9 september 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a working meeting with Sverdlovsk Region Governor Alexander Misharin

The economy of the Sverdlovsk Region has reached its pre-crisis levels, with its industrial production and gross regional product growing two times more quickly than the average in the country, Misharin said. He proposed setting up an exposition centre in Nizhny Tagil to exhibit ground military equipment. Putin approved of the initiative, and offered government support.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: What is your socio-economic situation? How are things in the social spheres, in education and healthcare? How is the GRP doing? Please.

Alexander Misharin: Mr Putin, we have already reached our pre-crisis levels. The pace of growth of the region’s industrial production and GRP is two times faster than the average in the country for the second year in a row. It was at 16% last year, and was at 8.7% in the first six months of this year. The unemployment rate has dropped to the pre-crisis level, and the number of unemployed currently does not exceed 43,000 people. We have carried out your instructions about raising wages. Starting on September 1, the wage pool for teachers in preschools, secondary schools and adult education centres has been increased by 30%. Some 1.8 billion roubles have been allocated towards this purpose this year, and 10.8 billion roubles will be allocated next year.

Vladimir Putin: And what is the average monthly salary in your regional economy?

Alexander Misharin: 23,600 roubles.

Vladimir Putin: That's almost the same as the average salary across Russia at the end of the year.

Alexander Misharin: Yes, we are catching up. You set this task for us last time. In the healthcare sector, the average monthly salary will be 19,058 roubles in December, while for doctors, it will be 37,200. It will be 22,600 in the education sector, which is a bit below average.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Alexander Misharin: But we will try to catch up next year.

Vladimir Putin: Will you reach the national average next year?

Alexander Misharin: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: But the average wage in your economy will also grow.

Alexander Misharin: Of course, but we will also need to…

Vladimir Putin: Teachers’ wages will grow more quickly.

Alexander Misharin: Yes, we will have to raise teachers’ wages by 10%-12% next year. We will also increase the wages of other public-sector employees by 7% starting October 1. So, we are fulfilling all of the agreements. Our budget revenues have grown by 19% this year. Our companies have started to work quite successfully and are generating profit; profit tax collections have increased by 54%. This is allowing us to honour our commitments.

Vladimir Putin: It this your main source of income?

Alexander Misharin: It is, at present. We are meeting in Nizhny Tagil today… During your first visit, we adopted and launched a programme on single-industry towns, which is being implemented in Nizhny Tagil: this year, investment in the city from all sources under the programme will total 12 billion roubles, of which 1.3 billion will come from the budget and the rest from extra-budgetary funds. The unemployment rate here is currently 1.06%, while in November 2009 it was over 8%.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I remember, it was closer to 10%.

Alexander Misharin: Yes. You visited an exhibition today. There have been 20 different exhibitions here over the course of 12 years, and they have drawn more than half a million visitors. I think it would be reasonable for us to set up a new exposition centre. We have been developing this one, but we now have a real need for a federal exposition centre in order to exhibit the latest in ground military equipment.

Vladimir Putin: This is possible. Let's do it, we could participate in it.

Alexander Misharin: We'll do it, then. There is one more project that was completed in August.

Vladimir Putin: The reconstruction of the stadium?

Alexander Misharin: Yes, as part of preparations for the football World Cup. At the last conference here, you announced that Yekaterinburg had been included in the bid, and we have completed the first task from the bid book: our central stadium has been reconstructed and commissioned on August 19. The upgrading is in line with FIFA requirements – the stadium now seats 28,000 spectators, but an additional survey revealed that we need 40,000 seats in order to hold World Cup games, so we will complete this work by 2015 in line with the project. An additional grandstand is being built, which we opened today together with the Minister of Sport. And we won the first match.

We are implementing the 1,000 Courtyards programme: to date, we have commissioned 162 courtyards and 118 access roads to residential housing. In total, we will have completed 575 courtyards this year. The financing of this programme is split practically down the middle with the federal centre: 689 million roubles comes from the federal budget and 743 million from the regional budget. We consider this to be an important project and it will be developed further. As for the development of exhibitions, I once again want to thank…

Vladimir Putin: I remember your site, it is an interesting one.

Alexander Misharin: Yes… for the decision that was made. We now need to prepare Yekaterinburg for Russia's bid for Expo 2020. We have already started on this work. I hope that the government resolution on setting up an organising committee and sending out our official bid will be issued soon.

Vladimir Putin: Let's start implementing this in practical terms. The area between the airport and the city centre is an excellent space, and it is completely vacant. There has already been certain development there, as you have shown me. I think you have a fairly good chance of getting your bid through.

Alexander Misharin: We'll fight for it. This will be the third time that Russia participates in this competition, and this time we're going to win. All other projects are under way. The Titanium Valley project, and the creation of…

Vladimir Putin: Have you opened the gym?

Alexander Misharin: Yes, we have. Games are already being held there.

Vladimir Putin: Are you sure?

Alexander Misharin: Absolutely.

Vladimir Putin: That's good.