* Calls for faster privatisation
* Wants cabinet to boost investment
* Wants to impose acquisition limits for state cos
By Gleb Bryanski
MOSCOW, May 7 Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's
government to boost investment and shake up state-run industries
in a flurry of decrees issued after he returned to the
presidency on Monday with a call for a "new economy".
Putin set out his long-term economic and social goals in the
orders, issued on the first day of a six-year presidency during
which he will face pressure to improve Russia's business
climate, shrink the state's role and ease reliance on energy
Putin ordered the government to take measures to raise
capital investment to no less than 25 percent of GDP in 2015,
from the current level of 20 percent, and to create 25 million
high productivity jobs by 2020.
He also called for a 50 percent increase in labour
productivity by 2018 and a 30 percent increase in the share of
high tech products in GDP in order to lessen Russia's dependency
on natural resources.
Putin, who has repeatedly spoken out against corruption and
red tape, with little obvious success, during his 12 years in
power, also said he wanted Russia to climb from the 120th place
it occupies now in the World Bank's Doing Business index to 50th
place in 2015, and 20th place in 2018.
The orders from Putin, who ran Russia as president from
2000-2008 and then as prime minister until Monday's inauguration
ceremony, reflected an acknowledgement of the need to attract
more investment and diversify the economy.
In his address after taking the oath of office, Putin said
that "the lives of future generations, the historic prospects of
our state and nation depend on ... real successes in creating a
new economy and modern standards of living."
After the ceremony, Putin sent a letter to the speaker of
the State Duma lower house of parliament, asking legislators to
approve the candidacy of former President Dmitry Medvedev as
prime minister. He is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday.
Putin's decrees formalise ideas and goals he expressed in
speeches and articles during the presidential election campaign.
The decrees set tough goals for Medvedev, who is expected to
be a much weaker prime minister than his predecessor Putin, with
many insiders predicting Medvedev's time on the job is limited.
Putin and Medvedev are yet to announce their choices for
ministerial jobs. Medvedev would like to squeeze political
heavyweights like Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin out of the
government and bring in his loyalists.
In line with the law, the government resigned on Monday,
with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov becoming an acting
prime minister until Medvedev's appointment. Medvedev will have
two weeks to form the new cabinet.
In the decrees, Putin said he wanted the government to sell
its stakes in firms which do not belong to natural resources or
defence sectors and are not natural monopolies. That would
require a change to the state's privatisation programme when he
wanted in place by Nov. 1, he added.
During Medvedev's presidency Russia drafted an ambitious $32
billion privatisation plan but little progress has been made
while the role of the state in the economy has continued to
Putin also wanted to limit acquisitions by state-controlled
companies, which should also come up with schedules for non-core
asset sales by Dec. 1.
The decree asked the government to analyse the efficiency of
three "state corporations" whose activity is regulated by
special laws and which receive capital injections from the
Putin said he wanted the government to look into United
Aviation Company, United Shipbuilding Company and Russian
Technologies which owns assets in defence and car industry, "in
order to prepare proposals aimed at improving their management".
Putin also asked the government to present proposals by June
1, 2012 on the reform of the government procurement system with
obligatory public hearings on all state orders exceeding 1
billion roubles ($33.63 million).
Putin called for an increase in real wages by 40-50 percent
by 2018 and said average mortgage rate should not exceed
inflation by more than 2.2 percentage points.