Putin says preliminary results of national projects to be summed up in 2020

(Xinhua) — The preliminary results of the implementation of Russia’s national projects should be summed up in 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

“This year people should feel real change for the better. It is on the basis of their opinion and assessments at the beginning of next year that we will evaluate the first results of our work on the national projects,” Putin said at his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly.

The government will then draw appropriate conclusions about the work quality and performance at all levels of executive power, he added.

Currently, the Russian government has completed the stage of outlining tools for achieving these long-term strategic goals and the work to achieve the goals has to begin immediately, Putin said.

According to Putin, the national projects are designed to improve the quality of life for all Russian citizens, which can only be achieved by “generating a momentum in Russia’s development.”

In particular, Putin noted that in Russia there are about 19 million people living below the poverty line, adding that combating poverty has become an urgent issue.

He proposed establishing a mechanism of social contracts in certain regions to provide assistance to people with low incomes, such as helping people find jobs as well as providing financial resources and training programs to improve their skills.

“It is estimated that more than 9 million people will be able to benefit from these support measures over a five-year period,” Putin said.

Meanwhile, Putin warned that Russia has entered an extremely challenging period in terms of demographics as the birth rate is declining.

But he said that the Russian government has come up with a package of measures to support families, including increasing maternity subsidiaries and allowances for nurses, reducing tax burdens for families and lowering mortgages rates.

“I strongly believe that we can do it again by returning to natural population growth by late 2023 to early 2024,” Putin said.