President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kuyvashev, let’s start with the traditional question about the region’s socioeconomic situation.
Governor of Sverdlovsk Region Yevgeny Kuyvashev: Mr President, the results for 2015 show a stable situation in the region’s main economic sectors. We can say today that the region has adapted to the new economic situation and, most importantly, has maintained its growth potential.
The region is consistently in the top ten regions nationwide in terms of the main macroeconomic indicators. The gross regional product has increased to 1.811 trillion rubles.
Vladimir Putin: This an increase of how many percent?
Yevgeny Kuyvashev: It is up by 13.6 percent on the 2015 result. In January 2016, we noted growth of nearly 1.3 percent compared to the preceding period.
The industrial output index has slowed down a little, but we analysed the first two months of 2016 and saw that we had growth of nearly 26 percent. This is a very good result and we are taking it as the basis for planning our budget policy.
The regional authorities worked with the federal Government to draft a package of measures to stimulate economic growth, and we had made bids for 111 projects as of the end of 2015.
We received real assistance from the Industrial Development Fund – three trillion rubles. This money is being spent on import replacement projects, which will be completed in the short term.
I think it has proved an effective practice that you introduced of targeted intervention and capital injections for specific projects. This gives a big boost to developing cooperation within and between regions and at the nationwide level.
We are doing quite well in the agriculture sector, with growth of almost one percent. We are known as an industrial region, but we are consistently one of the country’s leaders for growth in milk production. Our production now comes to a value of 75 billion rubles.
Let me say a few words about our biggest investment projects in 2015 and our plans for this year. With your help, in 2015, we launched the 4th BN800 fast breeder power unit at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant. Total investment in that project came to 142 billion rubles.
Then there is the Severouralsk bauxite mine, the deepest bauxite mine. Operations have already begun at the first section. We can supply in full all the needed bauxite for the aluminium industry for the next 25 years. Additional investment in this project in 2016 comes to 7 billion rubles.
The new cold rolled aluminium production facility at the Kamensk-Uralsky metallurgical plant required investment of 45 billion rubles. This new facility will give a big boost to our aircraft manufacturing industry and everyone who uses rolled aluminium.
The Seversky pipe plant was noteworthy in that it underwent modernisation without stopping production. Total investment in this project came to 17.3 billion rubles.
We thought that 2014 set our record for housing construction, but we beat this record in 2015 with a total of 2.483 million square metres of new housing on the market.
Vladimir Putin: Now you have to help people to buy it.
Yevgeny Kuyvashev: In 2015, we took measures to maintain the interest rate, and there is increased demand as a result. People are buying housing, and we see this, but people are not so active in all segments of the market. There is a seasonal factor too in buying housing, but overall, the demand is for housing in the cheaper segment.
We were the first region to take part in the programme you approved, Housing for Russian Families, which offers housing at a price of under 35,000 rubles per square metre. We built the first apartment building under this programme in Kamensk-Uralsky, and now all of the apartments have already been sold.
Vladimir Putin: Good.