President of Russia Vladimir Putin: We will cover the whole range of issues today but let’s start with seismic safety in construction.
Governor of Kamchatka Territory Vladimir Ilyukhin: Mr President, this programme was introduced in Kamchatka back in 2009 and has proved to be very effective. Since then, we have built and renovated some 200,000 square metres of housing. We have improved safety of 13 public facilities and built an entire new district, Petropavlovsky, with 35 high-rises. More than 1,500 families have moved into those buildings.
The programme is absolutely necessary. It expires this year, and we would like to ask for this programme to be extended. It is very important to us. As you know, Kamchatka lies in a very seismically active zone.
We started building safer residential housing not only in Petropavlovsk but also in the neighbouring cities such as Yelizovo. Overall, we have five programmes currently implemented across Kamchatka. We would like this programme to continue. I think it will benefit other regions as well.
We have very high hopes for it because we still have around 1,500 buildings that must be either reinforced or demolished and replaced by new construction.
Therefore, I want to ask you to issue the necessary instructions to the Construction Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry in order to extend this programme in Kamchatka Territory.
Speaking about the general situation in the region, it is quite stable.
Vladimir Putin: How about last year’s performance? What are the results?
Vladimir Ilyukhin: Yes, I wanted to report on that.
There have been no failures as far as heating is concerned this season. There were some challenges, but all the services have been up to the task.
Last year’s results were quite positive. The region’s economy has been growing for several years now. In 2016, the industrial production index was equal to about 112 percent, which is a substantial figure.
Fixed capital investment totalled some 20 billion rubles last year, and this indicator has reached almost 180 billion rubles over the last five years.
Regarding the fishing industry, which is a key sector for the regional economy, in 2016 our fishermen caught more than one million tonnes of biological resources. For the last eight years, Kamchatka has been the leading Russian region in terms of catch volumes.
By the way, we have also achieved substantial results in the salmon segment with production at 230,000 tonnes, which is more than 50 percent of all salmon produced across the country.
Having said that, I would like to take this opportunity to convey to you the gratitude of our fishermen for taking the decision to ban drift netting, as this resulted in more salmon coming closer to the shores.
We are actively supporting and developing this industry. We invested some 17 billion rubles in developing on-shore production facilities, and built 16 new plants along the western and eastern coastlines. That goes to say that the fishing industry is willing to invest in this segment.
Vladimir Putin: Are we talking about state-of-the-art facilities?
Vladimir Ilyukhin: Absolutely, these are state-of-the-art facilities, the most advanced plants in Russia. The region is eager to attract and implement all the recent innovations.
Last year, the fishing industry invested about 1.5 billion rubles in upgrading plants and building new ones. This is a vibrant segment. I do hope that with support from the local government it will become a growth driver for the regional economy.
Vladimir Putin: What about the social sector?
Vladimir Ilyukhin: We are on track to meet all the criteria as per the presidential executive orders of May 2012, so everything is quite stable. Wages have declined, however.
In fact, we increased wages in accordance with the relevant norms, but the increase was eaten up by inflation. The overall purchasing power has decreased.
Nevertheless, if we look beyond statistics, there are other indicators that show us how people actually live. Kamchatka has a population of 315,000 people, while the number of registered vehicles stands at 211,000.
Vladimir Putin: You should still keep an eye on these indicators. This year, you have the opportunity to not only regain your positions, but even improve them.
Vladimir Ilyukhin: Yes, certainly.