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New Far East Development Plan Follows Putin's Rebuke

A new plan for the development of the Far East and the Zabaikalsky region has been submitted to the government a day after President Vladimir Putin rebuked his Cabinet for falling behind schedule on existing projects.

Far East Development Minister Viktor Ishayev said the plan for the period until 2018 will include social projects such as the construction of health and education facilities in addition to the original unfulfilled plans, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Putin on Tuesday criticized officials for not completing its proposed projects on time. "I'll tell you what, dear friends, will you ever get to work or not? What is this?" Putin asked. He said that 80 percent of the plans for the Far East needed a deadline extension and that residents were leaving the region.

The program includes increasing the capacity of railroads and developing road networks, the electric energy industry, regional aviation, airport and port infrastructure.

The plan was formulated between different ministries and the state commission dedicated to development in the Far East in April. If realized, it will increase the freight-carrying capacity of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railroads to 2.7 trillion tons per year. It also hopes to commission 62 airfields for regional airlines.

Ishayev said the Far East should receive between 110 billion and 120 billion rubles ($3.39 billion to $3.7 billion) per year for the fulfillment of the project.

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