MOSCOW, April 17 (Itar-Tass) - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for the first time as Head of Government will tell the Members of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament about the Cabinet's work done over the past year.
Medvedev will present a detailed report to the parliamentarians on the Cabinet's activities in 2012, on the economic position of Russia, cite the Cabinet's main achievements, and outline plans for the future.
The presentation of the report, speeches by House members, and a question-and-answer session may take up about three hours. At noon Wednesday, the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers will begin to deliver the report, after which each faction of the parliamentary parties will ask the Premier three questions, and up to ten minutes are allotted for remarks by members of factions. Key government ministers will arrive at the House together with Medvedev.
According to Natalia Timakova, press secretary of the Prime Minister, the government report is intended for approximately 90 minutes. "The Premier will also speak on what is to be done subsequently in this or that area of work. However, this is, for the most part, is a report," she pointed out. Timakova emphasized that all House members would have an opportunity to put a question to the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers, and that parliamentarians would be limited in this respect only by time and rules of procedure.
It was known in advance that the Premier-Duma dialogue would not be easy. However, Medvedev is prepared for keen questions. Before March 18, the Duma factions sent their questions to the government. Members of the United Russia party want to hear in the government report specifically what is Medvedev's stand on the the problems of the agri-industrial sector, education, and social orphanhood. The CPRF during the presentation of Medvedev's report in the State Duma intends to raise the problems of the deceived co-investors in housing construction. According to the Communists' data, there are 150,000 deceived co-investors in 66 regions of the country. The CPRF representatives want to table the lists of the co-investors on Wednesday. "We shall drive the theme home," CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov said. The "A Just Russia" party is to touch upon matters concerning the housing/public utilities sector, health care, and demography.
The House members also intend to urge Medvedev to dismiss Education Minister Dmitry Livanov. "He is not a Minister of Education. This is, rather, a minidter for the elimination of education or for turning it in a needed direction," stated leader of the Liberal Democrats Vladimir Zhirinovsky. On the eve of the Premier's speech in the State Duma, the CPRF even launched the collection of signatures in favour of the Minister's resignation.
The most acute and painful questions came to Medvedev from members of the All-Russia Popular Front (known for its Russian acronym ONF). "Along with questions relating to the strategy for the development of Russian education, contraction of medicine in the countryside, the arbitrariness of management companies in the housing/utilities sector, renunciation of the 'zero promille', and the expediency of state officials' presence in the managerial structure of corporations and joint-stock companies, the ONF representatives consider it necessary to return to the theme of the autumn switch-over of clock hands in view of ever frequent compaints lodged by the electorate," related Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy chairman of the House committee on industry. He stated with regret that answers to the questions about the return to 'winter time' and abrogation of the 'zero promille', according to data available with him, were not included in the Prime Minister's report. At the same time Gutenev stressed that the questions suggensted by the ONF are now of utter importance. "Thus, the proposed initiative about renouncing the 'zero promille', and the proposal on regulation of the activities of the management companies in the housing/utilities sector and the idea of bringing back transfer to winter time have been supported by a large proportion of people in Russia," he said.
Medvedev met with the sixth State Duma in May 2012 as a candidate for premiership. His candidacy was then upheld by 299 House members; 144 Deputies from the CPRF and "A Just Russia" voted against it, and there were no abstentions.