19 december 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with the head of the Republic of Khakassia Viktor Zimin

Putin and Zimin discussed the republic’s socio-economic performance in the outgoing year and plans for the future. They focused particular attention on the implementation of Putin’s instructions on providing assistance to the families of those who lost their lives during the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro power plant.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: We have already begun discussing the general situation in Khakassia. Of the 2011 results, what else would you like to emphasise and what do you consider most important for 2012? We discussed these subjects in general terms during our recent meeting in Moscow but since I'm here in your republic, let’s come back to them now.

Viktor Zimin: Mr Putin, considering that we are now at the site where you gave us the first instructions after the accident, I should mention that we are carrying them out. You visited one of our social facilities today. The questions that we are resolving…

Vladimir Putin: This is a good facility. You and RusHydro have done a good job there. It's a great school, probably one of the best in the country.

Viktor Zimin: Yes, it's true. We didn’t build it to show off.

Vladimir Putin: The sports centre is also good. Please complete the construction of the Ice Palace together with RusHydro.

Viktor Zimin: We are in the midst of completing the Ice Palace. We had a hand in building it by providing 15% to 20% of the funding.

Vladimir Putin: But don’t forget that during our visit to the school we promised them an assembly hall and buses.

Viktor Zimin: Everything will be done – take my word for it.

Vladimir Putin: We are ready to help you.

Viktor Zimin: This would be excellent. Mr Putin, above all, we want to take care of those children who were affected. I promised you that this programme will be in place for at least 18 years and we are continuing it. You have adopted a resolution that will now become law. We will guarantee free education and free housing in a dormitory for all children regardless of age. We had an agreement to this effect before with their parents or teachers but now this will become a law in Khakassia and we guarantee this. I told their mothers that the head may change…

Vladimir Putin: Of the families of the dead?

Viktor Zimin: Yes. Psychological assistance is being provided for family members and other relatives and, of course, we haven't forgotten about the children. We have carried out all of your instructions. We have given flats to all of the 45 children who lost their fathers or mothers. RusHydro has provided flats to all families who lost a parent. Incidentally, RusHydro has become the biggest tax payer in Khakassia, with 1.8 billion roubles.

Vladimir Putin: That's a substantial contribution.

Viktor Zimin: Taxes have been doubled and an agreement was signed on state support for RusHydro’s investment. Now we are giving this investor tax exemptions only for the new facilities that are being put into operation. RusHydro will have about 450 million roubles of tax breaks. They will spend this money in the social sphere which you spoke about today and concerning which you issued some instructions.

I’d like to thank RusHydro and RUSAL for their policies. You issued instructions on fixing special tariffs for the public and for small companies in Khakassia. This has been done. Everyone has complied with the Federal Tariff Service requirements – RUSAL alone is planning to pay 600 million roubles and RusHydro will pay an additional 110 million roubles in 2012. This has made it possible to achieve a 70% increase in the republic’s revenues.

Business is developing rapidly. I would like to thank you for this policy on behalf of the people and the entire business community.

Vladimir Putin: All right. What about the republic as a whole? What do you consider most important for the socio-economic sphere in the near future?

Viktor Zimin: Mr Putin, everything has been arranged. For the first time, the republic has an honest prospective plan until 2017. We have made a forecast and revealed it to the people with all its pluses and minuses. The driving force behind this is for the republic to become a donor region by 2016. This is our main goal.

I have already reported to you about our positions on the Ministry of Agriculture. This is one of our priority points of growth – the redistribution of industry into agriculture which employs 30% of our people. And, of course, this applies to the growth of the Gross Regional Product, our GRP. We are planning to… We have provided major benefits to business. If business increases its production by 30% we will provide it with a handsome grant of six to seven million roubles. I’m referring to small companies.

Mr Putin, there is a question that I didn’t bring up at the conference. I’m referring to a transportation project for … We are having some problems with it regarding the shipment of heavy loads and transformers. We discussed this with the Finance Ministry and the Transportation Ministry. I’m afraid 1.5 billion roubles is beyond our capabilities. Our republic has already paid 300 million so as not to disrupt the time schedule. We have not met with complete understanding. It seemed to be getting easier and we did what we could but now we may remain alone.

Vladimir Putin: I see.

Viktor Zimin: But this is a normal figure…

Vladimir Putin: You haven’t brought in everything yet, have you?

Viktor Zimin: Not yet. We will be able to bring in everything no sooner than 2014. This is why we want to avoid any hassle. We fully realise…

Vladimir Putin: I think you have brought what you need to the sixth and seventh units. Is there anything else?

Viktor Zimin: Yes, this is our facility and it makes no difference to us whether it is federal or private property.

Vladimir Putin: Okay, we’ll look into this.

Viktor Zimin: Mr Putin, everything else depends on us on the spot.

Vladimir Putin: Have you received funds for upgrading healthcare and education?

Viktor Zimin: Mr Putin, I have a proposal that I would like to voice, if you'll allow me. We have received everything. We were among the activists, among the leaders and I reported to the public that we will seek additional resources. We have calculated how much we need. To carry out this reform, we need... Essentially half of our medical workers are not covered by… Having made such a major improvement… Yes, we have put a lot of equipment into operation and raised salaries…

Vladimir Putin: Is this not covered by the modernisation programme?

Viktor Zimin: No.

Vladimir Putin: Why not?

Viktor Zimin: For specific, strictly medical… Suppose those who deal with TB…Medical nurses and nannies are not covered. 

Vladimir Putin: Why?

Viktor Zimin: The increase is too small.

Vladimir Putin: But now that we have changed….

Viktor Zimin: Mr Putin, I’ll give you a letter, it does not have to do with money but the problem is expressed there. Every region has this problem. We are ready to go into this fifty-fifty.

Vladimir Putin: Now that we have changed the norms, salaries must increase automatically.

Viktor Zimin: This has not worked out for everyone. There are distortions.

Vladimir Putin: Okay, we’ll review this. And what about school teachers?

Viktor Zimin: Everything is running more or less smoothly in this respect. I think we’ll complete this before April.

Vladimir Putin: I’d like to remind you and your colleagues in other regions that it is necessary to increase salaries rather than give out premiums. No, you must raise salaries.

Viktor Zimin: We don’t have a problem with this but we have another grievance – once again urban-type settlements that were not covered will receive less… This is a distortion. Village teachers will now get more. But this is our domestic issue and we’ll regulate it. We have already made a decision to do away with these distortions because otherwise specialists will flow to…

Vladimir Putin: It would not be bad if they flow to the village – we have a shortage of teachers in the countryside anyway…