Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting
17 december 2009
Vladimir Putin's opening address:
Before moving on to our agenda, I would like to draw your attention to a number of major issues facing the government. I would like to ask the heads of departments and all executive authorities to follow up on these problems personally.
First, as you know I have endorsed a list of products which should be bought for federal needs exclusively at electronic tenders. The list includes 23 items: food products, printing materials, office furniture, cars, and others.
This is an anti-corruption measure because the use of the Internet excludes personal contacts between government officials and the suppliers of goods when an order is placed. Moreover, such auctions save considerable budget funds, as the practice bears out.
Secondly, the centralised website of government and municipal services was launched on December 15. It contains information about major services whose list was endorsed by the government, as well as a number of other services for individuals and companies.
It is necessary to continue implementing our plan to switch to the provision of electronic services in the near future. Each department has a rigid schedule which should be observed without fail.
In addition to this, the government has compiled a list of the most wanted services rendered to citizens by regional and local authorities. I have just signed it. It deals with healthcare, social security, employment, civil status acts, culture, housing and utilities, property and land ownership, construction, etc.
We hope that the regions and municipalities will actively use the Internet for upgrading the quality of services they grant to the public, including through the centralised website of state services.
People should have equal access to state and municipal services regardless of the place of their residence. They should receive them in the easiest way possible and without any procrastination or violations.
And third, I would like to remind you that all regulatory acts necessary to implement the federal budget for 2010 must be ready by the end of December. We must start funding budget programmes without procrastination, pauses or delays.
Now a few words about the items on today's agenda. I would like to focus on the basic directions of the state tariff and pricing policy in infrastructure.
We discuss tariff indexation rates every year, constantly searching for a sound balance between the interests of service providers and consumers. But, to put it bluntly, the result is that decisions are sometimes made haphazardly, without proper consideration, and they do not always appear optimal for all participants of this process.
The problem of the quality and transparency of the tariff policy is acute at the regional and municipal level, where, as you know, the majority of the most sensitive issues are tackled. I am referring to electricity, heating and water supply tariffs.
I suggest we look at this issue from a broader perspective, considering conceptual approaches to tariff regulations. We must seek understandable and transparent tariff prescription policies to make tariff rates economically justified and not burdensome for the people and the economy.
In addition, all bills must be based entirely on meter readings so that people will not have to pay for something they don't consume.
Naturally, tariff policy must ensure investment attractiveness of the industry's infrastructure, promoting increased service reliability and quality, energy conservation and the application of the most efficient technological solutions.
Another issue on today's agenda is linked to infrastructure. A draft law has been prepared to oblige thermal power stations to create fuel stocks in advance to ensure proper operation in autumn and winter. We touched on this issue early this year and even at the end of last year, if I'm not mistaken.
We are introducing the mandatory inspection of facilities such as power stations, transmission lines and heating lines to verify their readiness for the cold season.
Such work is being carried out now, but a targeted law will make it systemic, defining the obligations and responsibilities of the state and businesses in ensuring a reliable supply of heat and electricity to consumers.
The failures, which still occur, point to the need to pay more attention to this issue.
We should also discuss the results of the implementation of federal targeted programmes and the targeted investment programme.
On the whole, the effects of this work are satisfactory, and some of the results are even significant. I am referring to the completed construction of a number of road facilities, such as bridges across the Oka in the Murom area, across the Volga in Ulyanovsk and Volgograd and similar projects.
In the near future, the Sochi bypass road will be constructed, which is a major project on the 2014 Olympics preparations blueprint.
However, I would like to emphasise that the problems caused by the global economic crisis made us revamp many of the targeted programmes to leave out the less significant plans.
This is why this year and in the future we must fastidiously monitor the implementation of federal targeted programmes, eliminating delays and avoiding improper fund using.
This should be our approach while considering the items on today's agenda.