Prime Minister from State Duma, abolition of organized crime in business and maternity capital for firstborn child — key points in Putin's address

10 key points from Presidential Address to Federal Assembly

Prime Minister from State Duma, abolition of organized crime in business and maternity capital for firstborn child — key points in Putin's address
Photo: kremlin.ru

Many experts called Vladimir Putin's address to the Federal Assembly “revolutionary”. In his address to the parliament, the state's leader announced a number of instructions and important initiatives that will greatly affect the political and social life of the country. Realnoe Vremya offers 10 main points in Putin's speech.

1. The maternity capital programme will be extended, the payment will be increased and it will be assigned for the firstborn child

Putin began his message with the topic of demography as determining the future of the country: “The fate of Russia depends on how many of us there are," he said. To this end, Russia will extend the maternity capital programme until at least 2026. The programme itself will undergo considerable changes.

First, maternity capital in Russia now will be paid for the firstborn child — the same amount of 466,000 rubles. The maternity capital will be also provided for the second child, by 150,000 rubles more.

Putin drew attention to that when the third child is born, the state partially pays for the mortgage to the family. Thus, a family with three children will have the opportunity to invest up to a million rubles in improving housing conditions at once.

Putin offered to provide all children from 1st to 4th grade with free quality meals. Photo: Daria Turtseva

2. Payments — to parents, hot meals — to school children, additional payments — to class teachers

Today in Russia, there are payments for low-income families with children under three years, but the president drew attention to the fact that when a child reaches three years, these payments immediately end. At the same time, this is a rather difficult period for the child and parents, at this time, the mother often cannot go to work.

Based on this, Putin instructed to organize monthly payments for low-income families (whose incomes do not exceed one living wage per person) for children aged from 3 to 7 years. At the first stage, the size of the payment will be half of the subsistence minimum (about 5,500 rubles on average). In the future, the payment can be increased to the size of the full subsistence minimum.

Also, in this context, Putin offered to provide all children from 1st to 4th grade with free quality meals. This measure should be valid from as early as September 1 this year.

Besides, the president stressed the importance of the teacher's role in the educational process. In this regard, he also instructed to establish additional payments for classroom guidance to teachers in the amount of 5,000 a month. Payments will be financed by the federal budget.

The president proposed to increase the number of state-financed places in universities every year, mainly in the regions where there are not enough doctors, teachers, and engineers. Photo: Dmitry Reznov

3. More places in schools and universities

This year there will be about 19 million schoolchildren in Russia. In this regard, Putin asked the government and regional authorities to determine how many additional school places are needed.

According to him, it is necessary to “look for flexible solutions”. “Not only to build schools but also to use the existing infrastructure correctly," the head of the state added.

The president proposed to increase the number of state-financed places in universities every year, mainly in the regions where there are not enough doctors, teachers, and engineers.

Also, according to Putin, students after the second year should be given the opportunity to choose other related specialties and directions. “We need to develop the system of higher education institutions in the regions," the head of the state said.

Separately, Putin focused on medical schools: changes in the order of admission await them.

“I propose to change the order of admission to universities in medical specialties in the new academic year significantly. In the specialty 'Medical Care', 70% of budget places will be targeted, in the specialty 'Pediatrics' — 75%," Putin said.

For deficit specialities, the quota for targeted admission can reach 100%, the president added. Quotas for targeted admission will be formed on the basis of regional applications, but they, in turn, will have to provide employment guarantees to future graduates.

The president demanded that efforts be focused on the primary health care sector. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

4. Polyclinics will be repaired for 550 billion rubles

Other changes also await healthcare. For example, the president demanded that efforts be focused on the primary health care sector since it is primary health care that people most often seek.

Regional programmes for modernization of primary health care are to be launched already this summer and will include large-scale repairs and re-equipment of district hospitals, polyclinics, and ambulance stations. An additional 550 billion rubles have been allocated to solve these problems. More than 90% are federal resources

Besides, the president announced the transition to a new system of remuneration for employees in the health sector this year. According to him, the new system will be based on a single list of allowances and compensations for the whole country.

Putin also demanded the government to adjust the work on the supply of specialized foreign drugs to patients who do not yet have official permission as soon as possible. According to him, the situation with interruptions in the supply of vital medicines to Russian regions must not be repeated in the future.

Putin asked the State Duma to review certain provisions of the Criminal Code on “economic articles”. Photo: Maksim Platonov

5. The article on 'Organised Crime Groups for Businesses' will be amended, and the regions will be returned part of the tax deduction

The address also included some important business news. Putin asked the State Duma to review certain provisions of the Criminal Code on “economic articles”.

In particular, he said that amendments have been brought in to the State Duma on the application of the article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ('Organization of a criminal community or participation in it') on economic charges.

“Entrepreneurs have repeatedly drawn attention to the article 210 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation, according to which any company whose managers violated the law could be qualified as an organized criminal community, which means that almost all employees fell under the article while establishing stricter measures of restraint and punishment," the president said.

Putin added that law enforcement agencies “will continue to be required to prove that the organization, the company was originally deliberately created for an illegal purpose”.

Another point is related to the growth of investments in the country: according to Putin's instructions, starting this year, the annual increase in investments must be at least 5%. He also asked the parliament to expedite the adoption of a package of laws on investment protection. At the same time, the president also instructed the regions to compensate 2/3 of the expenses for providing investment tax deductions.

“Today, the subjects of the Russian Federation have the right to provide the investment tax deduction — a three-year profit tax benefit. But they rarely use this opportunity because regional budgets lose revenue," the president added.

For the user, the connection to such sites will be free, they will not have to pay for traffic

6. Internet for everyone

“Russia is one of the few countries in the world that has its own social networks, messengers, mail and search engines, and other national resources," Putin said. At the same time, he called the possibility of access to the Network a vital necessity for citizens of the country. In this regard, the head of the state proposed to launch a programme in Russia called 'Accessible Internet'.

This programme is designed to provide free access to socially significant domestic resources. For the user, the connection to such sites will be free, they will not have to pay for traffic. This will become a competitive advantage for Russia, create new opportunities for education, creativity, communication and participation of people in the life of the country, the head of the state believes.

7. There will be no new constitution, but…

In the course of the address, Putin said that he did not see the need to adopt a new Russian Constitution, since the basic law, adopted in 1993, “has not yet exhausted its potential”. After this statement, he immediately proposed a number of amendments to the current Constitution. One of them — the Constitution will enshrine the norm on the minimum wage — no less than the subsistence minimum, and mandatory indexation of pensions.

Putin also proposed amendments that “directly guarantee the priority of the Russian Constitution” in the country's legal space.

“The requirements of international legislation and treaties, as well as decisions of international bodies, can be applied on the territory of Russia only to the extent that they do not entail restrictions on human and civil rights and freedoms and do not contradict our Constitution," the President stated.

According to his proposals, the State Duma will approve the prime minister, its deputies and federal ministers, and the president will be required to appoint candidates approved by the State Duma. Photo: duma.gov.ru

8. The role of the parliament will increase, and the prime minister will be approved by the State Duma

Putin has put forward a number of amendments to the Constitution concerning the political structure of the country. First of all, he drew attention to such the body of power such as the State Council, the advisory body under the president of Russia, which includes the leaders of all regions. Its status is proposed to be enshrined in the Constitution.

“Over the past time, the State Council has shown its high efficiency, its working groups provide professional, comprehensive and high-quality consideration of the most important issues for citizens and the country. I consider it appropriate to enshrine the corresponding status and role of the State Council in the Russian Constitution," the president said.

Besides, Putin highlighted the need to increase the role of governors in decision-making at the federal level — it is not yet clear in what way.

At the same time, Putin called for strengthening the role of the parliament in the country's political life. According to his proposals, the State Duma will approve the prime minister, its deputies and federal ministers, and the president will be required to appoint candidates approved by the State Duma. Now the State Duma only approves candidates for these positions.

The president also proposed appointing leaders of law enforcement agencies following consultations with the Federation Council. According to Putin, this will make the work more transparent. Besides, Putin also proposed to enshrine in the Constitution of the Russian Federation the right of the Federation Council to dismiss judges of the Supreme and Constitutional courts on the proposal of the president.

Putin has proposed to prescribe the requirements for officials on “crucial positions” in the Constitution. Photo: duma.gov.ru

9. Requirements for officials will be enshrined in the Constitution

Putin has also proposed to prescribe the requirements for officials on “crucial positions” in the Constitution. These are leaders of federal subjects, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, the prime minister, his deputies, federal ministers, leaders of other federal bodies, as well as judges.

People in these positions, already according to the Constitution, will not have the right to have foreign citizenship, a residence permit or other document that allows his or her to permanently reside in the territory of another state.

“The meaning and mission of public service is to serve. And the person who chooses this path must, first of all, decide for himself or herself that he or she connects his life with Russia, with our people, and in no other way," the president explained.

Putin proposed to impose even more stringent requirements for the Russian president in this regard. According to these proposals, only a Russian citizen who has been permanently resident on its territory for at least 25 years and has never had foreign citizenship or a residence permit in another country can apply for the role of the president.

At the same time, Putin reiterated the possibility of removing the word “consecutive” from the article of the Constitution on presidential terms, leaving the head of the state with a limit of two terms.

10. Amendments to the Constitution will be put to a vote

The adoption of such amendments can go through the parliament, but Putin believes that all the mentioned amendments should be put to a national vote.

Putin stressed that the opinion of the Russians as the carriers of sovereignty and the main source of power should be decisive. “Everything is ultimately decided by people," he concluded.

By Alexander Artemyev
Tatarstan