Putin’s ‘December decrees’: tasks in the economy, curtailment of preferential mortgages, future of new regions

The president of Russia has held a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects — main points

The final meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Implementation of National Projects with the participation of Vladimir Putin on 15 December suddenly turned into the president's “decrees” in key areas addressed to the representatives of various branches of government. Dmitry Peskov was forced to admit that the president's speech “de facto looks like a message”. At the end of last year, at the meeting of the council, they talked mainly about strengthening primary health care, and in the middle of this year — about technological sovereignty and digital transformation. On 15 December, as if instead of the address to the Federal Assembly postponed to next year, Putin announced a number of important initiatives for the economy and social sphere. And not in general terms, but in the format of decrees and even, in fact, direct instructions. The main points are published by Realnoe Vremya.

About mortgage

The President of Russia said that the country will soon begin to wind down the mechanisms of preferential mortgages, but will do it smoothly. However, after listening to Vladimir Putin, it is quite difficult to conclude that the programme is really being curtailed. By all indications, this “curtailment” can turn into a real boom — both demand from the population and the housing construction that responded to it.

“On December 31, the preferential mortgage expires. In this regard, I consider it necessary to take the following decisions. First, as agreed, we will wind down the mechanisms of preferential mortgages. Colleagues, we discussed this with you yesterday. We will wind down, but we will do it smoothly," he said.

At the same time, Putin noted that housing construction and improving the living conditions of citizens remains, “of course, one of the priorities”. He also said that in 2023, a family mortgage at 6% will be extended to families with two children under the age of 18. At the same time, the programme “Preferential mortgage” will be extended until July 1, 2024, and its rate will be increased from 7% to 8%.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru (archive)

Vladimir Putin drew attention to that due to the current economic situation, the number of mortgage loans, including preferential ones, has decreased in the country. In this regard, the authorities have taken “measures to adjust and stabilise this market”. The president also called for extending industrial mortgages to the construction and the modernisation of production sites.

“I think it is right if we extend industrial mortgages not only for the purchase of production areas, but also for their construction or modernisation," said the head of the state.

About incomes

Putin noted that increasing the incomes of citizens should become a priority in 2023.

“In the coming year, the priority task for the government and the subjects of the Federation must be to ensure a noticeable, tangible increase in real wages. One of the most important indicators here is the minimum wage. This year it has been increased twice — by 8,6% and by 10%," the president said.

According to him, from the beginning of 2023, the minimum wage will be more than 16 thousand rubles per month. It is necessary to further increase the minimum wage, and at a rate higher than inflation and average wage growth, the head of the state added.

The president stressed that the incomes of people with minimum earnings have increased by 27,8% nominally this year, and poverty is decreasing.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Elizaveta Punsheva

About children

Vladimir Putin instructed the government to prepare a package of measures to increase the birth rate and increase life expectancy in Russia.

“We have managed to overcome the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, reduce mortality, but a sharp decline in the birth rate has actually nullified these achievements. I am asking the government to prepare a special package of measures early next year to reverse this trend," the head of the state stressed.

The Russian leader also announced an increase in the amount of benefits for pregnant women next year. From January 1, it will be from half to one subsistence minimum of the able-bodied population in the region of residence.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru (archive)

Vladimir Putin also proposed to hold a meeting on demographic issues in February to discuss measures to improve the situation.

About technological development

Vladimir Putin called the formation of technological sovereignty and the growth of the manufacturing industry one of the main tasks for the next year.

“The second task for 2023 is to strengthen technological sovereignty and outstrip the growth of the manufacturing industry. . We will expand joint implementation of projects in the energy sector and agriculture in the near future," he said.

According to the Russian leader, the country has problems with components, a shortage of technological solutions, and the usual logistics has been disrupted. But on the other hand, it opens up new opportunities, is an incentive to build an economy with full, not partial technological, industrial, personnel, scientific sovereignty, he added.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru (archive)

Russia, together with its partners, will develop artificial intelligence, including taking into account the ethical problems of this issue, the president added.

“In the near future we will expand the joint implementation of projects in energy, agriculture, industry, aircraft construction, medicine, transport, space, digital, ecology and other high-tech industries. We will work together with our partners to achieve leadership in the creation of artificial intelligence elements in strict compliance, of course, with ethical, moral, moral norms," he concluded.

About transport infrastructure

Russia will not remove the accelerated creation of the Murmansk transport hub from the agenda, the head ofthe state said. According to him, it is planned to launch new projects in the country and successfully solve national tasks for the development of Siberia and the Far East.

“Without removing from the agenda our projects such as the accelerated modernisation of the Murmansk transport hub, deepening and widening of the fairways of the most important river arteries, the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Course," the president noted.

Separately, Putin also added that the modernisation and construction of transport infrastructure can go ahead of schedule, we cannot reduce the pace.

“The pace is good. There is reason to believe that the planned values for road repairs can be achieved earlier than scheduled. And it is important not to reduce this dynamic," he said.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maksim Platonov

Besides, Vladimir Putin proposed to allocate a separate limit of 100 billion rubles from the additional 250 billion allocated in 2023 for infrastructure budget loans for the development of the Far East.

In addition, he said that another 500 billion infrastructure budget loans have been distributed to regions based on the population, and then collected mainly in large, the most prepared and effective projects.

The president also called on the government to hold an open tender for infrastructure budget loans at the beginning of next year.

About medicine

Speaking about medicine, the head of the state called on the government to launch a programme to combat diabetes next year.

“People suffering from diabetes mellitus are in the zone of special attention. There are now over 5 million people in Russia with such officially established diagnosis, and in fact, most likely, of course, there are more of them, since the disease often does not immediately make itself felt. A person may not even suspect that he is sick... I ask the government to launch the same large-scale programme to combat diabetes from next year," he said.

The president separately stressed that this work should include early diagnosis of the disease, provision of medical products to citizens, as well as include consumables and medicines. The Russian leader also announced the introduction of an additional payment to the salaries of primary care physicians from January 1, the amount of payment should be the same for each specific category of medical workers, regardless of the region.

The president noted that primary health care doctors work with a huge workload, which is also associated with a shortage of personnel.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maksim Platonov

About environment

The programme for improving Lake Baikal should be implemented, and the city of Baikalsk should develop, Vladimir Putin said.

“The lake improvement programmes must be implemented, of course," said the head of the state.

The Russian leader addressed the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. “Mikhail Vladimirovich, I would ask you to pay attention to this, too, including from the point of view of the development of the city of Baikalsk itself," he said.

About aircraft leasing

Preferential aircraft leasing should start working this year, and for shipbuilding — in the first quarter of 2023, Putin said.

“We have agreed to launch preferential leasing of aircraft and water transport of domestic production using the funds of the National Welfare Fund. Unfortunately, so far this tool has not started to work. I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues from the government: the programmes should be implemented in full, funds for aircraft leasing should be provided this year, and water transport — no later than the first quarter of 2023," the president said.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maksim Platonov

About new regions

The head of the state asked the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare a programme for the socio-economic development of new regions by the end of the first quarter of 2023. According to him, Russia will definitely achieve the restoration of new territories, all-Russian standards of social security will be introduced in new regions.

“I would like to mention one more task that is of paramount importance now. I am referring to ensuring security and restoring peaceful life in the Luhansk, Donetsk republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. We will definitely achieve this goal," he stressed.

Vladimir Putin added that Russia will stimulate economic activity in new regions, as well as develop agricultural potential. The president noted that it is necessary to ensure a multiple increase in investments, the emergence of new enterprises, including in the field of housing construction, to improve the quality of roads and railways, utilities and energy infrastructure.

He also proposed to provide mortgages for new construction in the new regions of Russia at a preferential rate of 2%.

Maksim Kokunin