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Putin to outline government’s action plan to 2018

January 31, 2013, 1:12 UTC+3

The meeting will feature the ministers and heads of the federation subjects – members of the State Council’s presidium

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MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will chair on Thursday a meeting of the Cabinet, where he will outline main directions for the government’s work to 2018.

The meeting will feature the ministers and heads of the federation subjects – members of the State Council’s presidium.

It would be for the first time that a format of the kind will be used. Earlier, Vladimir Putin had weekly meetings with the government’s top officials. The Cabinet’s meetings, to which invited were heads of the regions, leaders of the State Duma’s committees, and representatives of the parliament’s upper house, were organised in late 1990s at the Government’s House in Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment.

During the meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will present the Government’s Main Directions for the period to 2018. The prime minister’s Press Secretary Natalia Timakova said it would be “just a report.” “It will be approved and then uploaded to the government’s site,” she added. “It is a strategic document, which proves necessary actions from the government, which come from the current conditions.” The main mechanism of implementing the Directions would be state programmes.

Open sources say, the document plans growth of the economy at 4-5 percent a year, and modernisation of the infrastructures, technological base, and state institutions. Besides, the government will focus on life expectancy, lower mortgage rates, growth of pensions and average incomes, development of the Far East. The government will continue working to improve the country’s investment climate, effectiveness of state management, and solving the housing problems.

Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov said the concept fixes “a strict line of tasks, which make priorities for Medvedev’s government.” “They originate from the president’s orders; the tasks are connected with modernisation of the education, healthcare, solving of the housing problem, modernisation of the pension system,” the minister said. “Besides, there are tasks for the defence sector, which have been fixed earlier, and maintenance of the macroeconomic stability.”

The minister said for implementation of the objectives it would be necessary to assure effectiveness, which is indicated in productivity, which is playing a key role in the concept of the Directions. “How the productivity may be raised? There are two lines to follow,” Belousov explained. “The first one is improvement of the investment climate /which attracts much effort now/. The second is elimination of the infrastructure limitations, first of all in the transport and in the energy.”

The minister stressed there are several blocks, which are of importance and which are priorities. For example, support of the technology development. “If we are speaking about a concept approach – they are the social, defence tasks plus the macroeconomic stability and lower oil and gas deficit. This may be reached by means of growing labour productivity. This is what the concept is like,” the minister concluded.

Belousov added that first of all the government planned to lift the limitations from the institutes, and first of all where those are most strict. “This includes the regulation base in the construction, the regulations base in the energy /access for businesses to energy resources, to the grids/, registration of ownership rights, registration of enterprises, and tax administration,” the minister said. “Besides, launch of arbitration courts in the new format, where they would be able to overcome the drawbacks of our judicial system; implementation of the foreign standards of accounting for our companies, and interest rates.”

Since effectiveness is considered to be a priority, there should be instruments to achieve it. Those, the Ministry of Economic Development is sure, would be state programmes. In order to make the state programme a clear and trustful instrument for reaching strategic objectives, the government will have a three-year plan for implementation. The plan will fix more clearly the results to be reached within next three years. Belousov said, the ministry had suggested a methods base and had been teaching major ministries – core clients of the state programmes. The work is due to be finalised within the first quarter of the current year.

Ineffective implementation of the Directions will cause certain responsibility. Belousov said that the government’s previous action plan had been designed in the beginning of the 2008-2009 crisis. “At that time, nobody could guess how big the crisis would be. Thus, the rates in the action plan should be cleared of the crisis’ influence. This work is complicated and not straightforward,” the minister said. “Thus, it is complicated for us to analyse anyone using those rates. The crisis happened, and everything became invalid.” As for the new directions, the action plan offers a mechanism of responsibility. “We have a very strict /criterion/,” the minister said. “It is called key parameters of effectiveness of top federal and local officials. This is very serious. We have been warned, the president has warned, the prime minister, that their requirements to ministers for observing those rates would be serious.”

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