July 31, 2014. Address by Oksana Kozlovskaya at the 33rd Session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast
July 2014 will go down in history as one of the most tense and dramatic periods.
There has been another turn of escalation in the Middle East with thousands of victims.
Situation in the Ukraine is also getting only worse. Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have become refugees. Despite numerous appeals to stay bloodshed and start negotiations, nothing has really changed so far.
Fleeing Ukrainians have flooded the cross-border regions of Russia. Russian Government has already set refugee quotas for those regions. For the rest of the year Tomsk Oblast will have received around 3,800 people on top of the 281 who have already come. With that in mind, the region will have many social challenges and will need funds to resolve them. I know that the Governor is personally involved in this issue and is working on it together with the Oblast Administration. I believe, it will be appropriate if we have a more detailed discussion in September.
The tragedy with the plane crash near Donetsk triggered an information war, sweeping accusations of Russia and tougher sanctions. The tragedy claimed 298 lives, citizens of many countries. The Russian President’s position here is that “Nobody should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to achieve selfish political aims.” And quite a few experts believe that the sanctions will help our country to create a more efficient economy.
In the context of worsening political relations between Russia, Europe and the US, the July BRICS summit is gaining increased importance.
International experts say, the future of the global economy lies with the BRICS members. Together, these countries total 25% of land, 40% of the world’s population and almost 20% of the global GDP.
The summit marked a turning point the development of the global financial architecture. The New Development Bank and the currency reserve pool might seriously challenge the competitive position of the existing financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and the EBRD, and become solid financial foundation for a multipolar world with several decision-taking centers in economy and politics.
The events in the Ukraine have had a tremendous effect on the social and economic situation in the world and in Russia. The Ministry for Economic Development has prepared rather unnerving development scenarios for the national economy for the next few years. The main message of the forecast is that Russia will survive. But budget revenues will shrink.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Among those difficulties we are completing the spring session. We have passed 104 laws, 7 of them totally new.
Even though the situation with the budget is tough, the revenues have grown by 2bn rubles. More than 70% of the growth was secured by federal allocations.
Expenditures have also grown – by 2.6bn rubles, with 1.8bn rubles spent on development programs.
I would like to remind you that:
– Almost 600m rubles was spent on construction and renovation of schools and kindergartens
– 275m rubles was spent on relocation from unfit housing and major repairs of apartment blocks
– Around 470m rubles was spent on agriculture
– Almost 150m rubles was allocated to fund the Rural Doctor program and ambulance services
This year the Oblast Duma passed laws relevant to all aspects of the region’s life:
– A whole package of amendments was adopted to reinforce government support for priority sectors of economy
– An institution of the Business Ombudsman was established
– An Oblast law on major repairs of housing facilities was adopted. It will require a tremendous amount of effort to properly enforce it
– Significant changes were made to the law on magistrates and electoral legislation
– The payroll and pension system for municipal workers took its final shape
– Finally, we passed a large package of social laws to improve affordability and quality of educational, medical, legal, and social services for orphaned children, large families, war veterans and disabled individuals
Currently, at the federal and regional levels work is going on on a draft budget for the next 3 years. It is obvious already now that without raising taxes it will be very difficult to balance out the budgets. That means lack of funds for development and makes attraction of investments a priority for us. And for that we need attractive projects which would be interesting for business, regional government and federation.
INOTomsk-2020 is one such project. On July 25, the work group presided by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich held a session in Tomsk. Deputies took part in it as well.
The project aims at boosting comprehensive social and economic development of the city agglomeration and the entire region. As Deputy Minister for Economic Development Oleg Fomichev put it, "This project is unparalleled in Russia!"
n July the Russian State Duma adopted a new federal law On strategic planning and made changes to the Budget Code which delegate the authority to consider government programs back to the regional parliaments.
In this respect, during the autumn session we will have to update all strategic documents of the region to reflect that change. We are already working on that with the Oblast Administration.
About the agenda
There are 31 items on the agenda.