President Vladimir Putin: Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have long been talking about the need to adopt a budget for three years. The presidential budgetary message sets the same task – giving a legal stamp to the mid-term federal budget, for 2008–2010. In this context, I have asked you to gather today in order to discuss the relevant problems, including organization of this work, and the budget code. This is the first point.
Secondly, all our colleagues should aim at setting a timeframe for drawing up the draft budget before the end of this year. Please, don’t forget that there is little time left.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to two issues which are not directly linked with today’s agenda. I am referring to a number of social problems. First, I have signed a decree on compensation to caregivers, i.e. those who take care of disabled people. We are increasing what used to be a preposterously inadequate sum of 120 rubles. It will go up by more than four times. This is not a great deal either, but 500 rubles is better than 120 rubles. We are bringing this compensation to 500 rubles. This is the first point. I would like to ask the Chairman of the Government and the Ministry of Finance to take care of the decree’s prompt implementation.
The second question deals with additional measures to make more effective the use of payroll funds for employees of the federal bodies of executive authority. Salaries are going up, but we have always meant to simultaneously reduce the size of the bureaucratic machine. But we have not done this – to the contrary, the number of administrative bodies is growing both in the center, and the provinces. In this context, I have signed a decree which allows CEOs to effect headcount optimization in their departments while keeping their payroll funds, and using them as they see fit. I believe this will be a good impetus for headcount optimization.