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VILLAGE SHUMEIKA (Saratov region), September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has set six tasks for social development in Russian villages. “This concerns millions of our citizens, 40 million people live in rural districts, the main prerequisite for rural development, agrarian production is good living conditions,” the prime minister said at a meeting on social problems in the village.
He noted that about a third of Russian people live in rural districts, though only 5-7% of the population live in rural districts in “some countries”. “Potentially Russia is the strongest agrarian power,” the premier said with confidence.
To improve the life in rural districts Medvedev primarily offers to build affordable and modern housing. He noted that in 2012 about 860,000 square meters will be built, over 50% of which is intended for young specialists. Meanwhile, Medvedev noted that “there should be no housing construction in the clear field, everything should be provided with transport and engineering infrastructure.”
The prime minister named rural roads as “a very complicated and critical issue.” He noted that about 20 billion rubles are allocated for their construction every year that is “absolutely little”, Medvedev believes. “This is just a drop in the sea,” the premier stated. He offered at a meeting on Wednesday “to ponder what to do for the development of the network of rural roads.”
The premier named the health care modernization as the third task for rural development, when for rural settlements “the list of necessary and sufficient medical services is provided, and a more complex medical aid can be received at regional medical centers or with the capabilities of telemedicine.”
Speaking on rural educational institutions, Medvedev emphasized that “they should be preserved, their optimization should not lead to a senseless mechanical reduction.” “If there is a school, there is a village, if there is no school, the village is dying,” he said with confidence.
Another task concerns the modernization of cultural institutions in the rural districts, a third of which are “in a bad state”, the premier said. The prime minister also urged to provide “normal conditions for going in for sports” in rural districts. “Ice palaces are not needed everywhere, in some cases a small football pitch is enough, and the situation is already changing,” he said.
The premier noted that much has already been done for social development in rural districts for the last few years. He gave as an example the gas and drinking water supplies. “The level of supplies with gas and drinking water went up and finally exceeded 50%,” the prime minister recalled. Six million square meters of housing, 46 sport facilities, 18 medical stations were also built, he said. However, according to Medvedev, this is not enough yet to settle “the most important task that is to encourage people to stay in rural districts and to show to them that they have some prospects there.”