Governor Sumin claims worst is over

‘The worst part of the recession is over,’ Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin announced at an end-of-year press conference.

Sumin said the year 2009 was the hardest ever for the region. The recession cut the regional budget by 43% and made the authorities decrease budget expenses by 32 billion RUR. What is more, they still had to pay the local enterprises back 10 billion RUR worth of over-paid income tax.

‘There were some grave socioeconomic problems, too: the unemployment rate tripled and reached 70,000 jobless people in May 2009,’ he noted.

‘What helped us overcome all these hardships was the financial reserve we had. Then, we got a three-year budget loan on preferential terms and have been helped twice by way of a grant. Also, Chelyabinsk Region was one of the first Russian constituencies to adopt and to start implementing a recession-fighting plan. For instance, we have a functional employment program, we are helping the enterprises in small towns that are these towns’ sole employers, and we are supporting some plants such as AMZ, Stankomash, and Nyazepetrovskiy crane plant. In addition, we are trying to aid small business as well. In some cases, we had to employ the so-called ‘manual control’, for which we were ostracized. Nevertheless, we did manage to do away with the financial clots and avoid a social uprising,’ the Governor observed.

Chelyabinsk Region is now implementing over 100 investment agreements and working on ninety construction projects worth 10 billion RUR altogether.

‘Obviously, we still have to face certain problems like those of our defense enterprises. These problems have to be solved. However, things will only get better now as the worst is over,’ Sumin said.

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