4 april, 2012 20:57  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds working meeting with Samara Region Governor Vladimir Artyakov


The issues discussed included the results of socioeconomic development in the region in the first quarter of the year: salaries and teacher’s salaries, in particular, and healthcare modernisation. The governor reported that there had been a rise in industrial production in the region, primarily in the engineering sector and agriculture. One focus of discussion was on investment in the construction sector.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Artyakov, how has the year begun? How did the first quarter go?

Vladimir Artyakov: Mr Putin, we have recorded positive growth in industrial production in the Samara Region, which is really good news after the crisis three years ago. In particular, I would like to stress there has been significant progress in engineering and agriculture. As you know, the region suffered from drought for two years in a row, in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, we lost around 30% of the harvest due to the drought and in 2010 50%. We are currently recording strong growth in agriculture – particularly in grain production and, obviously, cattle production. Especially if we consider the experiment that is in progress and on which the Ministry of Agriculture based its work on increasing the number of pedigree livestock – most notably, dairy cattle – on private farms.

Additionally, it should be noted that the average actual income per person has gone up in the Samara Region, especially for public workers. Salaries are rising sharply. Sixteen percent is quite an increase.

Vladimir Putin: What is the average salary?

Vladimir Artyakov: The average salary in the industrial sector is 18,600 roubles. According to your instructions, we did our best to bring teacher’s salaries up to this level by September 1, 2011. The decision was made last year and we are working to carry it out. Of course, this initiative was more than welcomed by the teaching community. For some teaching posts, the average monthly salary for a 30-hour week is 21,000 roubles in rural areas. This is a very good incentive and should encourage more people into the profession.

Vladimir Putin: Are you talking about all schools in the area?

Vladimir Artyakov: Every single school. Moreover, we also included children’s homes in this project, which used to be neglected.

Vladimir Putin: How is healthcare modernisation progressing?

Vladimir Artyakov: Mr Putin, we allocated over 10 billion roubles for these purposes in 2011-2012. About half of these funds come from the regional budget and the other half is from the federal budget. We managed the money quite successfully in 2011 and we have no reason to criticise the Healthcare Ministry, especially when it comes to equipment procurement. We are progressing well and hope to keep up the pace in 2012.

Vladimir Putin: How many facilities are included in the programme?

Vladimir Artyakov: About 300.

Vladimir Putin: That’s pretty good.

Vladimir Artyakov: Moreover, we are purchasing more…

Vladimir Putin: Are rural facilities included?

Vladimir Artyakov: By all means, yes. Not to mention feldsher-midwife stations and similar facilities.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Artyakov, why has there been such a sharp drop in construction sector investment compared to 2011? It was 145% and now it is 113%.

Vladimir Artyakov: You are absolutely right. The point is during the 2009 crisis the sector experienced significant losses and we expected the recovery to be somewhat stronger. But in fact, it is quite slow.

Vladimir Putin: No, listen. The reason behind the sharp drop in 2009 is clear. The surge in 2010 is clear. But why another decline in 2011?

Vladimir Artyakov: You mean the drop in capital investment?

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Vladimir Artyakov: These figures do not mean investment into construction. We added together the figures for many industries because we want to compare, say, 2010 and 2009 figures, to see if, for example, the maximum investments went to…

Vladimir Putin: So you’re saying these figures are not only about construction sector investments?

Vladimir Artyakov: Yes, these are investments into capital assets. Mr Putin, about the construction sector, I would like to note that…

Vladimir Putin: I’m asking because the figures are presented together here.

Vladimir Artyakov: Yes, together. The reference to the construction sector says that in 2011, construction volumes made up 128% in the Samara Region, which indicates an annual growth of 10%.

Vladimir Putin: Good. But why such a fall in investment?

Vladimir Artyakov: It was an investment forecast based on industry monitoring. The decrease was of course dramatic and totally different from the original figures. Therefore, the funds invested according to the original figures and when the downturn came were significant. If we compare it to the period of the upturn, investment flow is slower and seems to be decreasing. This is not a sign of the economy stagnating but a sign of a larger surge in the past. It does not mean that production is not growing. This year we plan to increase industrial production by up to 10%, which has been confirmed by the statistics.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.