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Putin discussed with the government coronavirus, pension indexation and gasification

The threat of new outbreaks of coronavirus, the indexation of pensions and the gasification of regions were the main topics of President Vladimir Putin’s first meeting with the government this year, which was held via videoconference. New measures to combat the omicron will be prepared by the Cabinet by the end of the week.

Omicron: a new wave

Russia has two weeks to prepare for the rise in COVID-19 incidence due to the new strain, Vladimir Putin said. He noted that the New Year holidays will obviously affect the epidemic situation in the country. “We see what is happening in the world, as I said at the beginning, this suggests that we have at least a couple of weeks to prepare (for new outbreaks of the disease. – Approx.” RG. “). the obvious things that you can’t do anything about are communication between people, trips during this vacation period abroad, including to countries with a difficult epidemiological situation, so you need to be ready for this, “he said.

The President stressed that the situation is very difficult and the topic of combating covid continues to be relevant, not only in the Russian Federation, but throughout the world. “We see what is happening now in the United States of America – over a million cases, a million three hundred already, in my opinion. In some European countries, approximately the same is happening with the new omicron strain,” he said. “Russia needs a readiness of the hospital network and industry, as well as an increase in testing and vaccination, Putin instructed. The President reiterated that Sputnik V copes with the coronavirus more effectively than other world vaccines.” In any case, the neutralization of the virus is obvious, “he said. Putin asked Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to work out the issue of the vaccination campaign with the regions in the very near future.

The head of state also instructed the government to intensify work on in-depth medical examination of citizens who have had coronavirus. He recalled that 9.5 million people were planned to undergo medical examination last year, and as a result, less than 2 million underwent it. “Therefore, it is necessary not only to return, but to do it more actively,” he said. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova confirmed that a new rise in the incidence of covid due to the omicron strain in Russia is inevitable. To date, about 698 cases of infection with the omicron strain have been identified in the country, most of them in the Moscow region, Golikova said.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the capital will be the first to face an increase in the incidence of covid due to the new strain. “Therefore, we assume that with such a contagiousness, the incidence and detection rates of a new coronavirus infection may be multiplied,” she said. New measures to combat the omicron, which will be required in the event of an unfavorable development of the situation with the new strain, will be prepared by the Russian government before the end of the week, Golikova said. “We are working out additional measures for response, urgent response, including financial support for the fact that, if the unfavorable scenario is confirmed, we will need to implement,” she said.

Pensions are higher than inflation

Indexation of pensions was another topic that was discussed at the meeting. The President noted that this social issue concerns millions of Russian citizens. “I propose to index pensions a little higher than inflation – now it looks like 8.4 percent – by 8.6 percent, with a slight gap, because there are no final figures on inflation yet. I ask the government to carry out the necessary procedures and make a decision as soon as possible,” – he said.

The President instructed the government to index pensions by 8.6 percent

Putin stressed that earlier decisions will not allow people to cover the costs associated with increased inflation last year.

Governors will be responsible for gasification

The quality of life of millions of Russians depends on the implementation of the gasification program, said Vladimir Putin. “I ask the government, United Russia, and public organizations in general to get involved in the most active way,” he said.

The level of gasification in Russia reached 72 percent by the end of 2021, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. He also recalled that the presidential decree set the task of the phased completion of gasification by 2030. To achieve this goal, the government has approved a “roadmap” for the introduction of socially oriented gasification and gas supply to the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. “The target is to bring the level of gasification to 83 percent by 2030,” Novak added. He also said that the government instructed the FAS to prevent an increase in prices for gas equipment. “We have identified cases of growth in the cost of gas-using equipment. This is happening against the background of a fourfold increase in the number of applications, which has caused an increase in demand for equipment,” he said. Novak stressed that the government is closely monitoring the situation with prices in this area.

In turn, Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party, First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Andrei Turchak appealed to Vladimir Putin with a request to support the proposal that the governors head the gasification headquarters. “Yesterday at the federal headquarters for gasification we came to a consensus that the regional headquarters for gasification should be headed by the heads of the constituent entities. Today, only three heads of the constituent entity head the regional headquarters, we would ask you to support this proposal,” he said, addressing the President.

Another proposal of Turchak, sounded at the meeting, is to make free gas for the Eternal Lights. “The order of operation of the Eternal Lights is not clearly defined. As a result, this has already led several times to cases when for debts or delays in payment by local authorities, such lights were extinguished. In manual mode, we promptly resolved these issues. However, it is obvious that a systematic solution. We propose at the regulatory level to establish a zero payment for gas supplied to ensure the continuous operation of the Eternal Lights, “he explained. “The proposals that have been formulated will certainly be supported,” Putin responded.

Laws for citizens and businesses

About 60 percent of the laws adopted in the Russian Federation in 2021 are based on the requests of citizens and businesses, Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of Staff of the Cabinet of Ministers Dmitry Grigorenko said at the meeting. He noted that last year the head of state signed 505 federal laws adopted by the State Duma, of which 289 (57 percent) were adopted at the initiative of the government. “All the initiatives of the Russian government on legislative activity are based on the real requests of citizens and businesses and on the basis of the information that we have collected,” he added. Grigorenko recalled that among the key adopted laws – an increase in the minimum wage (minimum wage) by a little more than a thousand rubles – from 12 792 rubles to 13 890. An important law was also adopted aimed at resolving issues of protecting the rights of insured persons in the event of an illegal transfer pension savings from one state pension fund to another.

Vladimir Putin, in turn, said that it is necessary to fine-tune the implementation of the new laws in such a way that they have a positive effect on the country’s economy and people’s lives. “The laws are necessary and timely. But the law is the law, but we need to establish law enforcement practice so that all this works in life and gives the return that we expect from this for the country, for the economy, for our people,” he said.

Flights across the country go smoothly

The passenger traffic of Russian airlines in 2021 amounted to 112 million people, Vitaly Savelyev, the head of the Russian Ministry of Transport, reported to the President. Thus, relative to 2020, when Russian airlines carried 69.2 million people, last year’s passenger traffic increased by 62 percent, compared with the pre-coronavirus 2019 (128 million people), it fell by almost 13 percent.

Domestic transportation, according to the minister, reached 89 million passengers in 2021, which is 59 percent more than in 2020 and 22 percent more than in 2019. The growth of the indicator was achieved thanks to the system of subsidizing transportation, Saveliev noted. In total, 21.9 billion rubles were allocated from the budget last year, 63 percent of this amount was allocated to support flights to the Far East. In 2022, the volume of subsidies for air travel in Russia will amount to 27.5 billion rubles. This will allow transporting about 5 million passengers. “In 2022, to ensure the availability of air transportation, three programs of state support are being implemented: this is an increase in the availability of air transportation for citizens, the development of regional transportation and subsidies to the Aurora airline,” Saveliev explained. “I hope everything will work smoothly, in a timely manner,” he reacted to the report Vladimir Putin.

State of emergency at “Listvyazhnaya” – to solve people’s problems

Vladimir Putin demanded an informal and individual approach to solving the problems of victims and relatives of those killed at the Listvyazhnaya mine in Kuzbass. This is how the president reacted to the report of the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergei Tsivilev, on how people are supported after the emergency at Listvyazhnaya. “The work, of course, should be exclusively individual, because in life there are a lot of questions, difficulties, we do not think about them when we do not face problems of this kind, and then it turns out that these issues can be resolved only in close contact with those people. , on which the adoption of certain decisions depends and which should approach these issues informally, “Putin said. He stressed that if something is needed from the government, from the president, it is necessary to immediately apply. “The New Year is a bright holiday associated with hopes for a better future, we also have a New Year ahead of us according to the old style, but someone has a holiday, and someone has trouble and tragedy. Of course, everything must be done so that people support in this difficult period of time for them, “the President noted.

How much money will be needed to index pensions above inflation

The indexation of insurance pensions in 2022 was provided at the level of 5.9%. The budget of the Pension Fund provides 377 billion rubles for this, the Ministry of Finance noted. Taking into account the instructions of the president to index pensions above inflation – at the level of 8.6% – an additional 172.7 billion rubles will be required in 2022, the department added. Thus, the total amount of expenses for the indexation of insurance pensions this year will amount to 549.7 billion rubles.

Taking into account this indexation, the average size of the insurance pension of a non-working old-age pensioner will be 18,984 rubles in 2022, said the head of the Ministry of Labor Anton Kotyakov. According to the chairman of the Union of Pensioners of Russia Valery Ryazansky, the money in the form of an increase will go to daily expenses (to pay for utilities, food, medicine) and quickly return to the economy. “Thus, the state is fulfilling not only a social, but also an economic task, increasing the purchasing power of more than 30 million pensioners,” Ryazansky emphasizes.

The president’s decision to index pensions above inflation will just support the incomes of the population in the current conditions, they are confident in the Ministry of Economic Development.

As the chief economist of the Expert RA rating agency Anton Tabakh notes, any payment or additional payment accelerates inflation. “But in this case, we are talking about maintaining the incomes of the unprotected segments of the population, so this argument is inappropriate here,” the expert clarifies.

According to the director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Shirov, the order to index pensions above the inflation rate is associated with high rates of price growth. The expert noted that a lower inflation rate was included in the budget forecast, but at the end of the year it became obvious that it would exceed 8%. “The indexation of pensions will have a positive effect on the ability of citizens to compensate for the increase in expenses. The state has the necessary financial resources for this,” Shirov said.

Prepared Olga Ignatova, Alexey Lyubovetsky, Roman Markelov

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