‘We’re law-abiding people. But our voice went unheard’
“We should listen to each other”
On 27 December, President of the republic Rustam Minnikhanov held a press conference for journalists where he summed 2021 up. The adoption of the law on regional authorities became one of the results — according to it, regional leaders cannot be named presidents. For the first time, Minnikhanov commented on this decision:
“The law has already been adopted, the position of our parliament is clear. Obviously, there are some historical things. We should listen to each other. When there was done the job to change the Constitution, there was created a commission, there were a lot of authoritative people, and the procedure was very positive. And not only our deputies voted against this law, 60-70% voted against. If same Klishas (Editor’s note: the author of the bill) came to our parliament, met, explained, talked, I think the position would be different. Of course, the law was adopted, and we are law-abiding people. But it turned out that our voice went unheard in some issues.”
President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed the law on regional authorities almost a week ago. The norm and ban on regional leaders from being named presidents will come into force from 1 June 2022. Nowadays Tatarstan remains the only Russian region where the top official is called president. Tatarstan State Council deputies were against the adoption of Andrey Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov’s law, but the State Duma rejected the amendments offered by parliamentarians.
At the same time, Minnikhanov supported again the concept of the reform of local governments developed by same Klishas and Krasheninnikov. It is a transition of municipal power to a one-level system with the abolition of urban and rural governments.
“Municipal authorities need to be reformed. There was a big mistake when there was a two-level system of municipalities. But here it needs to be done in a way that it won’t have to be remade some time later. We will actively join this issue. We supported the idea itself, while the content needs to improve. Because people who create laws haven’t worked in a municipality. I have worked in a municipality. Ask those people who have worked, and it will be more effective. I think we will find common approaches,” Minnikhanov concluded.
“We will work to raise the accessibility”
Minnikhanov commented on another issue concerning Kazan citizens — growing housing prices. According to him, the situation in other Tatarstan settlements is more stable:
“Here there are several reasons, Kazan is very attractive, everything is bought out. Nevertheless, we have a social mortgage programme, I think, the price is 55 or 53,000 rubles per square metre, this programme works. But there are some things that seriously influenced it, including pricing, it is the pandemic. A lot of migrants used to work on construction sites, there weren’t any worked then, and the salary had to be raised, firstly. Secondly, the tax inspection worked very well, all developers worked with different cash-out transaction schemes. On the one hand, the state did a good thing, all actions of counteragents were put in order. On the other hand, all this interest that has to be paid... The client pays for it,” the Tatarstan president answered Realnoe Vremya’s question.
He admitted that it wasn’t possible to keep the growth of prices for construction materials, though it is a nationwide task.
“I think all these things need to be controlled more strictly, even what refers to our category, sand, local materials, prices are attempted to be raised. I think agreements on metals are different. And a house cannot be purchased cheaper, moreover, the preferential rate is now only for those categories that were determined. In general, our task, I think, is first of all to find the way of supporting those people who don’t have a house, it is a young family, large family, those who don’t have a house. We deliver housing, buy the rich buy housing, they need to invest in something. Seemingly, there is housing, but nothing is done for the needy. I don’t work well enough here, as chairman of the Russian State Council’s commission, I think it is our mistake, we should save these categories by all means, and preferential approaches are for them. A young scientist doesn’t have money, he should be given a house, otherwise, he will go abroad, that’s to say without the state’s support these things won’t work. In other words, not only methods should be reconsidered there, but it is also very important how we will support this category, the young family, paediatricians, right? ‘What is the salary like and where will I live?’ It is necessary to find a solution to these problems with the federal government,” Minnikhanov thinks.
He considers that social mortgage resolves a lot of issues, but not all of them.
“The most important thing at the beginning of one’s life, when creating a family, it is necessary to give an opportunity to have a place. We will work to raise the accessibility. The preferential mortgage, first of all, must be for new builds. We should deliver more new houses. Secondly, we should understand who we give this preferential mortgage to. I think the state won’t become poorer because of this, we will be more stable and richer in the future. All this need to be examined very seriously,” he concluded.