Mr Levchenko said that work on the 2012–2020 Federal Targeted Programme to Protect Lake Baikal has not yet fully resolved the situation with the Baikal pulp and paper mill and the town of Baikalsk. The main problems are treating and processing the sludge reservoirs, re-profiling the industrial site for other activity, and replacing the energy source and energy networks.
Mr Levchenko proposed to designate the region as the operator and give it responsibility for these three areas. In his view these issues can be resolved before the federal targeted programme comes to its term.
Mr Levchenko said the region’s socioeconomic situation is reasonably stable. The industrial output index came to 104.5 year on year in 2015. The processing and mining sectors both showed growth.
Housing construction increased by more than 10 percent compared to 2014. The region is implementing the May 2012 presidential executive orders on building kindergartens. The start of 2016 has seen the region in quite a stable situation with industrial output growth already up 106 percent over the first two months of the year.