Rustam Minnikhanov began reporting on the socioeconomic situation in the region by saying that as of August 17, after a five-month break, theatres, cinemas and concert halls had opened in Tatarstan. The third phase of lifting coronavirus-related restrictions was underway. Doctors and medical staff managed the epidemiologic threat well, developed the necessary competences and gained experience. Tatar experts who went to Kazakhstan to help with the epidemic received high praise. A group of doctors remain in Uzbekistan as part of the Russian delegation.
The republic currently has the necessary reserves of medical and personal protection equipment as well as beds. On August 10, a new infectious disease hospital building opened. The facility covers over 18,000 sq m and was built in just 100 days. It has 232 beds, which can be expanded to 504.
However, today, the focus is on the most important task, restoring the economy. According to Rustam Minnikhanov, over the seven months of 2020 the gross regional product was 1.32 trillion rubles, or 98.5 percent of last year’s. The list of the most hard-hit industries include oil production, due to OPEC restrictions, petrochemical production due to a decrease in global demand, engineering due to closed borders and broken cooperation chains, and energy generation due to lower consumption. Support for the private sector included backbone companies, which received over 7 billion rubles in preferential loans, and loans for large companies to maintain employment levels, which totaled 3.5 billion rubles. All of this helped preserve processing industries, which grew in seven months by 5.2 percent compared with last year. Oil refining grew by almost 14 percent and food processing by 18 percent.
Over seven months, the growth in agriculture was 3.1 percent. Retail trade is also growing. The housing construction programme is underway as usual. The preparedness of social and community facilities for the heating season is 90 percent.
The discussion also concerned the need to provide jobs and support families with children and small and medium companies.
Mr Minnikhanov reported that 10 new schools and 39 refurbished/repaired schools would open this year. On September 1, 452,000 children will go to school. Under the Digital Economy federal project, all schools in the republic will be provided with high-speed internet access. In accordance with presidential instructions, all 209,000 pupils in the 1–4 forms will receive free hot and healthy meals.
Mr Minnikhanov noted that the decline in the economic situation has had a negative effect on the republic’s revenue. As of July, the budget was 31.6 billion rubles below last year’s level. He emphasised that the republic received the first tranche of financial support but was denied the second tranche given its status as a donor region. Mr Minnikhanov asked the President to support objective and fair distribution of financial aid.
Mr Minnikhanov spoke about preparations for the festive events to celebrate the centenary of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (TASSR). The republic will open renovated buildings of the Republican National Library, the Tatar Drama Theatre in the city of Naberezhnyye Chelny, the Ioldyzlyk-Galaxy Youth Theatre, and a Culture Centre for Railway Workers. A new highway named after the 100th anniversary of the TASSR will open as part of the Big Kazan Transport Ring as well as a number of other major projects.
Vladimir Putin noted that by tradition Tatarstan has had top key indicators in several areas for many years, including GRP growth and industrial production. It stands out for its continuing natural population growth. At the same time, the President also pointed out one outstanding environmental problem related to industrial treatment facilities.
Vladimir Putin emphasised that overall the situation in the republic is, if not exemplary, much better than in many regions in Russia. The President also promised to discuss the lasting specific issues, including the discussed problems of financial aid distribution, and to review the questions linked with the republic’s future development.
The President wished Mr Minnikhanov and all the people of Tatarstan further success and once again congratulated them on the centenary of their republic.