The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

Summary of the address by Oksana Kozlovskaya at the 12th Session
of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast(September 27, 2012)

Oksana Kozlovskaya
Oksana Kozlovskaya delivered a salutary address to the Governor, deputies, community leaders, and journalists attending the 12th Duma session.

Key events that took place recently were the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London with Tomsk people participating and APEC Summit in Vladivistok which brought together 21 countries which account for approximately 40% of the world’s population and 54% of world GDP. In a joint declaration issued at the end of the Summit the member countries reaffirmed their commitment to fight against corruption, strengthen the national financial systems and adhere to the innovative development path for their economies. It is important that the expert community listed Russia among the top five APEC countries for investment attractiveness.

An important milestone for the region was the formation of a new Governor’s team. Most new people who have come to work in the Administration are well known to the citizens of Tomsk Oblast. These people have a lot of experience and a success story each. There are also three former Duma deputies: Vladimir Zhidkikh, Chingis Akatayev and Vitaly Ogleznev. They are experienced politicians who are well aware of the voter’s problems, the specific nature of legislative work, and the relations of the executive and legislative branches.

“Dear colleagues! The eurozone crisis is continuing to cast a shadow over all the countries in the world, including Russia. This autumn may be extremely stressful for the global and Russian economies. The Russian Government has already revised outlooks for 2012 by reducing the GDP growth rate and increasing inflation rates.

The situation in Tomsk Oblast has remained stable against this background. We are among the leaders in the Siberian Federal District for a number of important socio-economic development parameters over the past 8 months.”

What are the grounds for such conclusions?

  • Growth of real income per capita
  • Growth of investments and industrial output
  • Less then half as many workers have unpaid wages
  • The population in the Oblast increased by almost 1,500 people since the beginning of the year
  • Average salary in the region has risen above 26,000 rubles

The region confirmed its high innovative status having taken the first place in the Innovation Rating of Russian Regions. The experts gave the highest score to the statement delivered by the Governor of Tomsk Oblast on keeping innovations and investments a priority in the development strategy of the region and the formation of a new Governor’s team which includes well-known people with an extensive innovation record.

However, there are parameters with negative dynamics such as general unemployment. Salaries and wages are still low in the forest and agricultural sectors and commerce – almost twice as low as the region’s average. Tariffs and prices are rising inexorably.

From January 2013, the performance of governments in the regions will be evaluated using a different approach based on the Presidential Decree specifying 11 indicators with the key priority being the individual and their quality of life.

For the first time citizens will evaluate the performance of the regional authorities.

People’s opinions will be studies by independent experts at the federal level.

This summer Tomsk Oblast faced a serious challenge with hot and dry weather and forest fires.
“I believe that the next test of our performance ability and professional attitude will be our (the new Governor’s team’s and Duma’s) joint work on the Oblast budget law for the next three years.”

Items on the agenda for today’s session:

- Reduce the tax burden on the companies which use the simplified taxation system

- Significantly increase the region’s financial commitments related to the provision of housing for orphans. From January 1, 2013 in accordance with the federal legislation twice as many people become eligible for free housing, which will cost the Oblast budget 1.2bn rubles versus 700m.

- Amend the 2012 budget without increasing own revenues. “I would like to pay special attention to the allocation of 65 million rubles for the compensation of forest fire fighting expenses. A comprehensive and system-based approach to this very serious problem is long overdue. The region will not cope by itself without support from the Government and federal money.”

There is also a block of items on staff changes.

  • Election of the Duma representative in the Federation Council
  • Election of the Chairman of the Chamber of Audit and Accounts of Tomsk Oblast
  • Approval of the head of the Oblast-Owned Property Management Department
  • Early termination of authority of two deputies
  • Changes in the legislation on elections

The agenda consists of 48 items in total.

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