Meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin

Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Mishustin, good afternoon.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin Mishustin MikhailPrime Minister of the Russian Federation : Good afternoon, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: How are you? Is everything fine?
Mikhail Mishustin: Everything is fine, Mr President. We are working.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Mishustin, on April 28, we discussed at a meeting with the leaders of the Russian regions a whole range of issues related to containing the coronavirus. And then, along with the development and implementation of our current measures, it was agreed that the Government would submit its proposals for the future – that it would start preparing a nationwide action plan to bring business life back to normal, to restore employment, people’s incomes and economic growth, of course.
It was then that I specifically pointed out that the strategic objective of the national action plan was not only to stabilise the country – which is certainly essential to move forward – but most importantly, to support individuals, enterprises, and businesses at the exit stage. This is important in itself, of course, but what is more – we have discussed this specifically – we need to achieve long-term structural change in the Russian economy, new dynamics in achieving the key national development goals, and our primary goal is certainly the well-being of the people, of Russian families.
Again, it is of fundamental importance to both address today’s urgent problems and to ensure confident progress for the long term, while dealing with the detrimental impact of the coronavirus on all spheres including the global economy, international trade and even technological development.
There is increasing change in the world, and in order to respond to the new challenges, we need to act professionally and effectively, and make informed decisions. By the way, our coronavirus response effort is generally quite in line with what I am saying and our doctors deserve special appreciation and gratitude, and also the Government, which took timely action.
The draft action plan that I am talking about has been prepared; I received it from the Government yesterday. We discussed this on the telephone too. I have it here on my desk, and I read it before our meeting. Today, of course, I would like to personally speak with you on all these topics. I would like to ask you to tell us more about the main targets and priorities of this plan, and about the initiatives that the Government proposes implementing.
Please, Mr Mishustin, the floor is yours.
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr President,
In line with your instructions, the Government has prepared a draft national action plan to restore employment and people’s incomes, as well as to provide economic growth and other long-term structural changes. The plan’s main objective is to overcome the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and reach a sustainable growth of the GDP in order to gradually increase people’s incomes.
This task will be tackled using an entire range of measures in various areas, including the improvement of investment activity, the use of advanced technologies and digital technologies, the improvement of the quality of education, as well as prompt construction of quality housing. By the end of the recovery period, we are supposed to reach a sustainable long-term growth of the economy that will exceed the pre-crisis level, while real disposable incomes are supposed to grow consistently.
In order to overcome the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic and pursuant to your instructions, we have already taken a series of emergency anti-crisis measures. First of all, it included the support of the incomes of the people (both those working and those who lost their jobs) and families with children. We tried to lower the expenses of businesses in order to free up funds for paying wages; we provided deferrals on tax, social insurance payments, rent and loans, imposed a moratorium on inspections, extended licenses and permits, and provided subsidised loans for small and medium-sized businesses and backbone enterprises. The implementation of the special programmes to support industries that have suffered the most is also underway.
The social and business support measures have allowed for partly compensating the shrinking incomes of people, and for slowing down the unemployment growth.
There is no doubt that we should pay special attention to the risks related to unemployment. The shutdown of enterprises or reduced working hours and wages have aggravated the situation. All this can result in shrinking incomes, which means the reduction of purchasing power. Therefore, the action plan includes an active employment policy.
To be continued.