At the beginning of the conversation, Vladimir Putin noted that the region had some problems that required the special attention of the Acting Head. This concerned the quality of water, the environment in general, the condition of utility networks, and emergency housing. It was necessary to improve the functioning of the healthcare system. That said, the republic had a good foundation for development. This was primarily its construction sector and agriculture – livestock breeding and grain growing.
Yury Zaitsev told the President that the republic was taking part in 19 state programmes. This year, their funding amounts to 28 billion rubles. In the first half of 2022, the GRP amounted to 224 billion rubles; investment in fixed assets went up by 4.7 percent to reach 6.4 billion rubles The republic is carrying out 123 investment projects worth a total of 26 billion rubles. The region is steadily reducing its state debt. It has no overdue debts to resource companies, including Gazprom, which allows it to apply for additional programmes.
The construction sector is making rapid headway: 288,000 square metres of housing were put into operation in the first half of this year, which is an increase of 69 percent over the past year. The republic expects agricultural production to grow by 56 billion rubles by the end of this year and to receive an impressive harvest of grain and vegetables. Zaitsev mentioned his regular meetings with local agricultural producers. They are switching to domestic raw materials and equipment faster than before.
The Mari El budget is socially oriented – about 63 percent of it goes towards social obligations. Additional funds were allocated to adjust salaries, wages and allowances for inflation in the context of increasing the minimum wage.
The republic is providing humanitarian assistance to the DPR and the LPR. It has deployed temporary accommodation centres for refugees and is sending food to them (over 62 tonnes of food have already been sent). Nine tonnes of textbooks, pens and pencil cases have been loaded onto lorries. In September, it is planned to send them roofing materials for the autumn-winter season.
Under the Comfortable Urban Environment federal project, the repairs of 92 courtyards and other public spaces are being completed and funds for the repair of areas that fall under the responsibility of the municipalities have been allocated.
The Safe Quality Roads national project continues at an accelerated pace. In 2019, only about 1 percent of roads were in standard condition, whereas today there are 30 percent good standard roads and this figure will increase to 45 percent by the end of 2024.
The republic received a grant for building an education facility that is similar to the Sirius federal centre for gifted children.
Some 2 billion rubles are earmarked for the development of healthcare every year. Special attention is paid to countering cardio-vascular diseases. A new tomographic scanner was purchased for a hospital in Yoshkar-Ola. About 1.2 billion rubles were allocated this year for countering oncological diseases. Equipment and medications are being purchased for the oncology clinic. Primary healthcare – district and rural hospitals and obstetric units are being modernized; 26 new ambulances were bought. A new modern perinatal centre was built for 1.5 billion rubles under the Health Ministry’s federal targeted investment programme. Yury Zaitsev asked the President to facilitate the allocation of an additional 264 million rubles for the reconstruction of the centre’s old building.
Work is underway within the framework of the Ecology national project to improve the condition of the Volga River. The sewerage system is undergoing repairs.
The republic has an advanced IT sector represented by 52 companies. The Government supports them through tax incentives, among other things. Local companies produce microelectronics for the defence industry and civilian machine building.
The acting head of the republic told the President about the development of tourism. Mari El leads in the Volga Federal District in the number of tourists per resident. The republic has about 270 tourist routes and 1,000 cultural heritage landmarks. A new airport terminal is under construction, but the republic needs assistance from the federal centre – about 4 billion rubles – to upgrade the runway.
Mr Zaitsev told the President about a unique cultural heritage landmark — the Sheremetev Castle on the Volga River. He called it a pearl of Russia rather than just the Volga area, and asked the President to support the allocation of 2 billion rubles for its restoration.
The President pointed out livestock breeding and seed production investment projects. He emphasised the importance of these not only for the republic but also for agriculture in the entire country, and asked Mr Zaitsev to support them. In addition, Vladimir Putin mentioned two other issues that require attention – the need to support the labour market and maintenance to bring regional and local roads up to proper conditions.
The President also noted that Mr Zaitsev has extensive managerial experience – everything he needs to achieve the goals set before the republic, and wished him success.