Agenda: Preliminary economic results of 2022, the Metallurgical Industry Development Strategy, the Automotive Industry Development Strategy, the improvement of land regulation, and the integration of education and research facilities in the DPR, LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions into the Russian legal framework.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks
Good afternoon, colleagues, good to see you all.
As we are reviewing the preliminary economic results of 2022 at today’s Government meeting, we can say that the negative forecasts made by many experts and Western analysts have not come true.
According to the Ministry of Economic Development, Russia’s GDP declined by only about 2 percent in January-November compared to the same period last year.
The construction industry and agriculture actually showed year-on-year growth in November. The output of electrical equipment is increasing. There are positive indicators in the production of vehicles and equipment. Lending to legal entities and individuals is recovering, which is a significant factor that supports economic growth. The volume of loans increased by more than 13 percent compared to November 2021.
The situation on the labour market remains stable. In November, the unemployment rate reached a historic low of 3.7 percent (we discussed this yesterday).
This is largely the result of our combined efforts with State Duma deputies and senators to counter the unprecedented sanctions.
As the President noted, all branches and levels of the Government needed to act decisively, coherently and quickly in the face of that challenge.
In a short time, measures were taken to protect the domestic market in Russia from external pressure, to support infrastructure development in the regions, and keep industrial facilities operating.
Any problems with assisting those participating in the special military operation and their families were promptly resolved. They were granted tax and credit benefits, job security guarantees, and appropriate social protection. Issuance of relevant documents was accelerated, while maintaining the highest possible work standards.
We continue the active work to legally integrate the four new territories into the Russian Federation.
I would also like to mention the parliamentarians’ cooperation with ministries and agencies in drafting the federal budget for the next three years. As you know, it provides for the fulfilment of all social obligations to citizens and measures to support our economy.
I would like to thank the members of the State Duma, senators and the speakers of the two houses of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko and Vyacheslav Volodin, for their constructive cooperation in developing the legal framework required to achieve the goals set by the President and for all their assistance.
Now to today’s agenda. We will discuss the Metallurgical Industry Development Strategy. We spoke in greater detail about its main aspects at a meeting on current issues with the deputy prime ministers.
A long-term action plan for this industry, which is very important for the country, was drawn up on the President’s instructions. It is comprehensive in nature, taking into account all the changes that have taken place both in the macroeconomy and on the global markets for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Under the new conditions, it is extremely important to strengthen the industry’s independence with regard to raw materials, their processing and all the necessary processes and equipment. We will pay special attention to increasing the sales of domestic enterprises’ goods and services.
I would like to ask the Ministry of Industry and Trade to take all necessary decisions as quickly as possible to ensure the implementation of the strategy and, importantly, to prepare a list of priority investment projects in metallurgy, which will help achieve technological sovereignty on this industry.
The next issue deals with another long-term strategy for developing the automotive industry. The strategy spans over ten years, until 2035, and aims to double vehicle output in the next two to three years. The President instructed the Government to saturate the domestic market, to create a sufficient supply of vehicles, primarily passenger cars. Our main efforts will prioritise research and development projects, as well as launching production of various components and systems in Russia. The strategy’s implementation will help the automotive industry’s affiliated sectors, including metallurgy, metal-working facilities, chemistry, electrical engineering, electronics, information technology and software. The proposed measures will enhance the country’s national security. The Government is streamlining land regulation in order to duly protect the land property rights of individuals and businesses. We have already simplified the procedure for granting private property status to private houses, country homes and garages. As per the President’s instruction, the Government has drafted a bill to grant ownership rights for land plots where electricity, gas and water supply mains are located. Although in order to use them, heightened security and safety measures are required along with proper supervision, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of mains lack the relevant property status so far. Once approved, the new regulatory documents will show who is responsible for this highly important infrastructure. It will also become possible to quickly register various facilities that were built over 18 years ago, prior to enacting the Urban Development Code. This bill is an important step in the development of a transparent and easy-to-understand system of land relations in the interests of individuals and businesses. Today, we will discuss another issue, regarding legislative motions to merge schools, universities and research agencies in the four new Russian regions with national legislation. They will start working in line with national legislation. This primarily concerns the rights of students, the positions of educators and research associates, the organisation of graduation and entrance exams, postgraduate and doctoral courses and vocational training programmes. We will also recognise all education and qualification levels, academic degrees and titles of the new regions’ residents. It is important that members of national academies of sciences must be eligible for monthly allowances. The Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have dozens of universities, research agencies and hundreds of schools. Of course, we must create favourable conditions for educators and students in line with current Russian standards and norms.