The meeting participants also discussed current issues. Minister of Construction and Housing and Utilities Mikhail Men reported on the readiness of the housing and utilities sector for the heating season.
Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin updated the Government members on the payment of wage arrears. Vladimir Putin pointed out that more attention should be given to such matters and said he would alert the prosecutor’s offices and the Investigative Committee to this.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
The Government, in particular the Finance Ministry, worked at the State Duma today to amend the 2017 budget ahead of discussions of the budget for 2018 and the subsequent two years. What I would like you to take note of is military pensions.
This is what I would like to say. It is true that military pensions nearly doubled, or more precisely, increased by 90 percent, between 2011 and 2017. In the past, we indexed military salaries and military pensions simultaneously. I have noticed that the 2018 budget stipulates the indexation of military salaries on January 1 and the indexation of military pensions on February 1. This decision concerns 2.6 million people. I think we can act as we did in the past, that is, index military salaries and military pensions, as well as the salaries and pensions of the staff and veterans of the other uniformed services, which include Interior Ministry personnel, the Russian National Guard, firefighters, etc., on January 1.
However, to be able to do this we need to earmark the funds already this year, because military pensions are paid in advance. If we index military pensions on January 1, military pensioners must receive their money in December, which means that it must be available. We have sufficient budgetary revenue for this.
I would like the Finance Minister to report on this.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov: Indeed, Mr President, our revenues this year are sufficient for implementing your instructions on indexing military pensions and the pensions of other uniformed veterans from January 1, 2018. We will take this into account this year and we will implement your instructions.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, please do. I request that the Government oversee this process and take this into account when making plans for the future.