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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

National Projects Could End in 2009

Itar-TassSenators listening to Medvedev outline spending plans for the national projects at the Federation Council on Friday.
The four national projects aimed at improving public health, education, housing and farming could wind down at the end of 2009, but federal spending in these areas will increase this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.

The government will spend 256.5 billion rubles ($9.86 billion) on the "priority national projects" this year -- 40 billion rubles more than last year, he said in a speech before the Federation Council, Interfax reported.

Medvedev said the projects could conclude after three years, at the end of 2009. There is a deadline for the national projects, he said, adding that they "should come to an end by bringing about certain significant changes over the course of two or three years."

"This is exactly how we defined the parameters of the national projects," he said. "It should be clear that we have achieved something."

The three-year budget currently being drafted by the Cabinet contains funding for the projects in 2008 and 2009, Medvedev told the upper house in comments published on the official web site of the Presidential Council on Implementation of the Priority National Projects and Demographic Policy.

As an example of improvements in public health care, ambulances now respond to emergency calls an average of 10 minutes faster because the federal government funded the purchase of a significant number of new emergency vehicles as part of the public health project last year, Medvedev said.

The time patients spend waiting to be diagnosed in clinics and hospitals has also been cut thanks to the purchase of new diagnostic equipment, he said.

President Vladimir Putin first announced the projects in September 2005 and moved Medvedev, then head of the presidential administration, to the Cabinet to oversee them.