Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Governmental Commission on Sustainable Development of the Russian Economy
30 december 2008
Transcript of the opening:
Good afternoon, dear colleagues.
As I addressed this year's last Government meeting, I said that we had established a rapid retaliation system for the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on our economy. I said that we had established, so to speak, an "architecture" of such retaliation-a system of measures that should help the Russian economy to get through this turbulent time in the global economy with no great losses.
I have gathered you today to see how that system works and to launch it even this year, so that it may function effectively in 2009. We shall take up today what I find to be one of its crucial segments. This is work with strategic companies.
We have launched a cluster of measures to support agriculture, farm machine and automotive industries, and some other economic sectors. We have made it known that we will draw a list of strategic companies entitled to special attention. An initial list has already been published.
The matter concerns companies playing a unique, strategic economic role. They are responsible for our compliance with international pledges and possess unique technologies. It certainly concerns companies with major social responsibilities-large employers on which cities and other localities depend for their sustenance.
If necessary, such companies should be entitled to support from federal and regional administrations. The state should pay special attention to strategic companies. It is our duty to provide for their smooth performance and bring the dire social and economic impact of current problems to the smallest possible.
We will establish permanent monitoring of the financial, economic and social situation in strategic companies and the regions where they work.
When companies-irrespective of their property form, I stress-aspire to government support, they should offer entire relevant information about their performance and their own anti-crisis programmes.
We will proceed from monitoring for decisions on targeted aid. Such decisions should be timely and effective, mind you, which is why I call on Commission members and ministries' ad hoc teams to travel as much as possible and keep in direct contact with regions, companies and municipalities for better realisation of companies' and their employees' problems.
We are planning the following measures of support. First, we will ease access to credit resources, open the possibility of subsidising bank rates, and offer government guarantees. We also admit the prospect of government acquisition of shares in problem companies-but only for their rehabilitation and subsequent sale.
Rescheduling fiscal arrears, government contracts, and customs tariff policies are also tools of target government support for such companies.
As we have said, unemployment should be curbed by allocations on the implementation of infrastructural projects in settlements where companies are forced to reduce their personnel. Other allocations will fund social programmes, including personnel training and retraining, and the organisation of public works and rotation-based work. Small and medium-size companies will also have allocations to promote their development. I will speak about it in greater detail somewhat later.
70 billion roubles will be allocated to replenish the capital stock of Rosselkhozbank and Rosagroleasing. 18.1 billion roubles will go toward subsidise interest payments of agro-industrial companies, and another 32 billion roubles to support airlines. We have earmarked 39 billion roubles to promote the automotive industry, including vehicle purchases for state purposes, 6 billion roubles to support industrial exports, and 6.2 billion roubles for the development of small and medium-size enterprises-in addition to the previously allocated 10.5 billion plus 30 billion through Vnesheconombank. 43.7 billion roubles will go toward stepping up employment promotion, and 35 billion toward raise unemployment grants to monthly 4,900 roubles, as we have pledged. 50 billion roubles will go toward supporting the military-industrial complex-of this, 15 billion to subsidise loan interest payments, and 35 billion for investing in the capital stock of strategic companies.
We also intend to establish government guarantees up to 300 billion roubles-100 billion of this to the military-industrial complex, and the other 200 to companies enlisted as strategic. Clearly, some of the military-industrial companies are also on that list. We will take stock of it later. It's a matter of practical routine.
We also intend to amend the federal budget to compensate the Russian Railways Company as it will lose certain profits with the tariff rise rate reduced. This compensation amounts to 50 billion roubles.
I think we should take two companies today as a model for a new algorithm of decision-making on government support. First is Moscow's Chernyshev Engineering Company, a key manufacturer of warplane engines, which possesses unique technologies and works on essential contracts. We intend the following patterns for its support. First, up to a billion roubles has been earmarked to subsidise its loan interest payments. Its 6 billion rouble loans will be rescheduled out of the Vnesheconombank capital. Last but not least, 3 billion roubles will be added to the corporate capital. The company plans further development within the United Engine Building Corporation. UTair, the other company we will look at today, accounts for the largest regional air shipments in Siberia and the Urals. In particular, it is a major passenger and freight helicopter transporter. I don't need to explain how necessary it is to preserve its network for Siberia's public well-being and economic development.
In the present adverse situation, regional airlines acutely need new and effective craft. This should be lean-burn craft-it matters most for local routes. Passenger planes seating up to 50 are the most important. Russian industry does not yet manufacture such aircraft, so, to support airlines, we should exempt them from import duties as they purchase such planes and engines for them. We have coordinated that step with the Industry Ministry and the United Aircraft Building Corporation, and relevant decisions will be made as the result of this meeting.
Let's get down to business.