The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Fayzullin, as well as CEOs of several large construction companies and organisations.
The main report was delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.
You probably know that we had a meeting here with the heads of manufacturing sector companies last week and reviewed performance results. I would say the meeting was very productive and useful, I hope, both for those attending and for my colleagues and me, because it was a lively discussion with people working on the ground who can assess what is happening in the industry, give recommendations and formulate their requests.
That prompted the idea to continue this practice and meet with representatives of the construction industry. Firstly, because you will be marking Builder's Day soon, on August 13. All the best to you and everyone working in the construction industry. And secondly, because the construction industry is a major multiplier in the national economy and has been performing very well. Suffice it to mention that Russia has never built so much housing before. You know this better than anyone – you have produced the best indicator in Russia’s history. How high is it, 102.4?
Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Fayzullin: 102.7.
Vladimir Putin: 102.7 million square metres. This is great, a very good indicator.
Infrastructure facilities, landscaping and housing projects, which I mentioned, are the primary segments. Overall, according to preliminary estimates, the construction industry contributes about five percent of GDP, adding to the country’s “piggy bank” for development, and together with the housing and utilities segment, it is almost 13 percent. This is a major, powerful sector that largely determines the stability of the national economy. I mean that construction involves a lot of partners in related industries such as construction materials, metallurgy and transport – in fact, it is difficult to name an industry that is totally unrelated to construction. Therefore, it is extremely important.
The volume of construction increased by almost 15 percent in 2020–2022 and continued to grow in the first half of 2023. According to preliminary data, growth amounted to 9.2 percent of the base that we already had.
As I already said, housing construction has been showing very good results. The volume of multifamily housing is also growing; in the first seven months of this year, the segment added 24 million square metres of completed flats, or eight percent higher than it was. This is great, of course.
Over the first seven months of this year, subsidised mortgage loans alone enabled about 400,000 families to improve their living conditions. So your industry is extremely important both for the national economy and for the social sphere. Every family strives to have decent living conditions; it is important for every person and every family, and it is the government’s responsibility to make every effort to help them achieve their goals. We have been quite effective on this track lately.
I have a few questions, however. I asked to amend the law before June 1, 2023, to make building wooden houses more affordable. So far, unfortunately, this has not been done. I ask the Ministry to finish this work. What is it you need – approvals?
Irek Fayzullin: Mr President, we need to complete this work. We have finished the part that has to do with construction, so today – we have a representative here – we can build four-story detached wooden houses. Now a nine-story residential building is undergoing review. The fire service needs to finish testing the nine-story building so that construction of such wooden buildings is permitted.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I have seen this. You are even talking about building 12-story wooden buildings.
Irek Fayzullin: And taller.
Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I can’t even imagine how this is possible.
Irek Fayzullin: Technically, such housing is already being built around the world, so of course, Russia now also has production facilities that can do this.
Vladimir Putin: We need to complete this as soon as possible. If you need any help…
Irek Fayzullin: Only paperwork left, Mr President. After we burn this building with Emergencies Minister Alexander Kurenkov and work out fire safety requirements, we will be able to implement such projects. Currently, four-story buildings are being built.
Vladimir Putin: Do not delay, do it as soon as possible.
One of our most important tasks, I have mentioned this many times, is to solve the problem of dilapidated and hazardous housing. Last year, residents were relocated from 3 million square metres of dilapidated housing. This is a very good indicator, and we need to keep it up.
Transport construction, roads and railways: last year, almost 30,000 kilometres of roads were built and repaired, which is a good indicator. I would rather not repeat what has been mentioned many times: the Moscow-Kazan highway, the Yekaterinburg-Tyumen road and so on. There is more work to do. And of course, the North-South international transport corridors, the Northern Sea Route, the Eastern Operating Domain, the Baikal-Amur Mainline, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and so on.
There are the new regions, of course. There certainly is plenty to do there. It looks like no one has ever done anything there.
I suggest we start our discussion.
Please, Mr Khusnullin.