Marat Khusnullin on measures to ensure the uninterrupted work of construction industry

01.05.2020

On measures to ensure the smooth operation of the construction industry in the context of the spread of coronavirus infection.

Khusnullin: One of the most important anti-crisis measures that we have taken is to give builders the opportunity to work as much as possible. Because construction is really a driver for the economy. Today, 15 million people work in total at the construction site and related industries. Plus their families. That is, this is a very large percentage of the population of Russia. Therefore, depending on the sanitary-epidemiological situation in a particular region, the governors were recommended to give builders the opportunity to work. Most regions today continue to build. In two regions – Moscow and the Moscow region – there are restrictions; construction is closed while we are waiting for the situation to improve, but infrastructure facilities are still being built. This is the first major, serious step.

The Government also made a very serious decision in terms of compensating the interest rate on the mortgage. A resolution has been issued according to which today, citizens applying for a mortgage can get a mortgage at 6.5%. That is, the difference between the price of the bank and the real mortgage of the borrowers will be compensated up to 6.5%. What will it give? Firstly, it will give people who apply for a mortgage an opportunity to pay less. We have never in the history of mortgage development in the country, the rate of 6% was not, with the exception of certain categories of citizens who were granted mortgages under state programs. This is the first.

The second one. This will allow today to save jobs for about 4-5 million builders who are employed in housing construction. This is one of the largest construction sub-sectors. There will be jobs, respectively, there will be taxes, respectively, there will be work for allies.

And the third, most important factor: today about 100 million square meters are being built in the country. m of multi-unit housing, of which 43% were sold by shared participation. And therefore, our key task is to prevent the appearance of deceived equity holders and long-term construction. That is, those people who additionally buy housing today help build it up. This money plus bank loans go to the completion of housing, and we can be sure that the houses will be completed. Therefore, this measure solves several problems at once and is a serious driver.

We also decided that we would support developers so that they would not pay high interest to banks. We are currently developing a resolution, this week it should be released, to compensate the interest rate to developers, so that all the money that is collected at the construction site, all the money that the developers, the builders have, go to continue housing construction. Moreover, the condition is clearly defined that we give this compensation only if construction continues and at least 90% of the workers take part in the completion of various residential buildings.

The next step. We decided that we will capitalize the Fund for the Protection of the Rights of Citizens – Participants in Shared Construction, we call it the Fund of Deceived Investors. We will capitalize today this fund for 30 billion rubles. All this money will go to the construction site. Accordingly, these are additional jobs. And most importantly, about 10 thousand people can already this year and at the beginning of the next get their apartments, which many have been waiting for years.

The next serious step. We decided to recapitalize our state-owned development institute, DOM.RF, and we give it 50 billion guarantees that will allow us, in those regions where the developers are in a bad situation, to buy apartments for state needs. In order to thereby ensure further demand in partially built houses, to complete, most importantly, their construction and continue construction.

This is the main package of measures that has been adopted to date, we are working on it now. Decisions have been made, now the most important thing is that these measures be reached as quickly as possible to each region, to each developer.

Question: Marat Shakirzyanovich, what decisions are provided for in the anti-crisis plan for the construction industry in terms of reducing administrative barriers?

Khusnullin: Indeed, today administrative barriers in construction, I would say, are excessive. From an idea to putting an object into operation – about 100 conciliation procedures. In terms of time, for example, an ordinary residential building or an object – a school, a kindergarten, if you go from idea to delivery, it takes up to five years, despite the fact that the construction itself takes two to two and a half years. Therefore, we developed an anti-crisis plan, in which we prescribed those procedures that can be minimized as much as possible. Moreover, both in state and in housing construction. We have prepared a number of amendments to the Town Planning Code, according to which a number of procedures can be accelerated. In particular, it is possible to conduct public hearing procedures in electronic form, taking into account the current epidemiological situation.

We prepared a lot of technical solutions that for those who work today, as they say, on earth, will be really useful.

For example, we also decided for state customers that it is possible to conduct a tender for design, construction and delivery in one tender. Previously, these were separate procedures that had to be carried out sequentially, that is, after one procedure, the second and third followed. Having decided that a state customer can now design and build a turnkey project, we save up to one year and reduce the time for all procedures.

We are also preparing a serious set of amendments regarding procurement procedures. Already the first set of amendments has been released, the second is being prepared. A large transport law, as we call it, on transport construction is also being prepared in order to immediately facilitate a large amount of approvals for transport and infrastructure construction. This is a living work, we, as part of anti-crisis measures, compiled a set of these amendments; in fact, every week the Government makes a decision.

Now the speed of decision-making is very high. This has never happened before. A government decree is issued per day, and earlier this often took weeks and months because of approvals. Laws are now passed in two to three days. The government prepares a proposal, submits it to the State Duma, the Duma promptly considers in the first, second and third readings in two or three days, and then the Federation Council. Today, the crisis has pushed us all toward quick decision-making. And one of the main factors of construction is speed, speed is money directly. Therefore, for us, accelerating all procedures is one of the key tasks that we are working on today.

Source: Government of Russia