President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon,
Today we are meeting to discuss development of the Chechen Republic. I do not often hold meetings on a single region development, but I think in this case, it makes sense given all that the Chechen Republic has been through.
Just now, while talking to President of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, I made a note of something that people here remember very well, but which I will nevertheless repeat: on June 12, 2000, a special Presidential Executive Order was signed appointing Akhmat Kadyrov the head of the Chechen Republic’s government.
Ten years have passed since that day, and I remarked that if Akhmat Kadyrov were able to see the way the Republic has progressed with his own eyes, or from a helicopter, as we just saw it, then I think he would be pleased.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of problems in all our regions, and the Republic of Chechnya is certainly no exception. Thus, I suggest that we briefly cover the main hot-button issues, take a look at what has and has not been done.
We have a special targeted programme for socioeconomic development in Chechnya for the 2008–2011 timeframe with an approved budget of 120 billion rubles [$4 billion], which includes 110.8 billion rubles financing from the federal budget.
We should see how this money has been allotted and spent, as well as what is being done to reach the programme’s goals and what should be done next with the programme funds once 2011 is behind. We should outline further goals and results and the ways and means to reach them.
There is another important issue directly tied to the Republic’s socioeconomic development, I mean support for local manufacturers.
Last year was difficult for Russia, and this year has seen certain problems too. As far as the Chechen Republic is concerned, previously the aim was to restore its industries, while now these businesses should be developed further.
For the time being, their development will still require a certain state financing, or offering various opportunities and preferences for these purposes. I think investment tax credits may be granted to some companies, or government guaranties may be issued to support investment projects implementation.
In some cases, particularly when it comes to agricultural companies and farming businesses, part of their loan interest should be subsidised. We can as well discuss other suggestions today.
There are certain problems that have accumulated, growing loans payable for example. Our efforts in this regard should be discussed. I am aware that Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy Alexander Khloponin has reviewed the situation and I want to be briefed on his respective suggestions.
Another very important issue is social infrastructure and construction of kindergartens, schools, and medical centres.
Revival of Chechnya is progressing at a pretty good rate. What we saw during our fairly short flight over its territory looks quite impressive. Again, we are to set our priorities in where the money should go in the first turn.
For example, there are problems in construction of a specialised establishment for children with disabilities, and there are problems in functioning of health resorts.
There are many problems in agriculture. The primary problem is of course a lack of equipment at agricultural companies and a high level of wear and tear on the machinery. Even though the fields are being cared for and it is evident they are in good condition, additional and rather significant funds are required to acquire new trucks and tractors. Water supply systems should be improved as some of them are either destroyed or outdated. Lands melioration is a separate issue requiring our special decisions.
There are other problems for us to address in infrastructure, railroads, and motorways.
Security is a special issue we always discuss at meetings in the North Caucasus Federal District. I now expect to be briefed on the current situation and recent accomplishments.
The war against bandits has not ended continuing on a regular and systemic basis and producing good results lately, but we will nevertheless review the subject again and I expect a report to be made by both the federal agencies and the Chechen law enforcement authorities.