Visits within Russia

30 march, 2009 18:28

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has held a meeting with Vladimir Artyakov, governor of the Samara Region

Verbatim record of the meeting: 

Vladimir Putin: We have many other problems apart from VAZ.

Vladimir Artyakov: We can solve them. Mr Prime Minister, let me express our gratitude for the solutions approved at the meeting today. The approved allocation of 25 billion roubles for assistance is not peanuts; it is a huge sum not only to AvtoVAZ but also to the region as a whole, because we have over 300 related companies working for VAZ, which employ some 200,000 people. The people can now look at the situation calmly; the allocations ensure jobs, tax deductions, and so on.

We will monitor the situation to ensure that the money reaches the real sector, allowing the mechanism to work without malfunctioning.

Vladimir Putin: We are confident that the money will be channelled not simply into the real economy sector; the 25 billion roubles will go directly to AvtoVAZ, that's for sure. We only need to ensure that everything is done quickly. All the decisions have in effect been taken, and we will do it without delay.

Vladimir Artyakov: Of course, the social pressure which AvtoVAZ used to feel in the past... The decisions that have been taken are already working, and AvtoVAZ is feeling their effect.

Vladimir Putin: The quality of services provided by the companies that have been transferred from AvtoVAZ to the regional government or the Togliatti authorities must not be allowed to decline. It must not slump. As you know, we have had a meeting with the workers today, and their questions showed that quality must not be allowed to decline because the resources allocated by the government are not smaller than the money the plant had spent on these enterprises.

Vladimir Artyakov: Yes, there are such concerns, but we are monitoring the situation and will primarily ensure that the quality of services provided by these assets does not deteriorate, that it is maintained at the old level, is not improved. We will use our own resources to ensure this.

Vladimir Putin: Please, monitor this process, so as to preclude "shrinkage" during the transfer.

Vladimir Artyakov: The situation is stable in the Samara Region, with anti-crisis programmes taking effect and complementing federal programmes. We are applying the programmes in the region accordingly, and spreading them throughout it. As for public concern, there is some. But the measures we are now implementing give the people hope that the situation has stabilised. We are doing our best to improve the employment situation.

There are 38,000 unemployed registered in the region, and over 1,500 people are taking part in social work. This shows that all anti-crisis programmes are taking effect.

We are now working on employment programmes for young people, primarily graduates of higher, general and vocational schools. We have anti-crisis programmes for them and hope to prevent a crisis in this sphere. Our young people will be offered employment. Some will continue education, others will serve in the Armed Forces, and still others will be offered jobs at regional enterprises.

Speaking about the situation in Togliatti, the layoffs planned at Togliatti-Kauchuk, Togliatti-Azot and Kuibyshev-Azot have been suspended and the process has been reversed; these companies are now employing people.

We have taken a decision and agreed with these enterprises and their management that they will preserve the bulk of their employees despite difficulties. They have cut the working week, but this is being done to preserve the personnel so as to have the potential to increase production when the situation improves.

The situation in the petrochemical sector has become positive; there are positive results and some companies have resumed the implementation of their investment programmes. A relevant example is Togliatti-Kauchuk; it launched a new production line two months ago, which promises that the company will continue to develop effectively.

We would also like to thank the federal government for allocating 700 million roubles to the anti-crisis employment programme. We are investing our own funds in this project; the money has reached the region and is working. This is having a positive effect on the overall economic situation in the region.

As I have said before, the situation has stabilised; the regional government is monitoring it and the employment market, social pressures and tensions, as well as the quality of life in the region, in the daily regime.

Vladimir Putin: I have looked at the changes to the budget you have proposed and see that all of them are aimed at improving the social environment. In fact, all expenditures [stipulated in the regional budget] are aimed at improving the social environment, the same as in the federal budget.

Vladimir Artyakov: Yes, we have decided that over 80% of our current budget, which we will approve after its review this week, is socially oriented. I am referring above all to social services, education and healthcare; we have confirmed nearly all expenditures aimed at ensuring social guarantees.

Vladimir Putin: This is good.