Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Prime Minister talks on government's priorities

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has named five priorities for his government in the social and economic sphere and in foreign policy.

"The first priority is to increase living standards of the population," he said at a government session, when presenting the Cabinet's mid-term plan of work.

Fradkov pointed to the need to turn the housing sector from the social sphere into an engine of economic growth.

"Secondly, we have to lift restrictions, to eliminate bottlenecks of the economic growth, including in the infrastructure," he said.

According to the Prime Minister, to achieve this it is necessary to work out strategic investment projects and programs attracting both state and business resources.

He also pointed to the need to increase competitiveness of Russian companies and private businesses, as well as to the importance to support regional strategies of social and economic development. "We have to mobilize resources of growth of regions and municipalities," he said.

"And, finally, our priority is to rationally integrate Russia in the global economy," Fradkov pointed out.

The inert development of the Russian economy of the last three years has been exhausted, he believes.

"Inertia will not allow us to achieve the goals set by the President, to double GDP, to decrease poverty, to increase prosperity and to modernize the army," Fradkov said.

He cited a forecast by the Economic Development Ministry, according to which GDP growth in 2005-2007 without modernization of main industries will be 5-6%, and with a deteriorating foreign situation (mainly, plummeting of international oil prices) no more than 4%.

"So we face a task of building a vertical of programmed and targeted administration, where ministries and departments make their proposals on sources of economic growth," the Prime Minister emphasized.

For example, the growth pace can be raised by 2-3% by projects in breakthrough areas, he believes.

"For this we need to use scientific, technical and manpower potential of the country, a considerate macroeconomic policy and balanced budget policy," he concluded.