23 june 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev

The officials focused on economic issues, notably the situation in the construction sector, and discussed preparations for the coming harvesting campaign. Mr Putin was keen to know how health and education reform are progressing in the Rostov Region and when local teachers will have their pay raised.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: How is it going in your region?

Vasily Golubev: By and large, the region posts a considerable economic growth. In the year’s first five months, there was year-on-year growth on almost all major indicators.

We’re facing problems only in some separate sectors, such as individual housing construction. Traditionally, though, the region picks up in the second half of a year.

Vladimir Putin: You mean that in individual housing construction, there was a decrease from last year’s figure, right?

Vasily Golubev: A slight decrease, yes, against the same period last year.

Vladimir Putin: What’s the reason behind, do you think? Was that because more projects had to be built from scratch?

Vasily Golubev: Yes. Another reason was a lack of investment. Investments in our current projects, though, are expected to rise back to the 2009 level. Also, we’ll lay groundwork for the years ahead this year, so as to be able to advance in 2012 and 2013.

We’re now ready for the harvesting campaign. In a week’s time, harvesting will be in full swing in the region’s south. And a week after that, the north will join in.

We’ve developed more than 200,000 hectares of additional farmland and our target for this year is 7 million tons. Villagers tend to be rather cautious in the summertime, yet we do everything we can – especially during harvesting campaigns -- to support those involved in farming.

Vladimir Putin: Seven million… And what was the figure two years ago?

Vasily Golubev: We harvested less in 2009 than we did last year. The difference was 150,000 or 200,000 tons, if my memory serves me right. As for this year, we performed well both on winter and spring crop sowing…

Vladimir Putin: You’ve adopted the programme for the modernisation of the health sector, haven’t you?

Vasily Golubev: Yes, we have.

Vladimir Putin: How much is the budget?

Vasily Golubev: More than 9 billion.

Vladimir Putin: Quite a lot.

Vasily Golubev: Working on this programme, we attach particular importance to the countryside. One specific problem we seek to address is a lack of motorways in rural areas. At the moment, about 300 of the Rostov Region’s rural communities have no tarmac roads. By fixing this problem, we’ll encourage more people to stay in the country rather than migrate to town in search of work.

Vladimir Putin: Have you discussed the programme for education reform with the ministry?

Vasily Golubev: We’ve agreed on it in principle and have only some minor details to finalise. But by and large, we go along (on the programme), and are ready to sign it.

Vladimir Putin: How much will your teachers be paid in the next academic year?

Vasily Golubev: We’ll fulfill our commitments one hundred percent. We officially raised the salary on June 1. And we’ve earmarked funds for further raise.

Vladimir Putin: When will that further pay raise happen?

Vasily Golubev: On September 1.

Vladimir Putin: Okay.

Vasily Golubev: And we plan to raise teacher salaries again on January 1.

Vladimir Putin: Good.