The meeting was held via videoconference.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, colleagues,
The hour of reckoning has come: this is our first videoconference this year on the implementation of presidential instructions. I would like us to review the progress made in 2011: what issues have been closed, what problems have been resolved completely and how many deadlines have been extended and why.
To begin with, I would like to briefly discuss a few issues we have been working on.
In recent years – in fact, right from the start of my term in office – we have been focusing on providing housing for the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War veterans. The relevant Executive Order was signed on May 7, 2008. Let me remind you that within two years new housing was provided to all veterans who had registered by March 1, 2005 (that was our first milestone.) In July 2010 we launched the second phase: allocating housing for those veterans who registered after March 1, 2005. Just in 2011, a very substantial sum was allocated for this purpose from the federal budget: 62 billion rubles [$2.1 billion]. As a result, over 175,000 people received new homes by February 1, 2012.
Overall, the work is moving forward, but at different rates, as it tends to happen sometimes. For example, all veterans have received housing in the Magadan Region, although it is not a very large region, and in 18 regions the waiting lists have fewer than 100 people. Some regions, however, have had problems in this regard. I would like to hear your reports on what has been done and what priority steps will be taken to complete this initiative.
Another perpetual issue is increasing the efficiency of the utilities services. All regions are affected by these problems, which are regularly raised by the people, discussed online and in letters addressed directly to the leadership. The set of problems is the same as ever: unjustifiably high utilities rates, lack of discipline in the management companies and basic corruption, or simply negligence and laxity.
The housing and utilities sector will be under constant monitoring. I recently pointed out the need for that at the Interior Ministry board meeting. The rates must be justified and absolutely transparent, and the performance of the utilities services must always be at a high level.
There was a series of specific instructions to Novoshakhtinsk and a number of other companies and cities. I would like to hear your reports on what has been done.
Another matter I want to address today concerns the detection and prevention of illicit financial transactions. The range of offenses involving such transactions is very wide, from the financing of terrorism to laundering of illegal proceeds, bribery and tax evasion.
I have issued instructions in this regard. Just recently, in early January, we set up a working group under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, made up of law enforcement officers and employees of the Bank of Russia and the Federal Tax Service. I would like to hear what has been done in this area as well.
There are two more measures that were proposed in the 2010 Address to the Federal Assembly. They have to do with regional maternity capital and the provision of land plots free of charge to families with three or more children. I reviewed these initiatives recently at a meeting on housing, and Governors report to me regularly on this matter. Positive results have been achieved in most regions. Now we must decide what is to be done next.
These initiatives will benefit millions of people and provide support to large families, improve the quality of life and generally promote demographic growth.
Let’s get to work.