President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister, colleagues,
Traditionally we meet on the eve of the New Year and sum up some results, although the main ones are reviewed in other formats: at industrial and public meetings and with the media.
Nevertheless, at these meetings we also recall what has been done, what we have failed to do and where we should go. Of course, one positive thing we must note is the establishment of a good macroeconomic base for development.
Of course, this is a unique result. There has never been anything like this in our modern-day history. The Government and the Central Bank have reached the lowest level of inflation: about three percent.
We have discussed this many times at our working meetings, as well as about the fact that perhaps we should not try to achieve what we have today, but maybe invest more money in the economy, so that it develops a little faster. However, all this is just guesswork, while it is obvious that the macroeconomic foundation gives us an opportunity to develop.
Soon we will decide what comes next. But it is clear that the growth speed we have achieved is not enough. We know this all too well and have discussed this plenty of times. We must do everything that we can to speed up economic growth and improve its structure and quality.
The national projects and development targets are all about this. Together, we will work towards achieving these goals. Of course, this has also been said many times; this is not the main goal. The main goal is to improve people’s lives.
There also are tasks concerning the real income of the people. But there were also tangible results over the past year; I mean the infrastructural development, first of all. We are implementing large infrastructural projects. And, of course, this is a good base on which to develop certain key sectors of the economy. I am certain that the main results related to the quality of life of Russia’s citizens must follow. In the last quarter of 2019, even starting from the third quarter, we can see a certain increase in people’s income and real wages.
This trend must be preserved and intensified. We know that increasing people’s income is among the main tasks in this sphere, including for categories of people with the lowest income. This is the number one priority.
This is related to another important task, addressing the demographic problems, because, as a rule, the main burden falls on families with children. We should never forget this. All our next steps in the social sphere must be matched with the results we expect to achieve when addressing benefits for families with children.
This is a large complex. The Government always has a lot of tasks. The Government almost never has days off. The service desk works nonstop, constantly. And the colleagues who are present here – I know this from my own experience, from speaking with you – are always on duty, always in touch, always thinking about what should be done immediately to bring the quality of our work to a new level.
I would like to thank you for all the joint work over this past year and wish you all the best in the new year.
Happy New Year!
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, colleagues,
I would like to thank the President for reviewing the Government’s work. These meetings are a good tradition that makes it possible to sum things up, which the President has just done.
It is true that 2019 was the beginning of quite a difficult transformation process in the economy and the social sphere as well as of work on the national priorities and national targets. All the deputies and ministers present here tried to make their contribution to addressing these tasks.
I proceed from the fact that this work is difficult, but it has received a good boost. The implementation of the national projects is proceeding as scheduled. Today, after this meeting, which is celebratory to some degree, there will also be a working meeting of the presidential council at the Kremlin, where my colleagues will report their results and which tasks remain still to be solved.
Next year, many things must be done to decrease the level of poverty, which the President has just mentioned, to develop the social sphere, support families with children and develop the economy in the broad sense of the word; I mean attracting investment, developing the infrastructure, lifting administrative barriers and addressing an entire range of tasks concerning the business climate. The Government will have to work on all this.
Mr President, on behalf of the Government I would like to once again thank you for the attention you have given to the Government’s activities, for staying in touch with us and for making speedy decisions if necessary.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year on behalf of the Government, and to get some rest, if possible.