Putin calls raising citizens' income "number one goal"

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at his annual press conference in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 19, 2019. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin called Wednesday increasing people's income the "number one goal."


"We all know that one of the main tasks is to increase the income level of citizens, especially those who earn the lowest level of income," Putin said at a meeting with the Russian government, according to an official transcript.


"In the last quarter of the year, even starting from the third, certain growth rates of personal incomes and real wages have been achieved and this trend needs to be maintained and strengthened," he said.


Commenting on the state of the Russian economy, Putin said that the growth rates achieved are not sufficient and everything possible has to be done in order to increase the growth rate of the economy and improve its structure and quality.


The Russian central bank estimates the country's growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year at around 1.3 percent.


National projects and development goals have been designed to achieve this, but the main goal is to improve the lives of citizens, Putin said.


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