The President suggested beginning the conversation with investment activity, which, he said, is doing quite well in the region.
Stanislav Voskresensky said that in 2020 the Ivanovo Region showed the highest fixed capital investment growth in Central Russia. According to the Economic Development Ministry data, investment increased almost 25 percent, concentrating in the metalworking industry, agriculture and the textile industry. The region is also attracting investment in infrastructure development. It repaired more than 450 kilometres of roads in 2020, setting a record for the past 20 years. The region has completed almost 90 percent of its backbone regional road network. Railway infrastructure is also developing, including a project with Russian Railways to build a modern station in Ivanovo. More than 2.5 million passengers have travelled between Ivanovo and Moscow by train since the launch of a rapid rail link in 2018. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Ivanovo Region ranked third in Russia in terms of the online economy, with only Moscow and St Petersburg ahead of it.
Vladimir Putin drew the Governor’s attention to a number of long-standing problems that have yet to be resolved. Primarily, this refers to the poor state of utilities, including water and wastewater mains, heat supply and power grids. The President went on to say that while utilities infrastructure upgrades may come at a high cost and take a long time, this matter can be dealt with in a number of ways, including through concessions or by raising funds or taking out infrastructure loans by working jointly with the Government
Mr Voskresensky explained that Vodokanal, a regional water supply operator, provides for the necessary repairs through concession agreements and takes over networks in order to bring them up to standard. As for heat distribution networks, the region is working with the Government to secure infrastructure loans from the budget at a 3 percent interest rate
Referring to cumulative environmental damage, primarily from the chemical industry, the President pinpointed another sensitive matter that is causing the population a lot of concern and asked whether the region needs any help in this regard.
According to the Governor, the region has already benefited from support under a corresponding national project. Efforts to eliminate the cumulative damage start this year and are expected to be ongoing for several years.
Vladimir Putin reminded the Governor of the defrauded homebuyers, stressing that this topic also requires attention.
Mr Voskresensky reported that there were 2,760 defrauded homebuyers in 2017 when he became Governor, and now the number of contracts that have not be honoured is down to just 792. Most cases have been solved, and the region is working with the fund for defrauded homebuyers within DOM.RF corporation, while exploring other opportunities as well.
The President emphasised the need to settle this problem once and for all.