Working Day

27 april, 2009 17:30

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a Government meeting

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a Government meeting
"Our main task is to prevent massive growth of unemployment in industrially advanced regions and local economy mainstays. We must preserve qualified personnel, and give people an opportunity to train for a new profession or find a temporary source of income."
Vladimir Putin
A Government meeting

Vladimir Putin's introductory remarks:

Good afternoon,

As you know, yesterday I signed an executive order on setting up a special Government commission to prevent an epidemic of swine flu in Russia. An outbreak of this infection caused by a highly pathogenic virus was registered in Mexico and a number of American states. Russian sanitary services have already taken measures towards this end. They have imposed a ban on the imports of pork and certain other meat products from Central America and a number of American states, established quarantine, and taken other urgent measures. I'd like you to closely follow the situation and report on the need to take additional measures, if it arises.

Now let's discuss the main items of the agenda. Let's start with the situation on the labour market, and analyse the effectiveness of measures we have proposed to promote employment on a national scale and in individual regions of the country.

I think it's too early for any final conclusions but an analysis of the dynamics of the unemployment growth shows that the situation is improving, albeit very slowly. In January and February, the weekly growth stood at nine percent. In March andApril, the growth went down considerably and stabilised at 1.6% per week. However, for the time being, this is still a growth. True, in some regions, unemployment has even declined in some regions - Belgorod, Kaluga, Voronezh, and Transbaikal.

There is a steady trend towards slower growth rates of the number of employees slated for redundancy - weekly growth has gone down from 14.8% to 5.5%.

Let me repeat that our main task is to prevent massive growth of unemployment in industrially advanced regions and local economy mainstays. We must preserve qualified personnel, and give people an opportunity to train for a new profession or find a temporary source of income.

The Government has already taken a number of additional measures aimed at supporting the labour market and promoting the social adaptation of people who have been laid off or have to work part-time working week.

All in all, 76.9 billion roubles from the federal budget will be spent on combating unemployment; almost 43 billion roubles have already been transferred to regions.

I'd like to dwell in more detail on regional employment programmes. As of today, all of the 82 regional programmes have been agreed on and endorsed.

These programmes will be funded from the federal budget by 93%. All in all, 43.7 billion roubles have been reserved for this purpose, and will be transferred to the regions as subsidies. A total of 9.2 billion roubles have already been wired to 75 regions.

More than a million temporary jobs will be created as a result of this measure; about 220,000 people will be retrained, and 50,000 people will undergo practical training. About 16,000 people, who will relocate from their place of residence to acquire jobs in other regions, will receive targeted financial help.

Material aid will be given to 52,000 businessmen, who, apart from employing themselves, will create 150,000 new jobs under their contractual commitments. I'm talking about small businesses.

In addition to that, and despite the crisis, we should determine those promising professions that will be required in the new, post-crisis economy, and conduct professional training and re-training of employees in advance, orienting ourselves to the areas of expertise that will be in demand in the future.

We should also tackle such a serious problem as enhancing labour mobility of employees. Among other things, we should use the potential of the projects which we have launched in the fuel-and-energy sphere, the agro-industrial complex, telecommunications, and the infrastructure. It is estimated that these projects may create more than 130,000 ready-made jobs.

As I've already mentioned, in our efforts we should combine post-crisis measures with addressing strategic tasks outlined in the Main Directions of the Government's Activities, and the Concept of Long-Term National Development.

We will implement these programme documents based on the project principle, which has proved its effectiveness. About 60 projects will be launched along the main directions. Preparation of project maps should be finished in May.

Today, we'll analyse the first pilot project, which is linked with the modernisation of our pension system. I consider it symbolic that we are starting with the pension system project. Active social development policy and unconditional implementation of commitments to our citizens is a key priority of the Government's work.

As you know, in my report to the Duma on April 6, I set forth in detail the ideology and basic parameters of the pension system's development. Allow me to add that all decisions planned for the current year will be carried out. By the end of this year, pensions will increase by more than nine percent in real terms. As was stated, average social pensions will reach the subsistence level of our pensioners.

In 2010, the average retirement pension will reach 7,946 roubles, and the social pension, 4,917 roubles.

Now we are considering two bills, which form the foundation of the new insurance model of the pension system. Needless to say, implementation of these laws will place an additional burden on the federal budget and on business, but we have decided that we should do this despite the crisis.

As we planned, starting January 1, 2010, pension rights acquired before 2002 will be additionally adjusted by 10% plus one percent for every year of the Soviet track record.

We are also giving an official seal to the provision that the minimal level of pensions with the account of other measures of social support cannot be below the subsistence level in the region where citizens live.

I would like to remind you that we have met the business community halfway and postponed the introduction of new, higher insurance premiums for one year. They will be enforced starting January 1, 2011; the arising deficit will be covered by the federal budget.

In 2010, tariffs of insurance fees will be preserved at the current rates of the consolidated social tax, but will be applied on a flat scale, that is, 20% to the pension fund, 2.9% to the social insurance fund, and 3.1% to the medical insurance fund. I think this is fair.  

If the annual income exceeds 415,000 roubles, insurance premiums will not be levied. Moreover, in 2010 we will preserve reduced tariffs of insurance fees for some categories of payers. For some of them, tariffs will be increased step by step.

In general, our pension project is aimed at bringing the average retirement pension to 2.5 times the subsistence levels for pensioners to make our pension system fairer and absolutely stable.

Let's get down to work.


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