12 march, 2009 14:30  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting: 

Vladimir Putin: We have discussed in detail the economic and social situation in the region. If you would like to focus on some specific issues, let's talk about them.

Aman Tuleyev: Mr Putin, first, I'd like to thank you for visiting the region in this difficult time. You will remember that when you held a meeting of the State Council in Mezhdurechensk in 2002, industry was also in disarray. But we have worked hard and reformed the coal industry. It has become profitable and private. You have seen the miners' attitude. Nobody feels desperate, even though they are fully aware of the situation. Regions with the iron-and-steel industry and coal mining are in bad shape.

However, if we rationally use 300 billion roubles mentioned by Mr Kudrin today, I'd like to ask you to consider giving us support for a certain period, taking into account the region's particularities, and the fact that we are cooperating with 85 countries. It may be a loan, or anything else. We have already discussed the rest.

Vladimir Putin: We have already spoken about this, but I'd like to say this once again. We have added another 300 billion roubles to the new version of the federal budget: 150 billion will be spend on direct subsidies to the regions, and the other 150 billion will be issued as loans on favourable terms.

It goes without saying that Kemerovo and many other regions will use these resources. This is what we earmarked them for.

At the same time, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that we are already giving the required support to the region's big companies. It is enough to recall the company that we have visited today. We have issued $1.8 billion through Vnesheconombank to refinance its debt to Western creditors. We are also supporting other companies, maybe not on such a large scale, but we are supporting them. We have compiled a list of the region's strategic companies that are covered by our support, such as, for instance, state guarantees. We will use all these measures not only to keep the situation under control but also to engineer economic recovery and restore global and domestic demand.

However, the most important thing is to support people with social guarantees. I know that you are working hard to this end all the time. In fact, you are handling yourself the financial flows. I consider this right.

You should pay special attention to housing programmes, particularly, to resettling people from dilapidated housing. We have talked about this as well. Much has been already done and this process should not be allowed to stop.

It is important to help people pay off loans. All in all, 19,000 loans have been taken out in the region, including 4,500 in Novokuznetsk. Major companies have elaborated a whole package of measures to support employees who have taken loans and are losing part of their wages now. The people are being helped to repay them. We are working on this system at federal level. In fact, it has already started working through the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending (AHML). We will intensify our efforts in this area. A total of 10 billion roubles have been allocated to the agency for this purpose. If need be, we will give it more money by the middle of the year.

As for your region, there have not been many requests for help in refinancing loans, and paying the principal. There were about 500 requests, out of which several dozens have been processed. But we assume that there may be many more requests, and the agency has elaborated a system to help people pay off loans, and will bring it into action.

I won't describe it in detail at this point. Those who are interested may address your regional fund and the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, or directly the head office. We'll extend this practice. I am hoping very much that you won't forget about this topic at regional level.

Aman Tuleyev: We won't, Mr Putin.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.