Government members discussed current issues of Russia’s socio-economic development and the results of Mr Putin’s recent visit to the Volga region.
The Acting President said that leaders of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan had suggested developing federal and inter-budgetary relations, and expressed their support for unifying legislation.
During the period when Russian legislation was being established, many of its constituent members signed agreements with the federal government on a separation of powers. Mr Putin said that while acceptable at the time, at present this raised concern not only of the federal authorities, but also in the regions.
Mr Putin believes that difference between federal and local legislation affects first of all the country’s investment climate.
“If we want to make Russia attractive for foreign investors, we have to create a unified legislation, and investors will know they are investing not in one region, but in all Russia,” Mr Putin said.
In this context, the Acting President said that the regional leaders had admitted that discrepancies in the legislation were slowing down regions’ development.
The Acting President instructed the Finance Ministry and other bodies to consider the initiative of the leaders of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to improve federal and inter-budgetary relations.
The meeting also discussed a health care plan for a period up to 2005. Mr Putin believes that it is necessary to document the state and the employer’s responsibility for people’s health.
The Acting President emphasised the high importance of issues related to the population’s health, especially considering Russia’s mortality rate, which is 1.5 times higher than in other developed countries.
Mr Putin said that the Russian Constitution declared the right to free health services, and 95% of health institutions are free. But in reality, citizens spend more on health care than the state. The Acting President instructed the Cabinet to address this issue.