Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, I have just come from a meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Council for Sports and Physical Culture, where we discussed sports and physical culture development issues, including issues related to preparations for the 2014 Olympics.
The Government has proposed some changes to the government structure. As you know, I have given my support to these proposals and will soon sign several decrees.
Dmitry Nikolayevich, as we discussed already, I will sign a decree not only on the new post of deputy prime minister, but I will also sign a decree appointing you to this post and releasing you from your post of regional development minister. I want you to concentrate most of all on preparations for the Olympics. This is a big and complex matter. If we look back at the Soviet experience, when preparations were underway for the Moscow Olympics in 1980, we see that a deputy chairman of the Soviet Government was specifically responsible for overseeing this work. I think that, with some changes of course, we should follow a similar organisational scheme in our preparations for the Olympics now.
At the same time, as I just discussed with you, Viktor Fyodorovich, I will sign a decree appointing to Viktor Fyodorovich Basargin to the post of minister for regional development. You have been working as the deputy plenipotentiary presidential envoy in the Urals Federal District. You are familiar with the issues because over these last eight years you have been directly involved in the district’s social and economic development and know the situation on the ground. We have discussed this situation many times during videoconferences and meetings that I held when I was working in the Government. I hope you will be able to get right into your new work straight away and start addressing all the different issues that are part of the Ministry for Regional Development’s responsibilities.
One of the most complex and important issues today is the situation on the housing market. We have accomplished much of late and I hope that we will be able to maintain and build on these results despite the difficult financial situation.
What I am referring to in particular is overall stabilisation on the housing market (Dmitry Nikolayevich discussed this today with the Prime Minister and I know that several proposals have been prepared, which you will report on now), and ensuring the market’s stable development and support for developer companies. I would like to hear now about the agreements you reached today, and then I will sum up the results.
Dmitry Kozak: Dmitry Anatolyevich,
In accordance with your instruction and the Prime Minister’s instruction, we are analysing and monitoring the situation on the housing market. We have information from the different regions about how the situation is normalising. There is no cause for alarm at the moment, but the developers and construction companies in this area are looking for support in the event that the situation on the financial market worsens.
What conclusions have we reached through our monitoring and analysis? First of all, the proposal is to support the housing market by using state, federal and regional funds earmarked for social programmes to provide housing for various groups of people this year and in the coming years.
We do not need to start up new state construction projects, but should channel the money into buying housing on the market at what are fair but regulated market prices. In this respect we request support for amendments to law 94 on state purchases. Everyone knows this law. We need these amendments in order to be able to make targeted selection, using an absolutely transparent government-approved procedure, of companies with big individual-stake-funded construction projects. The plan is to buy up apartments in buildings near completion for people who are to be resettled from dilapidated old housing. We have earmarked funds for this purpose. There are funds in the Housing and Utilities Reform Facilitation Fund. These subsidies will be made available to the regions. The Prime Minister supported this proposal, but the funds will be allocated using a special government-approved procedure and keeping in place all of the conditions that applied to previous subsidies and conditions related to reform of the housing and utilities sector.
We also have a fairly large-scale programme for military housing. We have full understanding with the Defence Ministry. Some of the funds set aside for use this year have not been disbursed yet and were to be used to fund the start of new construction. We will put them to acquiring housing on the market instead. Added to this will be at least 10 billion roubles that were to have been allocated next year but will be used this year instead to buy up housing on the market ahead of time now and thus resolve two tasks at once – tackle social problems without delay, and support the housing market.
These are the main measures we propose. Added to this is the money already earmarked in the federal budget law – 60 billion roubles for paying costs on mortgage loans in banks in order to support the banking system. But we want to put some conditions on this money. We want the banks that receive these funds for mortgage loan costs to continue making credits available for housing construction projects that are financed by individual stakes and are close to completion. This is the third issue we will address in order to support the stakeholders in construction projects and ensure that no one suffers.
Dmitry Medvedev: This all sounds reasonable. We need to inject money in order to support the financing of housing construction. In this way we support not just the construction sector, which is in itself important, but also contribute to our crucial social objective of providing our citizens with housing. This applies to people who purchase housing themselves, and people serving in the Armed Forces and other security and law enforcement agencies and who purchase housing through special state programmes. These measures will help to stabilise the situation and enable us to keep up the decent pace of making housing available that we have set over these last years. We must not lose hold of what we have built up over these last years. This is vital for resolving Russia’s most complicated social problem.
You know this problem well. We have been working on this constantly together, and I therefore hope, Viktor Fyodorovich, that you will get straight into this work. And you, Dmitry Nikolayevich, I hope you will concentrate on the preparations for the Olympics and on issues related to the other big sports projects we have at the moment.
I wish you success.