Agenda: The draft financial plan and investment programme of Russian Railways for 2022 and the 2023-2024 planning period, federal bills, and budget allocations.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks
Good afternoon, colleagues,
We will start the Government meeting by discussing an important matter, namely, support for low-income families raising children who are three to seven years old. They receive monthly cash payments.
This year, the Government improved this measure, as per the President’s instructions, so that families who really need assistance receive this money. The level of these payments now depends on the financial standing of specific families and may equal 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent of the regional subsistence minimum per child.
Today, we will provide the regions with an additional six billion plus roubles, which will supplement the nearly 305 billion roubles that has already been allocated for these purposes this year.
This support is very important because we are talking about little children growing up in families that are short of money.
And now, I would like to say a few words about expanding the social treasury’s potential. The Government is continuing with this work, so that people will be able to quickly and conveniently obtain additional public services, without excessive bureaucratic procedures and without visiting various agencies.
Today, we will review a bill aiming to simplify the procedure for awarding additional pensions to coal industry employees and members of civilian aviation crews.
At present, those wishing to get these bonuses should first obtain documents confirming their work record and wages and submit them to the Pension Fund.
Once the legislative amendments are passed, employers will start keeping databases on their employees and submitting them to the fund. This data will be used to automatically calculate pension bonuses for miners and aviation crews from 1 January 2023.
The agenda of today’s Government meeting also includes the draft financial plan and investment programme of Russian Railways for the next three years. As the President has noted, this is not just a company but virtually an entire sector that is of paramount importance to Russia and our economy. And, certainly, it has great significance for addressing tasks of developing the regions’ infrastructure and boosting their connectivity within the framework of the entire country.
The Government is ready to support unprecedented levels of investment in this sphere. Such investment will exceed one trillion roubles next year, and over three trillion roubles will be invested in just three years. It is the first time that this kind of funding has been allocated for these purposes.
But our tasks are ambitious. High-priority tasks include subsequent work under the Eastern Corridor project that includes the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Mainline. There are also plans to establish the Northern Latitudinal Railway in order to develop the Arctic transport infrastructure, to renew railways in the Central Transport Hub and in many other sectors.
We will focus on the quality of the rolling stock. Passengers should travel in comfort in modern carriages with all the amenities, including access to digital services. This concerns long-range routes and commuter trains.
It is also necessary to continue repairing and upgrading mainline capacities, to build bridges and other facilities and to introduce digital and resource-saving technologies.
Another item on our agenda aims to accomplish an important social task and to relocate the tenants of rundown and dilapidated housing. We often discuss this matter with residents during our trips to the regions. Some of the Russian Federation’s regions are already working actively, so that people will be able to improve their living conditions as soon as possible.
This year, we will spend over 100 billion roubles for these purposes.
The money will come from several sources, including the Government’s Reserve Fund. The bulk of the sum, or 79 billion roubles, will be remitted through priority financing schemes in the years to come.
We hope that these resources will make it possible to make considerable headway in implementing the federal project’s measures and to relocate tenants from rundown and dilapidated housing, with an area of about two million square metres.
Many people will be able to move into modern and comfortable flats and homes. This will favourably influence their living conditions and will also help achieve national development goals, set forth by the President.
We will also set aside additional funding worth over 1.2 billion roubles for addressing other significant regional tasks, including those under the President’s instructions.
This includes the reconstruction of an interchange spanning St Petersburg’s flood-prevention structures, the improvement of courtyard territories in the Pskov Region, the reconstruction of a biological purification system in Kursk and enhancing the seismic resistance of residential buildings in the Kamchatka Territory.
We will also review a bill that will help improve the work of priority development areas in single-company towns.
Now, one of the main conditions for obtaining the status of a priority development area resident is the number of employees that an enterprise has. The number should not exceed 20 percent of employees working for all organisations within the single-company town. Quite often, this serves as a serious restriction for those unfailingly honouring the provisions of a business implementation agreement and wishing to develop still further. As a rule, the share of employees tends to increase, due to expanded production or because economically active people are leaving for elsewhere. In each of these cases, the entity operating within a priority development area might be excluded from the register, lose its privileges and cease operations. This should not happen.
Legislative amendments will no longer oblige businesses in single-company towns to avoid increasing the number of people they employ. This will provide them with essential guarantees and will facilitate the sustainable implementation of investment projects. Investment will yield a more impressive economic impact, and priority development areas will attract potential investors.