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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has established a Council for the country’s strategic development and priority projects, according to the presidential decree posted on the Kremlin’s website on Thursday.
The head of the Russian state will personally head the Council while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be his deputy.
As Putin’s decree says, the Council is "a deliberative body" and has been established to ensure interaction among various levels of power "in the consideration of issues related to Russia’s strategic development and the implementation of priority projects."
"The Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects has been established for the purposes of improving the activity for the strategic development of the Russian Federation and the implementation of priority projects," the Kremlin press office said.
The presidential decree to establish a new Council thus abolishes two other such bodies: the Council for the Implementation of Priority National Projects and Demographic Policy and the Council for Housing Policy and Better Affordability of Housing.
Therefore, 17 such deliberative bodies have remained in the Kremlin instead of the previous 18 Councils, excluding the State Council and the Security Council.
President Putin announced the idea of creating the presidential Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17.
According to the president, the Council should deal with key projects aimed at implementing structural changes in the economy and the social sphere and increasing economic growth rates, including the projects intended to raise labor productivity, improve the business environment, provide assistance to small and medium business and support exports.
According to the presidential decree, the new Council is also assigned the task "to determine key parameters for drawing up the list of priority projects and programs in the basic areas of Russia’s strategic development."
"The Council’s Presidium shall be formed to deal with the current issues of the Council’s activity," the presidential decree says.
According to the decree, the chairman of the Russian government will be chairman of the Council Presidium.
The Presidium "shall draw up the list of priority projects and programs and evaluate their implementation, and set up bodies for the governance of priority projects and programs," the decree says.
The Council will hold sessions no less than once a quarter while the Presidium will convene at least monthly, the decree reads.
Aside from Putin as the Council chairman and Medvedev as his deputy, the new deliberative body will include, in particular, presidential economic aide Andrei Belousov, Audit Chamber Head Tatiana Golikova, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Deputy Prime Ministers Olga Golodets, Arkady Dvorkovich, Dmitry Kozak, Sergei Prikhodko, Dmitry Rogozin, Yuri Trutnev and Alexander Khloponin, Deputy Chairman of the presidential Economic Council and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Speakers of the upper and lower houses of Russia’s parliament Valentina Matviyenko and Sergei Naryshkin, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, presidential envoys in Russia’s federal districts, representatives of the business community and experts.
Russia’s draft budget for 2017 and for the three-year period should take into account the priorities, which the Council for Strategic Development will work out, Prime Minister Medvedev said.
"After the Council’s session [in July], we’ll hold a session of its Presidium to discuss how to build this work and link the activity within projects with the new federal budget drafting," Medvedev said.
Work within the implementation of priority projects should be taken into account in the process of drafting a new budget, he added.
According to the premier, the Council will also formulate specific goals and indicators of the efficiency of priority projects required for the dynamic development of the Russian economy.
"It will be necessary to work out together with regions, the business community and experts specific goals and indicators and, of course, projects, on which we’ll be working," the premier said.
According to the premier, the priority areas should include efforts to create favorable conditions for small business, support exports other than raw materials, develop mortgage lending, housing rent, the housing and utilities sector and the urban environment.
"And, of course, work will be continued on health care and education, the improvement of the situation in single-industry towns and the development of a modern network of roads," Medvedev said.
Also, some additional projects may be developed to focus on labor productivity, the creation of highly productive workplaces, the improvement of controlling and supervisory work and the environmental activity, the Russian premier said.
As Prime Minister Medvedev said at a government meeting, the Council for Strategic Development will hold its first session in July "to determine basic areas, on which efforts should be concentrated."