Medvedev gives orders to improve Russia’s social policies

Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech during his annual state-of-the-nation address (AFP Photo / RIA-Novosti / Kremlin Pool / Dmitry Astakhov)
President Dmitry Medvedev signed on Tuesday a list of instructions to government officials and regional leaders to fulfill tasks specified in his annual address to parliament.

Medvedev outlined his views on Russia’s development in social, political and economic areas in the address to the Federal Assembly on November 30.

In the political field, the presidential administration and the Central Elections Commission were instructed to prepare a draft bill by December 25 that envisages the use of proportional or a mixed electoral system for elections to legislative bodies with less than 20 members in town or municipal constituencies.

The president’s administration will also develop a mechanism aimed at organizing public discussion of important federal draft bills, the presidential press service said.  

The government and the Defense Ministry were ordered to secure by December 1, 2011 the unification of the existing air defense and missile defense systems, as well as early warning and space control systems under the united strategic command.

Some instructions should promote modernization in the economic area, improvement of the healthcare system, budget saving and development of the country’s regions, Itar-Tass news agency said.

In Medvedev’s address, the state support for mothers and children was the main theme. So a considerable many of the instructions are devoted to these issues. Officials will prepare corresponding bills to be submitted to parliament. 

The government, in particular, was instructed to allocate 25 per cent of funds designated for the modernization of the healthcare system, to the development of children’s medicine.

By February 1, 2011, a draft bill will be prepared allowing taxpayers not to pay taxes on funds received from charity organizations to support children.

The president ordered regional leaders to establish boards of trustees in orphanages and children’s homes. They will also have to develop regional programs together with the government aimed at supporting those who leave orphanages.

Medvedev’s instructions also concern benefits and support for mothers and families with three or more children.      

Several instructions concern measures aimed at improving environmental protection. Regional executive bodies will have to publish annual reports on the ecological situation by March 1.

The document also demands that additional measures be taken by the government to make the state procurement system more transparent.