their costs on travelling around the country.
Mr Chernyshenko (addressing Dmitry Chernyshenko), please work on the issue in detail so that schoolchildren and students can take advantage of the opportunities provided by the programme this summer.
In line with the President’s instructions, the Government will continue to support the Russian IT industry. I mean projects using AI technologies. The President also focused on this during the Supervisory Board’s meeting.
Now startups and small IT companies will be able to receive state subsidies to develop artificial intelligence technologies. Rules were approved to provide such grants. Almost 1.5 billion roubles have been allocated for this in this year’s budget.
This state support is designed for developers of online services as well as prospective and commercially profitable IT solutions using AI technologies. Also, grants can be provided for the creation of open libraries: special free resources where programmes based on AI will be made available so that every engineer can use them to create their new product.
We will continue to create favourable conditions to expand the areas where AI technologies can be used, with over five billion roubles of funds from the budget allocated for this over the next three years.
Another issue, the Government is improving state support tools to achieve the national development goals set by the President.
At the end of last year, the rate on preferential loans for the self-employed, as well as for small and medium-sized businesses, was reduced.
We will fast-track the provision of such loans to those who pay tax on professional income, that is, to the self-employed, so that by the end of the year they have the opportunity to apply for a preferential loan through the public services website. This money can be spent on investment, refinancing and replenishment of working capital.
Small businesses will be able to simply apply for preferential leasing support there, too, which will make it possible for them to expand or upgrade their production at no extra cost.
Moreover, we will significantly expand the list of state services available on the website, including providing a bank statement needed to receive insurance payments in the event of the bankruptcy of a financial institution.
All these changes will significantly simplify and fast-track access to state services.