Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends,
We have gathered here because of a momentous date, the tenth anniversary of the Russian Parliament. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on this anniversary. Those present were directly involved during the ten years when the Russian parliamentary system was emerging. You have your own experience and your own impressions and you feel strongly about many issues. So I suggest that we take advantage of this jubilee to exchange opinions on how to proceed.
During its ten years, the State Duma has passed some key laws that have enabled us to carry out the necessary reforms in practically all spheres of government. Time does not stand still and we must keep abreast of the times. New challenges emerge. Events often outstrip the decisions that we make, and that is a challenge in its own right which we must take into account.
A very important set of issues has to do with the consequences of the laws we pass not only of the economic, but also of the civil and moral character. This calls for a profound analysis not only of law-making, but also of law-enforcement practices. If you have any ideas on that score, I would gladly listen to you and I promise to convey all this to the executive branch of government.
A few words about cooperation with the executive branch. In recent years it has been marked by constructive teamwork. It enabled us not only to pass the laws that a country needs, but to overcome the differences that naturally arise. There have always been and there are today some differences between the executive and legislative branches. But what is important is to overcome these differences in the same way as we have done over the past years and to continue to strengthen the tradition of constructive cooperation.
Such mutual understanding is particularly vital in drafting the budget. I would therefore urge you to draw on the positive experience of the previous Duma and do everything to meet the deadlines determined by the law and minimise the influence of lobby groups, whose interests are as a rule far removed from those of society and the state.
The country’s economy gathered momentum during the past four years. One of the main reasons for that was that in our common work we sought to promote economic freedoms.
It is important that this Duma continues in the same spirit. You have to do some serious work to draft legislation in the sphere of economics and finance, you are to supplement the body of laws on taxation which must be combined with the processes of redistribution of powers. The provision of the new law on local government that deals with the relations between different levels of the budget also needs to be supported by legislation. On the whole, much still remains to be done to make the economy less bureaucratic.
I would also like to draw your attention to the problems in the social sphere. I mean the development of the system of health insurance, education and the body of laws designed to create a market of affordable housing. We must thoroughly analyse the body of anticorruption laws for quality, completeness and the presence of conflicting provisions.
In general, this is what you have been actively engaged in over the past few years. Some progress can be reported in practically all these areas. But if the results achieved so far are to be put into practice, further steps are necessary, for example, the body of laws on the delimitation of powers, especially in the budget sphere. Obviously, the fairly large body of laws cannot be implemented without taking the decisions which we are planning to take shortly.
In conclusion, I would like to express hope that the new State Duma will make a significant contribution to cooperation among all the branches of power. Each of them has its own tasks but, as we have worked together over the past years, I am sure that this is the only way to achieve concrete and serious results for developing our country.
I wish you all success, and once again I congratulate you and all the State Duma deputies on the tenth anniversary of the Russian Parliament.