President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Minnikhanov, Tatarstan has long been first in many categories. However, it has unresolved problems and faces formidable challenges, as everyone does. Let us discuss everything – the republic’s socioeconomic situation as a whole.
Head of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov: First, I would like to thank you on behalf of all the people of Tatarstan for the distinguished title that you have bestowed on our venerable Mintimer Shaimiev. He fully deserves this award, which is a precious gift to our republic. I believe we will continue to work on ambitious projects with the Russian Federation and do good for our country.
I would like to report briefly on last year and the first quarter of 2017. I have put together a report, but I will cite some figures right now. Industrial output increased by 3.6 percent in 2016, and gross regional product by 2.5 percent. Investments in fixed capital, rural issues and housing – things prioritised by the May Executive Orders – all these targets have been met.
As for the first quarter, industrial output increased by 4.7 percent and gross regional product by 4.2 percent. The economic situation is improving in principle, and we can address all the other issues.
I prepared the programmes that we are implementing: more than 30 programmes for all our cities and regions. I would like to say that on your instructions (your Address to the Federal Assembly makes special note of this) we have developed an ambitious two-year programme concerning primary healthcare. All outpatient clinics and other facilities – about 180 – will be repaired within these two years, most of them this year, and the rest next year.
One of our more complicated problems has to do with banks. It started this year. Several of our banks have gone bankrupt and some depositors lost money and are concerned.
A government commission has been set up and we are actively working with the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Central Bank, and creditors are being organised.
The culprits have been detained and law enforcement officials are analysing every transaction. We will certainly have to find a mechanism: we intend to establish a special fund to support depositors who will not be able to get compensation from sold-off assets, if these assets do not suffice. That is one category.
Equity holders make up another category. We are working with them as well. The managers of two major companies have also been detained in the case.
These are the two matters we are addressing. On the whole, we are implementing big projects and our programmes, and I can say in full confidence that this year will also be a success.