28 december 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with head of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Taimuraz Mamsurov

The discussion focused on the republic’s socioeconomic development in 2010, which the prime minister referred to as positive yet modest. One of the main issues raised at the meeting was the modernisation plan for the republic’s healthcare system, which, according to Mr Mamsurov, will include almost all the republic’s proposals.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Mamsurov, I have pored over the figures for this year. Overall, the results are positive yet modest.

Taimuraz Mamsurov: True, they are modest, but we are moving forward. Investments slipped, but thanks to your support in the middle of the year we completed a major project, a new gas pipeline to South Ossetia. The last quarter...

We have big plans for road construction, in particular a tunnel... We'll also begin constructing a cement plant. There are also several good projects in agriculture.

Vladimir Putin: There is a project to breed cattle, right?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Yes, a joint project with France. They are monitoring our progress on this very closely. Banks have verified that the first stage of the project has been carried out properly. We are now starting the second stage. And we have fulfilled all of our commitments so far. We are increasing our revenues, slowly but steadily, reducing the share of federal subsidies in our budget.

The social and political situation is very tense. This is what the region is like... We all see and hear what's happening around us, but we try to keep living our normal lives.

Vladimir Putin: Salaries have grown, but the growth rate is lower than...

Taimuraz Mamsurov: We believe it's a good salary for this region.

Vladimir Putin: I'm saying that the growth rate is lower than the national average.

Taimuraz Mamsurov: True. That's the real wage. Its growth was quite good in absolute terms.

Vladimir Putin: I've looked over the figures for the construction sector. It's good that there wasn't any drop this year.

Taimuraz Mamsurov: We even boosted housing construction.

Vladimir Putin: What are the prospects for next year?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: I don't think we can expect a breakthrough in any industry. We are already making every effort... Still, there are several promising projects. We'll build new industrial facilities, including a good cement plant, which I mentioned. It will utilise new technology.

We have also developed a well-balanced budget – the parliament has passed it already.

Vladimir Putin: UGMK Holding will operate on your territory?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Yes, we are developing the terms of its operation. RusHydro will probably finish our main hydroelectric power station in Sochi. We started it off, if you recall...

We have passed the budget. This will be a non-deficit budget. The problem is we had to reduce public spending by 2 billion roubles. We will do our best to meet our social commitments, no matter how difficult it is.

Vladimir Putin: I looked over spending and revenues in the republic's budget – I believe this decision is economically justified.

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Yes, we can't let it go any other way. We need to tighten our belt for a year or maybe a year and a half so we can build up resources.

Vladimir Putin: But on the whole, you managed to sustain positive trends in the economy and public services.

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Absolutely.

Vladimir Putin: Have you prepared your proposals for the healthcare modernisation plan?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Yes, they have been accepted, for which I would like to congratulate Healthcare Minister Golikova and the commission that worked on this plan. Almost all our proposals were included in the plan.

Vladimir Putin: You've been told the final amount?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: How much?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: It's 1.7 billion roubles. This is a great responsibility, but we are eager to fulfil this commitment. Experts have analysed our programme and they concluded that all the expenditures listed are justified.

Vladimir Putin: What should the programme's priorities be, in your opinion?

Taimuraz Mamsurov: We have major medical institutions on our territory, which were built here in Soviet times. We'll have to spend a great deal on them. But we also need to develop a comprehensive network of local hospitals and clinics. And this challenge cannot be resolved through large medical institutions alone. There's a lot to be done, but we hope that we'll be able to develop this network pretty soon.

Another major concern is the tuberculosis hospital. And the psychiatric hospital is also in a terrible state. We need to bring it up to a decent level. All our proposals were accepted.

Vladimir Putin: Good.