16 april, 2009 01:18  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Tver Region Governor Dmitry Zelenin


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: We will now talk about the social and economic situation as a whole. You attended the discussion with factory workers. One of the questions concerned pre-school institutions. In the 1990s, the city turned them over for other needs and now they are lost without hope of recovery. Their premises will no longer be used for their original purposes. In relation to nursery schools, what are you planning to do in the near future?

Dmitry Zelenin: The Tver Region has a programme of building nursery schools and providing new places in schools and other adapted premises. The programme will last until 2011. Within its scope, we are planning to build 11 nursery schools in different municipalities, including two in Tver. Construction is expected to start by the end of the year. Previously, the programme aimed at creating 10,000 new places in nursery schools or adapted premises, such as primary schools, for example. Last year, we created 1,800 places, and are increasingly expecting the programme's completion in 2011.

In Tver, there are two nursery schools and some other facilities completed among new construction projects. On account of the economic crisis, the programme is likely to be carried into 2012. Every measure is being taken for this socially significant programme to be completed by the deadline.

Vladimir Putin: In general, how are the city economy and its welfare services developing?

Dmitry Zelenin: On the whole, the outlook is serious owing to the crisis. There are large numbers of registered unemployed: 13,000 throughout the region. Considering that in the middle of last year we had 4,500, growth has been significant. Among new employees 25% are people who have never worked in the Tver Region but are registered residents here. These are new arrivals from Moscow and St. Petersburg. People are leaving those cities.

Vladimir Putin: Do you run a programme for keeping job openings?

Dmitry Zelenin: We do.

Vladimir Putin: How large is it - 350 million?

Dmitry Zelenin: Yes, 350 million covering four sub-programmes: temporary work and public works, retraining and advanced training, small businesses and assistance to those who have found jobs elsewhere. Altogether, we have already concluded 74 contracts under the first heading - public works, and 3,600 people are employed in them. The plan is for the involvement of 6,000 people in total. Here it can be said that this means 53,000 man-months of public works.

We are also giving concrete help to enterprises. For example, we subsidise the interest rate in production upgrading. True, we have limited the sum to five million roubles. Our budget does not allow us to exceed this limit. It concerns small businesses. We subsidise the connection of power networks and water mains by up to 50%, but not over 500,000 roubles. That comes exactly under the small business heading.

To small enterprises we also give mini-loans, loans without collateral, and increased loans if collateral is provided. On the whole, everything is aimed at resolving crisis issues. The worst crisis-hit enterprises are engineering plants and, above all, the Tver Excavator Plant, which is now standing idle. This means 3,000 jobs, half of which are, unfortunately, vacated, and the other half is awaiting the management's decision. We are examining each problem case by case.

We are also active in resettling residents from dilapidated and unsafe housing, in capital construction, and extending mortgages. We have drafted an agreement with Sberbank on sufficiently good terms for borrowers: 14,5% per annum with a collateral fund reduced to 20% (the current size is 30%); the bank's commission has been reduced to 1% of the loaned sum (previously it was 3% and even 4% with certain banks) and we have fixed building costs - we are negotiating with our largest developer, SU-155 company, to charge building costs for residents as determined by the Ministry of Regional Development plus 10%. This is housing of better quality than bought through welfare. These are measures of supporting people to purchase housing. In the previous years, we did well on mortgages, issuing 1,800 mortgage loans. Now the number is down by two-thirds, but we are planning to raise it by the measures I have described.