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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin unveiled some economic items of the Party's election program at the regional conference of United Russia in Cherepovets. He advised the parliamentary majority to worker closer with People's Front and stated that at least half of lawmakers from his party in the future State Duma lower house of parliament would be replaced.
The premier's address looked even more voluminous than the address to the Federal Assembly, the "Moskovsky Komsomolets" writes. Putin dwelt on the housing and utilities sectors, roads, teachers, disabled persons and businesses, as well as about the construction of factories, ships and mines (while complying with environmental regulations, of course), and the exports of round timber. Normally, these themes are discussed at special separate conferences.
In general, Putin's speech tended to address socio-economic issues, the "Komsomolskaya Pravda" writes. The United Russia leader said that taking into account the regional Party conferences (eight have already taken place), the government had approved the development strategy for six federal districts. The programs for the remaining two will be adopted by the end of this year. More than 200 projects will make groundwork for their development. According to Putin, they have to become the locomotive of growth for Russian territories. The aggregate volume of investments will exceed 7 trillion roubles.
The "Kommersant" notes that the ruling party's program envisions an increase in budget spending and budget deficit. Although the economic program of the Party and the All-Russia People's Front has not been finalized yet, it is likely that the Party's main initiative will be an increase in government spending in the medium term, and, to a lesser extent, higher spending on infrastructure projects, at the expense of budget deficit and more government borrowings. The "people's program" may call for "doubling the salaries of low-paid workers on the state payroll." The newspaper also noted that Putin seemed to be scrimpy on long-term promises. For example, the projects Putin mentioned on Monday will be worth over 33 trillion roubles in the next decade. Defense spending accounts for a large part of this sum, as was earlier planned.