At the end of his working trip to the Far East, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held on Tuesday, August 18, a meeting of the commission for the development of the macroregion in Blagoveshchensk, where he studied the results of an experiment on its accelerated development – many of the initiatives used there can be used by the government when working on national projects. The prime minister thanked the heads of the regions for the economic breakthrough (the growth of industrial production in the Far East is 2.5 times ahead of the national one) and focused on solving the most problematic issues of the social sphere, which is somewhat lagging behind the economy.
Mikhail Mishustin ended his Far Eastern trip on Tuesday in Blagoveshchensk with a series of meetings and a meeting of the commission on the socio-economic development of the Far East. Before him, the head of government managed to meet with participants in the Far Eastern Hectare and Far Eastern Mortgage programs, Governor of the Amur Region Vasily Orlov, and Acting Heads of the Jewish Autonomous Region Rostislav Goldstein and the Khabarovsk Territory Mikhail Degtyarev. The press service of the White House informed about the last meeting sparingly: they discussed “issues of budgetary provision, energy and equalization of tariffs, infrastructure projects, as well as social protection of the population”, the political situation in Khabarovsk, where the population has been actively protesting against the arrest of the former governor Sergei Furgal for more than a month, was not mentioned in the message.
At the meeting of the commission for the development of the Far East, the main Far Eastern official could not appear – the president’s plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern Federal District and Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who fell ill with COVID-19. The meeting of the commission was opened by Mikhail Mishustin himself, with a statement that the government was finalizing the program for the socio-economic development of the Far East until 2035 and would approve it in the near future. The White House will soon have to bring the entire pool of national projects in line with reality – and the prime minister’s interest in the results of innovations implemented in the Far Eastern Federal District is understandable.
According to him, “the first result of the new state policy in the Far East was the growth of industrial production, which is more than two and a half times ahead of the national average,” and the investment climate has also revived.
Over the past five years, almost 2.5 thousand investment projects have been launched with a total investment of more than 4 trillion rubles, “more than 180 thousand jobs have been created,” said Mr. Mishustin, thanking the heads of the regions for this.
The main report on the results of Far Eastern development since 2013 was presented by the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Kozlov. He also noted “non-standard solutions” that ensured the growth of the share of foreign direct investment in the macroregion to 26% and the cumulative growth of industrial production over five years by 32%. Separately, the minister noted federal support for the creation of energy facilities, railway infrastructure, gas pipelines and roads. “Investors are investing in the construction of an enterprise, creating jobs, and we, as a state, give subsidies for the construction of expensive infrastructure, which they themselves sometimes cannot afford. The amount of subsidies does not exceed the estimated cost of the object, and the investment project’s multiplier should be 1 to 10, ”the minister noted, adding that such support has already been received by 14 companies that have invested 265 billion rubles in projects. with government investments in infrastructure of 26 billion rubles.
However, the minister stated that demand is growing, but “the state program will not be able to cover everyone.”
The Ministry of the East proposed a separate law to introduce tax deductions for the creation of external infrastructure, but the Ministry of Finance opposed the creation of “new entities”, proposing to include such deductions in agreements on the protection and encouragement of capital investments (SZPK, the so-called investment code). “We are in the working version now, we will report to you how we will agree on this project and this document,” the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East promised.
Calling the economy “a wallet for the construction of hospitals, schools, roads,” the minister admitted that “this is not very good in the Far East, of course,” but the authorities started social development when money appeared: “First of all, we build in municipalities where new productions come ”. In two years, 363 social facilities were built in the Far East, 243 were repaired. The Far Eastern Mortgage program has already allowed 9 thousand people to buy housing since December 2019, the minister reported, but there are 47 thousand people in total, and the primary market can only offer 15 thousand . apartments.
«Housing will not be enough if emergency measures are not taken right now and construction is started, ”he said, promising to convey to the Ministry of Construction proposals on additional stimulation of construction.
In the meantime, the “intermediate” decision had to be made by the prime minister: at a meeting with program participants, he promised to extend the program to the “secondary housing” in the Magadan region and Chukotka, where there are no new houses at all, for two years. Mikhail Mishustin also supported the possibility of expanding the plots in the Far Eastern Hectare program (for those who successfully develop them) and lower the thresholds for access to farm grants.