The agenda included priority goals in the socioeconomic sphere and measures to achieve them.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Let's talk about the goals in the sphere of socioeconomic development in 2019 and measures we need to take in order to achieve them.
As is customary, we will go over several current matters. I asked Mr Zinichev to begin with the recent tragic events in Magnitogorsk and Shakhty.
Let's begin with Shakhty. Update us on what happened there, what are the consequences and what needs to be done to eliminate them. Please go ahead.
Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Yevgeny Zinichev: On January 14, at 6:18 am, an explosion occurred on the ninth floor of a two-entrance brick building, which has 72 flats. The floors collapsed from the ninth to the eighth floor above entrance two. A total of 18 flats were damaged, of which eight have severe damage.
Seven people were rescued; two of them were removed from the rubble, including one child. Currently, their lives and health are not threatened. More than 200 people were evacuated; five bodies were recovered. The rescue works were completed on January 16. Twelve families are temporarily accommodated at the local hotel Gornyak; 1 million rubles have already been paid in compensation to the victims.
Vladimir Putin: Is there anything else that needs to be done to help these people?
Yevgeny Zinichev: Not at this point.
Vladimir Putin: Is everything working?
Yevgeny Zinichev: Everything is working; people have been accommodated.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
The death of every person is a great misfortune and a big tragedy, but in Magnitogorsk the toll is even higher, it is 39 dead, six of them children; this is a real disaster. What is happening there at the moment?
Yevgeny Zinichev: You mean compensations?
Vladimir Putin: Both the compensations and relief efforts.
Yevgeny Zinichev: The explosion destroyed part of the building, damaging 52 flats that were home to 131 people. Twenty-five flats were completely destroyed killing 39 of the 45 people that lived in them.
The rescuers had to work under difficult weather conditions and high risk of collapse, but 18 people were rescued; six people, including two children, were removed from the rubble of destroyed flats. The rescuers sorted through the debris and searched for survivors around the clock working in shifts with special equipment. In the emergency zone, a group of 900 people and 200 units of equipment were concentrated. On January 3, the search and debris work were terminated. Eight families, 15 people, including two children, were temporarily accommodated on the campus of Magnitogorsk State University and the Silver City Hotel.
At present, a government commission continues to provide comprehensive targeted assistance. The Chelyabinsk Region has received 65 million rubles from the Government’s Reserve Fund, of which 46 million rubles have already been paid as compensations, including 28 million rubles to the family members of the 28 people killed in the blast (1 million rubles per each person killed in equal shares to each family member). For the remaining 11 victims, these payments will be made after establishing the whereabouts of relatives and determining the degree of relationship. Payments to the six injured will be made after the completion of the forensic medical examination.
The Reserve Fund also allocated up to 147 million rubles to the Chelyabinsk Region to provide the victims with residential premises; more than 133 million were transferred to the Chelyabinsk regional budget, while 14 million (for the eight flats where the owners have not been identified) remain suspended for now.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
Yevgeny Zinichev: Compensation payments to injured citizens and their family members for a total amount of 93 million rubles are to be paid from the Reserve Fund of the Government of the Chelyabinsk Region.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Dubrovsky, go ahead, please.
Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky: Mr President, colleagues,
First, I would like to express gratitude to you personally, Mr President, and all of our colleagues for your care and support, which we felt literally from the first moments of the tragedy.
Mr Zinichev has already said a lot, and I think I will not repeat these things. The priority task now is to provide flats to the families who lost them. We have declared the eighth section of the house as dangerous along with the seventh section, which means 104 flats. Funds were allocated for these 104 flats in the amount of 147 million rubles.
We have set the rules for getting these funds to the people. They are the following: we will offer an individual the right to select a flat – either a newly-built one or secondary housing, and we will pay the seller the amount of 31,725 rubles per square metre of the housing lost. We think this offers the greatest latitude for people to choose housing, and actually all the decisions are made fairly promptly. One flat has already been bought today; one was bought yesterday; two more have been picked up today. So far people prefer secondary housing. Many decide to buy a larger flat and pay the remaining sum for extra space. So the process has begun.
As for the site itself, currently the seventh and the eighth sections are being dismantled. People from the adjacent sections – numbers five, six, nine and ten – have been evacuated in accordance with the recommendations in the technical statement we have been given. Residents in the other sections continue living there; inspection evaluations confirmed that it is safe to live there.
We expect the demolition of the two sections to go on throughout January and February with a complete follow-up evaluation of the remaining ten sections. The results of the evaluation will lay the groundwork for making a decision on using this building as housing.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Dubrovsky, you know that the city residents sent me a request asking to resettle the entire block of flats. Even though the engineering evaluation shows that it is fit for habitation, this was a big tragedy with 39 deaths, and I understand the people who live there. It is clear that it will cost some money, I think over a billion – according to preliminary estimates, 1.3 billion. We have to meet the people’s wish and resettle the entire block of flats, provide housing for everyone. We will do this using three sources – I will ask you to support this; I will also request funds from the federal budget, and we will also speak with the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. I know that they are always responsive to such matters. Do it in the shortest possible time. And please submit your suggestions as to what can be done at this site – either new development, or a park, or something else. You know better as do the residents of the city, this district, and the city’s mayor. Please consult with the people and submit you proposals. The building must be resettled.
Boris Dubrovsky: The order is clear, we will follow up on it.
Vladimir Putin: All right, agreed.
And of course, everything regarding Shakhty should be carried through; make sure that the people get all the money they are eligible for, and support them. I also spoke to Governor [of the Rostov Region Vasily] Golubev. He keeps this under his control and is regularly on the site. But I ask the Government to also keep track and render assistance if needed.
You know colleagues, I visited a hospice in St Petersburg recently and at the end of last year we had a State Council meeting on palliative care. Today an instruction will be issued to the heads of the regions for them to properly organise this work. I ask the Government to support it insofar as it concerns the Government.
Ms Golikova, I know that the draft law will be discussed today. Please, tell us about it.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova: Mr President, Mr Prime Minister,
Today, the State Duma unanimously approved, in the first reading, the draft law submitted by the Government of the Russian Federation on legislative amendments to the principles of public health regarding the creation of a new system for rendering palliative care to the population. The discussion was not an easy one since it concerns a large number of our citizens, in fact, all of us. Everyone faces this problem in one way or another. So let me explain the proposed options for solving the problems not just within the draft law but also in the subsequent activities of both the Government and the regions.
I would like to stress that today palliative care is not limited to hospices and nursing. It is primarily the medical component of easing a patient’s condition, pain relief, and improving the patient’s quality of life as much as possible. I should mention that it all started in 2012 when we adopted a new law on the principles of public health. But according to the current law this refers to only specialised medical help related to the operation of hospices, palliative care units for cancer patients, and arranging nursing care.
Unfortunately, the specialised nature of this help restricts its application. According to 2018 data, only 181,000 out of half a million of our citizens received such help due to the fact that homecare services are so far underdeveloped in the Russian Federation. And actually, the amendments proposed within the draft law and subsequent bylaws are targeting exactly that.
(Ms Golikova went on to talk about the measures the new law stipulates. These include introducing premedical and medical palliative care and a comprehensive approach to organising palliative care, with consideration for recommendations from the World Health Organisation. According to Tatyana Golikova, as soon as the draft law is approved, the Government will develop corresponding amendments to the state programme for healthcare development concerning the interaction of medical and social organisations, public associations and non-commercial organisations, and will develop measures to increase access to pain relief).
Another thing I would like to note is a set of measures the law stipulates. Until legislative changes are made, in 2019, for the first time under the programme for state guarantees for free medical care, and in accordance with the resolutions signed by Mr Medvedev, the Government is tasking the regions with specifying the scope of palliative care under their regional programmes and normative standards for providing such care. This is being done for the first time. The resolutions also imply the possibility of organising home nursing. Today – as I said at the beginning – a rather heated discussion took place in the State Duma, with a number of deputies proposing possible amendments to a second reading and possible amendments to the other laws unrelated to healthcare. Everyone agreed that this work would be conducted and these proposals would be formulated for the second reading.
Vladimir Putin: Ok, good.
Before we proceed to the main issue and give the floor to Mr Siluanov, I would like to draw the attention of both Mr Siluanov and the Central Bank Chairperson to the problem of inflation. As I understand, nothing unexpected is taking place. Yet, there are issues that require your extra attention, I am speaking of the plan indicators. We have to monitor them.
Russian Seasons in Germany is another topic. How was everything? Please tell.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets: Mr President, Mr Prime Minister,
On January 7, 2019, Russian Seasons successfully got underway in the Berliner Philharmonie, Germany. Russia presented one of the most famous masterpieces of classical music: the opera Iolanta by Pyotr Tchaikovsky that got a warm reception from the German public, whose members in the audience said it was surprising that the Philharmonie gave a standing ovation.
The reviews of the event were very good, with special praise reserved for the musicians, above all Maestro Gergiev and the orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. Our famous performers – bass Stanislav Trofimov, tenor Najmiddin Mavlyanov and Irina Churilova who played Iolanta – were highly acclaimed.
As of today, representatives of the German elite and public (over 400 invitees among 2,200 people present in the Philharmonie) expressed their eager anticipation of the Russian Seasons festival in Germany. There will be over 450 events held in 77 German cities.
This is the third year the Russian Seasons festival is being held on your instructions, Mr President. Let me repeat that we revived this project two years ago in Japan. There also were more than 200 events. It is surprising that these events have become the foundation of serious long-term cooperation; for example, thanks to the Russian Seasons our Trans-Siberian Festival, which had been held only in Siberian cities, came to Japan, and now Japanese companies support this festival in Japan. Now it is also held each year.
The violin festival headed by Vadim Repin was successfully held in Italy. It took place almost everywhere in Italy: over 300 events in over 70 cities. Following this festival, we signed many contracts and established many cultural ties.
We will carry on and hold the Russian Seasons festival in Germany at the highest level possible.
Vladimir Putin: Good. I wish you success.
Speaking about the previous question – prices – of course, the Federal Antimonopoly Service must play its role and perform its functions effectively.
Please, Mr Siluanov, I give you the floor.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov: Thank you, Mr President.
In pursuance of the May Executive Order, the Government drafted a plan to achieve national development goals, and national projects were adopted as well. Now agreements are being concluded with the regions to make the benchmarks outlined in the executive order known in each region. The goals and objectives of the executive order are grouped by phases, deadlines and the people in charge. A system for their implementation has been developed as part of the project approach, and specific mechanisms, amounts and sources of funding have been identified as well.
I will spend a moment to discuss the things the Government needs to do in order to achieve national economic goals. The issue is about Russia joining the top five global economies, ensuring economic growth rates higher than the world average and creating a highly productive, export-oriented sector of the economy. These are the key tasks, the implementation of which will determine the results in other spheres, including improvements in well-being, quality of life and poverty reduction.
This year is critical from the point of view of developing and launching mechanisms for achieving national goals in the years to come. Speeding up economic growth is key to ensuring that the national goals are achieved.
Now, the paths we propose to take in order to get there. First, we need to boost investment. The objective is to increase the share of investment in GDP to 25 percent. What is being done in this area? We are starting to build infrastructure that will allow us to overcome this challenge, because in recent years we struggled with economic growth due to underfunding of infrastructure construction projects. Transport, digital, energy and environmental infrastructure projects will go live. Over 440 billion rubles will be allocated to this end this year through what the Development Fund accumulates.
With regard to new transport infrastructure projects that will be launched this year, these are new terminals and runways at the airports of Novosibirsk, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk and other regions, 27 in all, at which the construction of new terminals will begin.
Creating new port infrastructure to increase agricultural exports in the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea, the Baltic and Far Eastern sea basins.
Construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway as part of the efforts to develop the northern territories.
Construction of the Bagayevsky and Nizhny Novgorod hydroelectric power facilities to increase passenger and cargo traffic along the Volga and Don rivers.
The digital economy is also posing important tasks for us this year. Work will begin to create new infrastructure to connect over 40,000 schools. This goal is set for the period until 2024. This year, we will connect 10,000 schools.
There is also an objective to create 36,000 paramedic centres by 2024; 9,000 of them will receive broadband internet access as early as this year.
And, of course, a greater number of our citizens will have the opportunity to use broadband internet connections. So far, a quarter of our people do not have this access. The goal is to provide almost everyone – 97–98% – with a broadband connection by 2024. This year, we will make the initial step to resolve this.
Under your instructions, work will begin on new waste incineration plants with Russian-made equipment in the Moscow Region and the Republic of Tatarstan.
I should also mention the goals to complete this year major construction projects started previously. I am speaking of finalising the construction of the Moscow–Saint Petersburg highway, which will provide a quality vehicle route connecting the country's two largest cities. Work will also be completed on the railway section of the Crimean Bridge, which will be a landmark event.
As regards airport infrastructure, we will finish construction of the airport in Saratov started last year.
Many of our citizens will see the results of additional resources put into the programme for safe and quality motor roads. The project will receive over 110 billion rubles this year, with efforts to develop regional motorway networks both in metropolitan and rural areas.
We maintain dialogue with major businesses in order to step up investment activity. We have plans to address specific problems facing our businessmen, and to reinforce legal protection of investments.
Major projects to be started by businesses this year include the construction of pulp-and-paper mills in the Irkutsk Region and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the construction of petrochemical plants in the Irkutsk and Amur regions and Tatarstan. The list of projects is constantly being updated, and we maintain a dialogue with the businesses at all times.
The next, no less important, task to be dealt with this year, is our general efforts to improve the business climate. The goal is to create a modern system of control and supervisory requirements during this year, and to cancel outdated and redundant supervisory acts that are in the way of businesses. Such instructions were issued by Mr Medvedev, and we are about to begin this work.
Improving the business environment in Russia is our ongoing goal as well. We want to see Russia in the top 20 of the Doing Business rankings. We will work to improve the overall business environment as well.
The next block includes promoting investment and expanding sources and mechanisms for financing it. In terms of encouraging long-term savings this year, we plan to create a regulatory framework for a voluntary pension savings system. This is a reliable private savings mechanism, I stress, a reliable mechanism, on the one hand and, on the other hand, it is also a long-term sustainable source of investment.
In addition, the project financing factory will become operational. Last year, only two projects were funded by this institution. Now that Vnesheconombank has been properly capitalised, and we have created the basis for a larger-scale deployment of this institution, seven major projects in petrochemistry, railway infrastructure and metallurgy worth about 1 trillion rubles will be launched this year.
As a follow-up to the measures undertaken by the Government, the Bank of Russia will continue to fine tune its banking regulations in order to stimulate project financing and to increase bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses.
Another important measure the Government can take to accelerate economic growth is to improve labour productivity.
How can we achieve this goal? We can introduce modern management technologies. While working within the framework of this project last year, we joined forces with companies to introduce such technologies. What was the result of this? Sixty percent of 200 companies have increased their labour productivity by 10 or more percent. In keeping with the national project, we are to improve labour productivity by 5 percent every year up until 2024. In 2019, as many as 1,000 companies will adopt new management technologies, and the number of such companies will continue to grow each year.
Another effective way to enhance labour productivity is through digital transformation. This year we will create the basis for a regulatory environment, a legal framework for e-document management and data storage and processing, as well as special legal regimes for the introduction of modern technology.
One more sphere of economic development has to do with small and medium-sized businesses and the enhancement of entrepreneurship. We have adopted a national project and we plan to increase the number of personnel at small and medium-sized companies to 19.6 million people. The share of small and medium-sized businesses in the national economy will increase to 23 percent this year.
Under the national project by 2024, we are to increase this share to 32 percent. What are we doing towards this? We are reducing the administrative burden, and we have launched a pilot project in four Russian regions to introduce a new registration and employment system for the self-employed. Some 10,000 people have registered as self-employed since the start of the year. The figure was only 2,000 in the previous two years, when we offered self-employed people the opportunity to register and we waived their taxes. But this year 10,000 people have already used the online system to register their businesses and they can now take out loans and carry out proper accounting, which is very important as well.
This year we will greatly expand access to loans for small and medium-sized businesses. They will be able to take out loans with an interest rate of 8.5 percent. Everything above this figure will be subsidised from the federal budget. While last year, such companies received interest rate subsidies on loans worth a total of 80 billion rubles, this year we expect to subsidize the interest on a total of 1 trillion rubles in loans. In other words, very many small companies will appreciate the positive changes in this sphere. We will also expand small and medium-sized businesses’ access to the procurement system.
Fourth is the stimulation of non-commodity exports. Under the relevant national project, we are to increase the volume of non-energy exports to $160 billion this year or by 20 percent from 2017. We are to increase the volume of services exports by 21 percent, which is important as well, because the export of our products and services means that their quality and competitiveness have been appreciated internationally.
We will break down the job of enhancing our export potential so as to be able to take into account the potential of the companies involved. This year we plan to sign 250 agreements on supporting corporate competitiveness enhancement programmes, so that these companies will be able to receive federal support if they assume the commitment to increase their exports. It is a new instrument. We believe it can help accelerate economic growth.
Mr President, the Government will implement all these measures this year. Our plans can be adjusted, as we agreed, based on the analysis of the national projects’ implementation. If necessary, we will give them additional attention and resources. We can do that.
We maintain regular dialogue with businesses so as to be able to get feedback from them. We have close ties with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs together with other business communities. We are in constant contact with regional authorities. We regularly hold conferences with them on the attainment of the goals set before them, including in the economy. We are also monitoring the federal agencies’ efforts to attain the goal of increasing investment and hence accelerating economic growth.
Using the project-based approach and methods plus involving local governments and business in these efforts, we can ensure positive changes in the key development fields as set out in the Executive Order.
Vladimir Putin: Ok.
Ms Golikova, you have the floor.
Tatyana Golikova: Speaking of social aspects and the Government’s guidelines, we intend to focus our efforts on the most sensitive aspects linked with population growth, increased life expectancy, providing better and more accessible social-sector services, maintaining and retaining high employment levels that were achieved in 2018 and, of course, efforts to reduce poverty.
I would like to dwell upon some of the most important matters that will pre-determine our actions in 2019. It goes without saying that we will continue to focus on the system of citizens’ social security and incomes. In this connection, I would like to say once again that, from January 1, 2019, we have indexed pensions by 7.5 percent in excess of inflation levels, as promised. Pensions were raised by an average of 1,000 rubles, depending on each person’s work record and wages. Some of them received over 1,000 rubles, and some got less than this. But we have virtually finished paying extra pensions since January 1.
All monthly federal money payments will be indexed by actual 2018 inflation levels (4.3 percent) starting from February 1. Rosstat has already published the relevant data. An additional 25 billion rubles will be spent for this purpose. Over 15 million Russian citizens will receive extra financial support. Yesterday, the relevant draft resolution was submitted to the Government of the Russian Federation, and it will soon be submitted to Mr Medvedev for signing.
(The Deputy Prime Minister then touched upon other solutions regarding individual incomes, discussed efforts to draft a new social security system for low-income families and the introduction of so-called social contracts.
Ms Golikova also dwelled upon the topic of demographics, including birth incentives and the implementation of a package of measures to reduce the mortality rate, make medical care more affordable, expand preventive treatment and promote healthy lifestyles.)
Speaking of primary healthcare, over a period of this year there are plans to build 350 paramedic centres and to purchase over 500 mobile medical units for treating patients in their immediate neighbourhoods.
I should also note that on December 27 you signed a federal law on the widespread introduction into the healthcare system of so-called clinical guidelines, which will be the main documents regulating a doctor’s work.
Furthermore, the status of the standards of medical care has changed. Now they are the main medical and economic instrument to determine the cost of providing various medical services.
The updated standards and new clinical guidelines will be introduced into practical life within a period of three years. But in 2019, first of all, clinical guidelines and standards relating to cancer will be introduced, because an additional 70 billion rubles has already been channelled into the compulsory medical insurance system to cover the cost of chemotherapy.
In addition to this, as of January 1, monitoring was organised at the level of the federal and regional compulsory medical insurance funds of the implementation of the clinical guidelines I have just mentioned; a single registry of patients who have received chemotherapy will also be created.
We would also like to look differently on the role and place of health insurance companies regarding the protection of patients’ rights. It seems that the laws on this matter have been adopted, but this work has not been properly established and fine-tuned, so during the first quarter of 2019, we plan to make changes to the compulsory medical insurance regulations in the fields I have already mentioned.
What is this all about? At present, medical insurance companies mainly work specifically on complaints. But we would like them to work proactively, and to ensure that every citizen is provided with specialised medical care at a specific institution in full compliance with the established procedures for providing medical care. This is a difficult job, but we have to begin to address it as it has to be done.
Apart from this, in 2019 we are planning to approve a batch of legislative amendments that will improve the quality of services rendered to people with disabilities. On December 5, the Government submitted to the State Duma a draft law providing for e-document exchanges between medical and social services. These measures have financial support and are explained in the Healthcare national project. This is being done to relieve a person with disabilities of the need to apply for each certificate or assessment report in person, including with the purpose of confirming their disability.
Besides, in 2019 we will continue the job of reducing the prices of pharmaceuticals entered on the list of vital and necessary medicine. Pursuant to your instruction, the Government has submitted to the State Duma a relevant draft law, which was unanimously approved in the first reading earlier today. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that for the first time since it was decided to register the prices of medicine on the list of vital and necessary medication we replace the right of the producer to reduce prices for medicine by their obligation to do so. Accordingly, the Government is authorised to accept a relevant methodology laying out the rules for such reductions.
What exactly is it that we are talking about here? The price will be reduced if there is a price reduction in the producing country – the case in point is primarily imported medicine – if the price of an original medicine is lowered, so will be the price of the medicine reproduced in the Russian Federation, or the so-called generics, and finally if the price of a substance used to produce a relevant medicine is reduced.
Where general education is concerned, we will persist with our efforts to build new schools and modernise the existing ones. In 2019, we plan to create about 25,000 additional student vacancies. As a rule, these will be created in rural areas and small towns. Hopefully, these healthcare and social services measures will make it possible to reduce the outflow of people from rural areas and small towns.
As you may remember, we launched the so-called “nursery programme” in 2008 to provide children under three years of age with places in nurseries. We intend to create 255,000 nursery places under the national project. Apart from this, we are planning to create 1,900 nursery groups in the non-public sector within the next three years, something that will enable mothers to go to work.
Next, I would like to mention the law you signed on December 25, amending the law on education, namely requiring compulsory recording of the results of an independent assessment of the quality of student preparation for state accreditation of educational institutions. This kind of independent assessment has never been used in accreditation before, and will increase its objectivity and reliability. To do this, we plan to make changes to the accreditation regulations. The procedure for improving federal state educational standards is also closely related to this. Mr Medvedev has given the appropriate instructions to finalise the standards. You also recently gave us instructions to organise broad public consultations on federal state educational standards for general education, and we are going to hold such public consultations in the first quarter of 2019.
Over the past 10–12 years, we have consistently been working on giving the system of secondary vocational education the importance and relevance with the real sector of the economy it used to have. I must say that unprecedented changes have been planned in the material and technical supply of secondary specialised educational institutions as part of the Education national project. In 2019 alone, 700 workshops will be re-equipped. As of September 1, 2018, all the colleges and technical schools in Russia began training students following updated standards, including those with WorldSkills experience.
I have to say that all the changes that will occur in 2019 are integrated into the national projects and into the Guidelines for the Government. We very much hope that Russians will feel the changes in the country’s economic and social life already this year.
Yesterday at the Gaidar Forum, we discussed the national projects in detail with the regional governors. Most of the governors were unanimous that the 2018 budgets of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation were generally adequate, which means the measures implemented by the Government in 2017, including restructuring, gave their results. Today we can say that as of this moment we have reached the level of federal financial support for the regions as it was in 2008 before the crisis, that is, about 25 percent. This is very important, because this kind of stability makes it possible to expect the tasks set to be implemented not only at the level of the Federal Government, but also in the regions.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, we have met for the first time this year, and we are discussing a very important subject: our socioeconomic development goals for 2019 and measures for their implementation. I would like to remind you that it all boils down to the following: our main goals are to improve the quality of life of our people, Russian citizens, and to ensure a sustainable and rapid economic growth simultaneously with changing the structure of our economy.
We have been working on these priorities for a long time, starting back in 2016. We did this before as well, but we objectivised our goals in 2016, and we kept working on them in 2017 and throughout 2018. As a result, we have formulated the priorities of attaining these goals, which ultimately took the form of national projects.
The Government has adopted relevant decisions on the implementation of these projects. A great deal has been said about this today. These include enhancing labour productivity, attracting investment, primarily private funds, ensuring the growth of non-commodity exports, and the like.
There is much to do in the social sphere. However, I would like to point out that it is for a reason that I mentioned our inflation expectations for the beginning of the year. In a way, it is an objective process, yet we must monitor it and react to them promptly and competently. This is the first thing I wanted to say.
Second, I have already spoken about 2016, 2017 and 2018. The year 2019 will be one of key stages in the implementation of this programme. Therefore, we must agree to work together to closely monitor everything that takes place in these vital spheres. We will do so systematically, reviewing our performance every three and six months and, naturally, in the year as a whole. As I have pointed out more than once, these results must be represented not in figures or reports; they must translate into practical deeds and the people’s assessment of our achievements. I urge you to get down to business in 2019, to start working towards the concrete results which we believe are of crucial importance for the country.
I would like to wish all of you every success, but I expect you to work hard and effectively.