Moscow, the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Our corr. Alexei Nevsky. On the 13th of May, the Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities, Mikhail Menn, reported to the deputies on the work of the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation. It was the second report in a year and a half. Mikhail Menn’s report contained seventeen main chapters, in which he briefly described the situation in the industry in 2014. According to him, one unexpected achievement was a new record in putting constructed housing into operation which, according to Rosstat (the Russian Statistics Committee) information, reached 83.6 mln m2, 13 mln m2 more than planned. “Such results happened due to the effective system of mortgage loans. In 2014, citizens borrowed 1.75 trn rubles – a record for the past 10 years. More than a million families moved into new flats. This year, taking into account the economic situation, we have decided to support mortgage loan borrowers in two ways: subsidizing the interest rate to 12% a year and helping mortgage loan borrowers who ended up in difficult situations”, said Mikhail Menn. Acounting Chamber auditor Yury Roslyak took the floor to report on the work of the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities. Then the Head of the Ministry answered twelve questions from RF State Duma deputies (Vasiliy Ikonnikov, Anton Ishchenko, Elena Vtorygina, Fedot Tumusov, Alexei Russkikh, Maxim Shchepinov, Valery Galchenko, Evdokiya Bychkova, Sergei Gavrilov, Mikhail Degtyarev, Alexander Khinshtein, and Oleg Nilov). In particular, they were interested in the problem of safeguarding major repair foundations for communal facilities in multi-storey blocks of flats. The Minister said that currently only 10% of flat owners make their payments for major repairs to special individual accounts. However, this number should grow. A proposal on special individual accounts insurance is now being discussed in the Government, and a corresponding draft bill may be introduced in the State Duma for discussion during the spring session. Deputies also raised the issue of the creation of the post of national technical coordinator. “At the moment there are more than 200 building owners. The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Health – they all deal with construction. The creation of a national technical coordinator – a structure with branches in federal regions – is a serious and complex task. It is a complicated reorganization of the algorithm for the budget for object construction. Currently the discussion of legislative initiative on a national technical coordinator creation is being discussed in the Government. We hope that a corresponding document will reach the stage of finalization and approval before the end of the spring session”, said the Minister, and added that the system of national technical coordination is to start operating next year. After “government hour” at the State Duma, the Minister spoke to journalists. Our correspondent asked what would happen to self-regulated organizations (SROs) if they continue to work inefficiently. Mikhail Menn answered that there is no plan to destroy self-regulation in Russia but rather to increase their responsibilities, including the quality of construction. The law on subsidiary responsibility now being developed will make SRO members fulfil their duties properly and be responsible for their financial defaults on commitments. The law is to come into force next year as well.
Mikhail Menn on serious imminent changes in Russian construction