Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Friday exclusive - EastRussia industry overview

The quintessence of analytics on the Far East at the end of the week. EastRussia continues to publish exclusive industry reviews from its newsletter.

Possession of such information can become an additional basis for a business to identify trends with the ability to navigate the market and develop a competent strategy of behavior. Today we are sharing with our readers the current sectoral review of the social sphere of the Far East - a short list of what has been done or can be done in order to make life well in the Far East.

Friday exclusive - EastRussia industry overview
Photo: EastRussia

In order to ensure the growth of socio-economic indicators in the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District and to combat the outflow of the population, possible support measures aimed at all groups of Far Easterners are being developed and discussed. The issues of expanding existing programs are also being raised. These measures, however, require significant federal budget expenditures. 

At the government level, discussions are continuing on possible measures to support the population of the Far Eastern regions, encouraging residents of the Far Eastern Federal District to continue working and studying in the region, as well as encouraging residents of other regions to move to the Far East. Since such measures as the "Far Eastern hectare" and preferential economic regimes (TOP, FPV) are considered as designed primarily for entrepreneurs intending to develop business, it is proposed to introduce new forms of support aimed at all residents of the Far East. One of these forms of support can be the social "Card of the Far East", which is planned to be introduced in the district this year. The project was announced by the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, A. Chekunkov, at the end of 2020. Earlier, in October, the initiative to create a “card of the Far East” similar to the social card of a Muscovite in Moscow was announced by the State Duma deputy from Yakutia, deputy head of the Just Russia faction F. Tumusov. At the end of January, the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East confirmed that work was underway to create a map, including negotiations with large companies in order to ensure a standardized launch of the product in all regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. A card based on the Mir system can be used by residents of the Far Eastern regions to obtain a wide range of social support measures and services. However, the full functionality of the planned card has not yet been specified.

It should be noted that the experience of introducing social cards exists in several subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District - in the Primorsky and Kamchatka Territories, the Sakhalin Region. First of all, they are focused on privileged categories of citizens. In particular, on Sakhalin, with the help of the “United Sakhalin card”, pensioners are entitled to free visits to cultural and sports establishments, discounts in selected stores and pharmacies. In the Kamchatka Territory, since the fall of 2020, the first stage of introducing a social card (bank card of the Mir payment system) has been in effect - it only implies the possibility of purchasing food at a discount for certain social groups (at the first stage - veterans and invalids of the Great Patriotic War, residents besieged Leningrad and prisoners of fascist camps). However, in the future, the functionality of the card is planned to be expanded - to introduce the possibility of paying for travel in public transport, paying for housing and communal services, and conducting banking operations. In Primorye, the Primorets social card can be used by pensioners, labor veterans, war veterans, disabled people and parents in large families, compensating the cost of travel on public transport, receiving discounts in shops and pharmacies - partners of the project. Also, this card of the Mir system can be used to transfer pensions, social support measures and compensations in monetary terms. The authorities of Yakutia also announced plans to introduce a unified social card.

In addition, another proposal of deputies F. Tumusov and Y. Volkov (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, representing Buryatia and the Trans-Baikal Territory) was a project for the introduction of "Far Eastern capital", which the inhabitants of the region could send to education or business development. The draft prepared by the parliamentarians suggests introducing a cash payment (“Far Eastern capital”) for citizens born in the regions of the Far East, the size of which will be equal to the maternity capital (483,8 thousand rubles). It can be used to start a business, pay housing costs, get an education, and receive medical treatment. At the same time, in addition to citizens born in the Far Eastern Federal District, the payment is proposed to be provided to those who have lived in the Far East for at least 5 years (as of January 1, 2021). The deputies also propose to open a special account for each Far East, to which 10 thousand rubles will be credited annually. In turn, the directions for spending these funds are also supposed to be limited - to use them only to compensate for the costs associated with air travel or travel by rail. Unlike the social “card of the Far East”, the introduction of large payments is currently unlikely, given that such a measure would require a much larger volume of budgetary expenditures.

Nevertheless, the federal authorities do not rule out revising the preferential program aimed at increasing the transport accessibility of the Far Eastern regions. Instead of introducing special payments intended to compensate for travel expenses, the range of recipients of benefits for air travel could be expanded. President Vladimir Putin following a joint meeting of the State Council and the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects instructed to the government by March 15 to submit proposals to expand programs to ensure the availability of passenger air traffic on routes from the Far East and in the opposite direction. At the same time, special attention should be paid to the elimination of the current age restrictions. In addition, the government and the State Council Commission on Transport (headed by the head of Buryatia A. Tsydenov) must submit proposals for expanding the programs of regional and local air transportation.

It should be recalled that in the federal budget for the current year, 3,8 billion rubles were allocated for the program of subsidizing air travel (from the Far East, as well as to Kaliningrad and the Crimea), but at the beginning of the year the government allocated an additional 5 billion rubles for Far Eastern air transportation. due to the rapid depletion of the originally envisaged amount of subsidies. As a reminder, today citizens under 23 years old, men over 60 years old and women over 55 years old, as well as members of large families, disabled persons of the first group and their attendants, disabled children of the first and second groups can buy air tickets at discounted prices.

As for the already operating program of preferential Far Eastern mortgages, the first results are being summed up, on the basis of which, among other things, it is planned to make a decision on the advisability of further prolongation of this mortgage program. In particular, VTB notes an increase in demand for Far Eastern mortgages by 2,5 times, after such as in August last year, the rate at this bank was reduced from 2% to 1% (taking into account the comprehensive insurance of the borrower). Since the beginning of the program, the bank has concluded 3,3 thousand contracts worth more than 13 billion rubles. The largest number of contracts was concluded in the Primorsky Territory (5,6 billion rubles), the Khabarovsk Territory (2,29 billion rubles) and Yakutia (2,26 billion rubles). Recall that in 2020, in some regions, the program was also expanded to the secondary housing market - residents of the Magadan Region and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug received the opportunity to use concessional lending to purchase real estate from legal entities and individuals in any municipality, including the regional center. The possibility of allowing the purchase of housing in the secondary market under the preferential program in the Trans-Baikal Territory is also being considered.

In general, the number of mortgage loans issued under the Far Eastern Mortgage program exceeded 2020 thousand by the end of 15, and the total amount of funds issued reached 54 billion rubles. In addition to VTB, the rate was lowered by Sberbank, which issues a loan at 1,3% per annum and at 1%, provided that the Electronic Registration service is used. The problem is the increase in housing prices in the Far Eastern regions, provoked by growing demand, primarily in the market for new buildings. Nevertheless, the authorities expect that the situation will be temporary, including linking it with an increase in the attractiveness of real estate as an investment asset against the backdrop of an unstable economic situation.

Certain measures of social support of the population are taken by regional authorities - first of all, they are aimed at employees of the budgetary measure and the least protected groups of the population. At the end of the year, in the Irkutsk Region, the monthly payment for teachers in the Far North regions was doubled to compensate for the cost of purchasing fuel - from 2,5 to 5,5 thousand rubles. In the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the subsistence minimum for non-working pensioners has been increased to 19 rubles. It should also be noted that since December 312 of last year, the amount of federal compensation paid when doctors and medical personnel move to the Far East, to closed cities or regions of the Far North, has been doubled. According to the changes, doctors will receive up to 15 million rubles (previously - 2 million rubles), paramedics, obstetricians and nurses - up to 1 million rubles (previously - 1 thousand rubles).

The national program for the development of the Far East presupposes a significant increase in the socio-economic indicators of the regions, exceeding the national average, but so far there has been a noticeable differentiation of subjects within the Far Eastern Federal District. By the end of 2020, an increase in the wages of employees of organizations was recorded in the regions of the Far East.

Table 1. Average monthly wages of employees of organizations, October 2020, in% to the corresponding month of the previous year.

Region

Index

Russian Federation

105,6

Siberian Federal District

106,1

Irkutsk Region

106,0

Far Eastern Federal District

105,5

The Chukchi Autobus. County

111,9

Jewish Authors. region

109,9

Amur Region

108,8

The Republic of Buryatia

107,2

Magadan region

106,9

Trans-Baikal Territory

106,8

Primorsky Krai

106,3

Kamchatka

105,0

Sakhalin Region

104,5

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

104,4

Khabarovsk Krai

101,6


In October last year, the highest dynamics were observed in the Chukotka Autonomous District, the Jewish Autonomous District and the Amur Region. At the same time, the Khabarovsk Territory, which had previously shown a decrease in the average monthly wage, showed an increase in October, albeit insignificantly, by 1,6%.

Nevertheless, the increase in wages was accompanied by an increase in consumer prices for goods and services in the Far Eastern Federal District (Table 2), partly offsetting the positive effect. Consumer prices grew in November in all subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District and in the Irkutsk region. At the same time, an increase of more than 5% was recorded in the Amur Region, Buryatia and the Jewish Autonomous Region, which is typical for the previous reporting periods. The situation was somewhat different in the north, in Yakutia, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Kamchatka Territory, where the rate of price growth was lower - within 1,8-3,2%.

Table 2. Consumer price index for goods and services, November 2020, in% to December 2019.

Region

Index

Russian Federation

104,1

Siberian Federal District

104,1

Irkutsk Region

104,2

Far Eastern Federal District

104,1

Amur Region

105,4

The Republic of Buryatia

105,1

Jewish Authors. region

105,1

Sakhalin Region

104,7

Trans-Baikal Territory

104,6

Khabarovsk Krai

104,1

Primorsky Krai

104,1

Magadan region

103,4

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

103,2

Kamchatka

102,7

The Chukchi Autobus. County

101,8

With regard to unemployment, the situation did not undergo significant changes in September-November 2020 compared to the previous reporting period. 

Table 3. Unemployment rate September-November 2020, in% of the labor force, and the number of employed, thousand people.

Region

%

Number of employees, thousand people

Russian Federation

6,3

69 973,9

Siberian Federal District

8,1

7 686,4

Irkutsk Region

7,7

1 052,5

Far Eastern Federal District

6,6

3 917,9

The Republic of Buryatia

10,6

382,9

 Trans-Baikal Territory

10,3

469,8

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

7,3

468,0

Amur Region

6,4

377,9

Magadan region

5,9

83,1

Sakhalin Region

5,6

260,0

Jewish Authors. region

5,5

75,9

Primorsky Krai

5,1

 943,3

Khabarovsk Krai

4,6

 687,2   

The Chukchi Autobus. County

4,0

30,1

Kamchatka

3,7

173,9

Buryatia and the Trans-Baikal Territory still have the highest unemployment rate (over 10% of the labor force), followed by Yakutia (over 7%). Also, the unemployment rate above 7% is noted in the Irkutsk region. In most subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District, the unemployment rate is in the range of 4-5,9%, which is lower than the national average, although the size of the working-age population differs in different regions. In particular, during the reporting period, a lower level of unemployment was recorded in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Kamchatka Territory, but the number of labor force and the number of people employed in these subjects are also small.


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