Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov reported to the meeting participants on passenger air and rail transportation volumes during the New Year holidays and over 2017. Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov reported on the growth of domestic, inbound and outbound tourist traffic. Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov spoke about the specifics of implementing the tax amnesty law. The participants also discussed the implementation of the Russian Seasons international project, which is held in Italy this year.

The main report on the progress with relocating citizens from dilapidated housing, classified as such as of January 1, 2012, was made by Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Mikhail Men.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

I hope our winter holidays are over and we can sum up some results.

I looked at the references submitted by the Transport Ministry and I see an increase in passenger traffic over the recent period both by air and rail. Air traffic went up by 12 percent and railway traffic increased by about 7 percent. Mr Sokolov, go ahead, please.

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov: Mr President, colleagues,

Allow me to report on the work of our transport system both during the New Year holidays and in 2017 in general.

According to the established tradition, air transport has the biggest appeal to passengers. Despite adverse weather conditions in the period from December 26 to January 8, about 4.5 million passengers travelled by air. This is a 12 percent increase over the corresponding period of last year. The airports of the Moscow aviation hub provided services to more than 3.2 million people (also a growth of 10 percent compared to last year). Vnukovo Airport set a record in this respect. It increased passenger traffic by over a quarter (26 percent), having provided services to 650,000 people. Sheremetyevo Airport provided services to 1.5 million passengers, and the figure for Domodedovo Airport is over one million.

Regional airport leaders are Pulkovo Airport (during the New Year holidays passenger traffic was about 570,000 people, which is an increase of 15 percent); Sochi (about 200,000 people – 30 percent higher over the New Year holidays compared to last year), Simferopol (120,000 people – an increase of over 35 percent) and Krasnodar (about 100,000 people – about 30 percent higher).

Outbound flights at all airports, including the Moscow aviation hub, were at their peak on December 30, and inbound flights peaked on January 8 when about 135,000 people flew to Moscow.

In all, about 700 charter flights from Russia were made during the holidays, including 400 flights from the airports of the Moscow aviation hub, which is 30 percent more than last year’s charter flights.

I would like to note that during the holidays none of the airports discontinued service even due to adverse weather conditions. There were some delays but nothing like what happened in America, in New York for one.

Vladimir Putin: So, what we are doing essentially applies retroactively?

Anton Siluanov: Yes, retroactively. As for contingent gains, debts will be written off for about two million people, totalling about 22 billion rubles.

Importantly, using this law that was drafted in line with your instruction has freed citizens and individual entrepreneurs from debt. In effect, their debts were eliminated. But it is also important to remember that current taxes must be paid in accordance with current legislation. The Taxation Service has considerably simplified tax payment procedures as compared to 2015 (when we wrote off these debts). Now it is possible to pay taxes through user accounts, without visiting the Taxation Service office. At any rate, we hope and believe that the current debts will not be accumulated and all obligations to the budget, to the treasury will be met in accordance with current legislation. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Okay, thank you. President of Russia Website Kremlin Moscow http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.enKorea.