16 august 2012

Dmitry Medvedev holds a Government meeting

The government plans to draw up a state programme for affordable and comfortable housing and public services, Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting. "This programme will focus on the construction of economy-class housing and infrastructure," the prime minister said.

Speaking about the distribution of subsidies for targeted regional housing construction programmes between the Russian regions in 2012, Dmitry Medvedev noted that over 2.4 billion roubles have been allocated from the federal budget this year to this end. The prime minister said that the funds would be provided on a competitive basis and disbursed among 26 regions. It is assumed that these funds will be used to reimburse the cost of interest on loans taken out to build utilities infrastructure in new districts, renovate and build energy-efficient construction industry enterprises, as well as co-finance construction of social infrastructure. "I hope that along with other mechanisms, such assistance on behalf of the federal government will stimulate housing construction in the regions. The goal remains unchanged: to commission more housing, make it more affordable for people and thus resolve the housing problem," the prime minister said.

The meeting participants also discussed the regional authorities' performance evaluation system. Dmitry Medvedev said that key performance indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of regional authorities have been introduced. "They will help not only obtain objective information about the officials' performance, but also enhance their accountability and help them focus on working for the benefit of the people," the prime minister said.

To encourage the best-performing regions, the government has allocated grants in the amount of 1 billion roubles. However, Dmitry Medvedev said, the allocation of such significant resources hasn't brought about any drastic improvements in a number of regions and there are no tangible changes to show for this money in some other regions. These changes were supposed to improve the quality of life of the people, which is the key indicator of success.

During the meeting, Dmitry Medvedev pointed out that the government will continue to open up to citizens. "The government needs feedback from the people and this has to be a two-way road so that people can have a say in decisions that impact their lives," the prime minister said.

In particular, draft state programmes and federal targeted programmes will be available for public discussion. "We will set deadlines for these public discussions. We want to post all information pertaining to these programmes on a common website. People will have at least 15 days to review and discuss them, while more complex documents will be available for discussion for at least 60 days. Proposals and comments will, of course, be posted on this website, as well," Mr Medvedev said.

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