Working Day

5 april, 2012 22:44

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Saratov Region Governor Valery Radayev

The new governor of the Saratov Region told Vladimir Putin about his view of the region’s development and its key priorities. For his part, the prime minister said: “Conditions must be ensured for attracting investment and creating new production and new jobs as the basis for improving living standards and increasing incomes.”

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: To begin with, I would like to congratulate you on your election as governor and wish you success.

Valery Radayev: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: You are not new to the region and so you are very familiar with all its problems. I hope that you will address the problems I have mentioned, which have been accumulating over years, jointly with the local legislature and your former colleagues, as well as in close cooperation with public organisations and trade unions. A governor has many objectives and many issues he must address. Of course, you will need to associate with people more often and more closely, so as to get to know their problems and aspirations and what they expect from their governor. I hope very much that you will work effectively.

Valery Radayev: Thank you. When the legislative assembly approved my appointment, the first thing I said in my address was that I hope for support from public organisations. I am ready to meet with any political party on issues that are of concern to the people and to small and medium-sized businesses, in order to discuss the current agenda and current problems, and to make informed decisions in order to prevent any new mistakes. I have analysed the situation and have ensured that everything is under control, but there are a number of issues I would like to discuss with to you.

Vladimir Putin: We will discuss them. What is your top priority now?

Valery Radayev: Mr Putin, I believe that the first thing we need to address is our debt…

Vladimir Putin: No, no, I mean from the viewpoint of regional development.

Valery Radayev: There are several strategic investment projects, primarily the construction of a new airport. This involves the following. We will be issued 15 billion roubles of public-private and budgetary funds, including from the regional budget. This will primarily allow us to employ our construction sector and in future to offer new services to the people. Our airport is located within the city limits and has a rather short landing strip, which is why it can service only one type of airplane. This is the reason why we cannot deliver cargo by air or develop logistics. So this project offers us a broad perspective.

Next, no industrial enterprises have been built in Saratov since 1990. We intend to discuss the construction of a plant to produce hydropower turbines with RusHydro. We require support regarding this issue, because there is competition. Nizhny Novgorod is asking for the plant to be built over there. The project would benefit us greatly, because we used to have an aircraft manufacturing plant, which we could use to build a neighbourhood and an industrial estate in Saratov. It could be a good start, good for me, to unite people and to show them that we have started with an economic project, with the industrial district of Saratov. These are the two priority projects I have in mind.

Our agrarian sector has 5 million hectares of land. Too few technological and industrial projects have been implemented in the region, although I think we have the necessary potential. We breed a sufficient quantity of animals, including cattle, but lack grain and meat processing facilities – we have to transport our output to neighbouring regions, in particular the Penza and Samara regions, which is unacceptable for a region which can both produce and process its output, ensuring food for its population and hence developing…

Vladimir Putin: Everything you have said is true – we need to create conditions for attracting investment, which is the main thing. New prestigious and highly-paid jobs must be created to increase the incomes of the regional population. What is the average wage in the region?

Valery Radayev: Sixteen thousand roubles.

Vladimir Putin: You see? You know what you need to work towards. The average wage in Russia was 24,000 roubles at the end of last year. Of course, the figure includes very high salaries and modest ones. In principle, what we see in the Saratov Region is an average pay, and you should know that there is room for improvement. So, once again – conditions must be ensured for attracting investment and creating new production and new jobs as the basis for improving living standards and increasing incomes.

There is one more vital element. When I spoke about attracting investment and creating the necessary conditions for this, I was referring to all economic sectors, including agriculture and industrial production. But there is a sector that is most vulnerable and important – housing construction, which you must also focus on.

Valery Radayev: Thank you.