The promise of the third term fulfilment of the may decrees of the President

What is the may decrees?

May decrees Vladimir Putin signed on the day of assuming the office of President for the third time — may 7, 2012. All this 11 documents, which sets broad objectives for improving the economy, health, education, demography, science, foreign policy, the public administration system, armed forces and so on. Deadlines stretch out to 2018-2020.

In total, the may decrees is 218 orders to the government. These instructions are heterogeneous: the key are in the nature of “quantitative goals” (e.g., increase in labor productivity by 2018 and a half times compared to 2011), others involve more “paper” work (preparation of normative acts, strategic documents, action plans etc.). The documents indicate that the country needs to achieve certain socio-economic indicators or targets: for example, increase investment, raise salaries of doctors and teachers, to create millions of productive jobs, to privatize, to increase productivity, to improve the position of Russian universities in international educational rankings and so on.

How well are the orders?

The government on 16 may reported that four years after the signing of the may decrees made about 70% of the total number of orders and 88 per cent of the number of instructions that were to be performed to date. Nominally, the schedule delay is not critical, but the fact that the instructions set out in the may decrees are often performed only formally, without essential reforms, and recognizes the President. To evaluate the results of the work necessary “is not the number taken from control orders or volume written reports <…> — people need to feel a real change for the better,” Putin said Monday at a meeting of the presidential Commission on monitoring of achievement of target indicators of social and economic development.

Formally officials failed to comply and remove the control 154 may orders as of April 30, 2016, according to the materials of the government. But, for example, the Russian popular front (onf involved in the monitoring of the implementation of the may decrees) estimates that the majority of those taken from control orders actually not performed as it should. Onf activists believe that the government fully complied with only 24 of the instructions of the President of the 162, that is, about 15%, said Monday the co-chair of the Central headquarters of the popular front Alexander Brechalov (quoted by TASS). “Out of 162 our opinions on government reports about the withdrawal of the relevant instructions from the control, we confirmed the feasibility of removing from control only for 24 assignments. Figures such: we believe that 24 of the instructions actually executed, the rest in varying degrees, not met,” he said.

Why the government is difficult to fulfill the may decrees?

The authorities there are objective circumstances impeding the execution of the may decrees. In 2013, Putin admitted that he knowingly “is somewhat overstated the bar” in setting these goals, and then took the Ukrainian conflict against Russia imposed sanctions, then oil prices went into a prolonged dive, and the Russian economy plunged into recession. The ability of the budget on financing of the may decrees decreased substantially, and many of the indicators of socio-economic development fell back. “Obviously < … > that we have to work in more difficult conditions than those which were at the moment of signing of documents”, — said the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on may 11 about the progress of the may decrees. Putin on Monday urged to work “without reference to the complexity and external constraints”.

As officials perform ordinances, not performing?

HSE experts, speaking at the recent April conference school, named several strategies which allow the Executive authorities to fulfill the orders formally, without worrying about achieving the goals on the merits. First, by changing the methodology of calculation target. For example, according to the decrees may, by 2020 should be created 25 million high-performance workplaces”. In February 2012 the Federal state statistics service under this understand the jobs where the value added exceeded the level determined by the average level of GDP per employment in the six largest economies in the world. The order Department from Nov 2013 has changed this criterion: a high-performance places were determined using average monthly wages — thus the concept of performance is distorted, the report says the HSE, and the figures increased by increasing the salaries of teachers, doctors and scientists to the average of the region.

The second way is to include in the list of approving departments “excessive” number of them. The term deparlments consideration is not regulated, so it is always possible to refer to a long, protracted negotiation agencies, and the work of the profile Committee of the state Duma, thereby postponing the execution of orders. And the third strategy is shifting responsibility for execution of the regions. This happened, in particular, with the transition of public sector employees on “effective contract” (with reference to the quality and quantity of services provided), cited in HSE. These are the disadvantages of “porechensky” system, largely inherited from Soviet times, stimulate certain public officials (such as the head of Sberbank German Gref) to promote new concepts of the public administration system.

What are the socio-economic order is unlikely to be fulfilled?

For example, the productivity of labor, in accordance with the may decrees should by 2018, to increase in one and a half times in comparison with level of 2011. Meanwhile, according to Rosstat, at the end of 2014, compared to 2011, productivity increased by 6% — with an average annual increase of 2%. In 2018, the performance reached the target level, in 2015-2018 productivity should grow on average by 9.1% per year.

Another objective of the decrees is the establishment by 2020 of 25 million high-performance workplaces. According to the calculations of the accounting chamber, in 2014 the figure was of 16.95 million units. In this case, to achieve the targets for this indicator need to grow up no less than 1.6 million per year. Thus, according to Rosstat, the year-over-year growth dropping from 1.85 million units in 2012 to 1.12 million units in 2013 and to 0.79 million units in 2014. In 2015, according to the statistical office, the number fell by 9%, or 1.65 million

Another point of decrees — bringing the total domestic production of drugs from the “list of strategically important medicines and vital and essential to 90%” — was in jeopardy. This can happen due to the massive failure of domestic pharmaceutical companies from the production of medicines from the list vital and essential drugs (EDL): in February, the FAS reported that the market of drugs can disappear more than 300 cheap domestic products, whose production becomes unprofitable. Later, the Ministry of industry and trade has suggested to cancel state regulation of prices on cheap drugs to support the producers: the Agency cited data that say that for April—December 2015 of the 67 companies that manufactured drugs are lower (up to 50 rubles) and medium (from 50 to 500 roubles) segment from the list of 26 companies temporarily suspended production of several drugs. The peak of cases of refusal of production fell in October 2015, and only left the market 182 drug. In April Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to take a decision on the support of the Russian manufacturers of cheap drugs from the essential drugs list, the order should be made before June 15.

Authorities have repeatedly said that the may decrees fulfilled one of the main challenges: increased salaries of doctors and teachers. By 2018, it needs to be two times higher than the wages in the regions. “If prior to the implementation of the decrees we have the ratio of wages in education to average salary in Russia amounted to 67%, in 2014, it’s already 79%. In health care, the ratio rose from 78 to 87%”, — said Vladimir Putin in may last year. As was said at the meeting in the White house a few days before the meeting of the presidential Commission for the execution of the may decrees, the average salary of doctors at the end of 2015 reached 48 thousand rubles, in 2012 it was 35.9 thousand. RUB., HSE Experts, the Academy and the Academy of labour and social Affairs prepared by order of the Ministry of labour report indicated that physicians in 2015, the salary amounted to 156% of the average in the economy, teachers — 106%, writes “Kommersant”. But in the end, given the level of inflation, this rise remained invisible, and the purchasing power of state employees in 2015 has decreased to the level of 2012.

According to the rector of the Higher school of Economics (HSE) Andrey Zhulin, the task of raising salaries to state employees implemented three years from the date of publication of the may decrees. And only this year’s were rolled back, the rate specified by the plan of increase of salaries, do not all regions (HSE monitors the execution of the may decrees in the interests of the presidential administration). In his opinion, the problem with public sector wages is not that they ate inflation, and that regions not explained how salaries can be increased. “The signal was given to look for reserves to increase not within the industry in the region, and within specific institutions. Misunderstanding of where to take the money, how to associate the increase of salaries with the quality of services has led to a wave of reorganizations of the institutions that was incomprehensible to the public, especially doctors. It is in the field of health this problem turned into firing people and closing facilities,” said Zhulin.