This year, the authorities of the Chelyabinsk region pay special attention to the social sphere. Despite the deficit of the current regional budget, in 2014, the spending of the regional treasury in the social field will make up 73 percent against 68 percent in 2013.
Since 2015, the region will begin paying regional maternity capital for needy families. The average per capita income of such families should not be above the subsistence rate. The regional capital shall be paid to families if their third or subsequent child was born after January 1, 2012. The regional maternity capital makes up 50,000 rubles ($1,400); it will be possible to use the funds at the time when the child turns three.
"Certainly, this is currently important. One needs to stimulate the birth rate to the extent regional authorities can incur all these expenses. This is very positive that in the Chelyabinsk region, the authorities allocated funds for the payment of the regional maternity capital. Let other regions follow the example, - Olga Alimova, a member of the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. - I would like the federal budget take up a bigger burden, because in regional structures there are broad powers, but the financial component is very low. Indeed, federal agencies take nearly 60 percent of tax reserves! So I am afraid that regional authorities will not be able to handle all these payments, but the initiative is wonderful!"
The first recipients of the regional maternity capital will obtain the opportunity to dispose the money in January 2015. Regional maternity capital can be spent on education or health services for the father, mother or children.
"I travel a lot around the country, visit a variety of regions, cities and villages. This is very important, and I want to say that for a small town or village, 50,000 rubles is a lot of money, - said Irina Medvedeva, the director of the Institute of Demographic Security, vice president and co-founder of the Inter-regional fund for social and psychological assistance to child and family. - It is not only the material factor that plays a role here. The money evidences the support of large families, i.e. it has a moral value. When authorities help such families, they show that many children become a priority. It should be our priority, because for the time being, we have a state of a demographic disaster. The more they encourage families with many children, the better."
The upcoming three-year budget of the region will be scarce, but social spending increases. This is not a reason to save on the quality of life of South Urals residents. This is a way to optimize spending in the areas where there are always opportunities for saving, Acting Governor of the region, Boris Dubrovsky believes. The move to refuse from duplicate functions has already saved more than half a billion rubles.
"The quality of work has not been affected. I appeal to municipalities: please, pay attention to our practice. Save a hundred rubles - start with yourself. People are waiting for this," said Acting Head of the region in his address to the Regional Legislative Assembly. The address presented the Regional Development Strategy until 2020, revised at the insistence of Boris Dubrovsky.