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Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on economic issues on Tuesday called on members of the RF government, the leadership of the presidential administration and his authorised representatives to carry out his decrees, signed a year ago, without evasion. He said that it is necessary to work qualitatively and effectively, involving citizens in the reforms, instead of issuing beautiful reports and referring to difficult circumstances.
About a year ago a similar meeting ended with reprimands to three ministers. Tuesday’s meeting had all the chances to repeat the success of last year’s, and maybe even surpass it, the Kommersant daily writes. “It is necessary to implement all that is planned,” Putin said, referring to his first decrees issued last May. “The expectations in the society are very high. And the recent televised call-in session has shown it - you have probably seen it.” To begin with Putin criticised the reforms in the healthcare system and then said that structural reforms in general cannot be delayed.
Not the volume of resources for the fulfilment of tasks, but the efficiency and focus on results is of key importance, he said. Otherwise, the funds will be disappearing into a “black hole,” the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper writes. The president cited a good example: over the past 8 years the financing of the healthcare system has increased 4 times. But the most important steps were not taken, in particular, concerning the medical care standards, which has directly affected the quality of work and wages. Putin warned against making “mechanistic hasty decisions” on rural schools, medical and obstetrical stations, hospitals, maternity homes, as well as universities. The president also pointed out that the income statements of the heads of state-financed organisations should not become a sham.
The president criticised many flaw or outstanding federal programs, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily writes: “The Program for socioeconomic development of the Far East and Trans-Baikal areas is approved, but is not provided with funding. The question is why such a document was approved if it is not clear how to fulfil it and by what means? And we are talking about hundreds of billions of roubles! The same sketchy work is observed in the sphere of allocation of land plots to families with many children. According to regions’ reports, 54,000 families with many children received lad last year, but in fact the land plots are given in inconvenient places, and the property registration procedure is terribly pervaded by red tape.” Putin particularly focused on the ongoing development of the pension reform strategy. “The government has not formulated a pension formula that would be clear to the people,” the president said. “We are told that it is ready. If so, then publish it. Citizens still do not understand how their future pension is formed and on what it depends.”
Putin berated the ministers for a formal approach to the implementation of his instructions, which discredits their ambitious nature, and introduced personal responsibility, the Vedomosti newspaper writes.
A year after the signing of his inauguration decrees RF President Vladimir Putin summed up with the ministers the first results of their execution, the newspaper notes. The government has already preliminarily reported that it has fulfilled 73 percent of the May presidential decrees, adopted 29 laws for their implementation, prepared for adoption another 25 laws, approved 60 programs, strategies, concepts, and 80 acts, but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev corrected the percentage of their fulfilment to 40 percent.
Putin criticised the government for “playing with statistics and reporting.” Everything is all right on paper, but in reality - a regular slovenliness, he complained. Such an approach discredits “all our work,” Putin concluded. Everybody is slamming the “manual control method,” he recalled, but so far there is no effective system-based work. The goals have been set ambitious, and the citizens; higher living standards should become a criterion of their achievement, and this can be achieved primarily through the cardinal improvement of public administration efficiency, the president stressed. Every minister within a month should write a plan of his work for the fulfilment of the decrees and report to the public and the president, Putin concluded: “The purely bureaucratic responsibility does not work well. We need the public political personal responsibility of each of us.”
Officials from the very start complained about the “problem” nature of presidential decrees, the newspaper stresses. During their signing it was necessary to assess the possibilities for their quality implementation, it is a problem of the state apparatus as a whole, member of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR) Yevgeny Gontmakher believes.
Certainly, there is plenty of formalism, and all is clear with the quality of public administration, there is also the problem of resources, but it is impossible to move in all directions at once, Vice Rector of the Higher School of Economics, Lev Yakobson says: “Not only for teachers and doctors, but also officials need incentives. Now they are just not interested in working properly.”
Putin is trying in a manual mode to restart the work of the government, says political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko: “It has been made clear to the Cabinet that it is given a chance until the end of the year, and after that more drastic measures may follow, apparently.”