By Kester Kenn Klomegah
The deputy mayor of Moscow in charge of economic policy and real estate and land relations Vladimir Efimov, in an interview published in mid-September in the newspaper Izvestia, a widely distributed and reputable Russian media, lamented that Moscow is still experiencing a shortage of foreign workers on construction sites, there is now a shortage of about 200,000 people.
“This problem persists today, Moscow lacks around 200,000 migrants. And we hope that in the near future the restrictions on their entry into the country will be relaxed, ”Yefimov said, answering the publication’s question whether the problem of the shortage of migrant workers for construction sites in Moscow.
According to him, “the lack of manpower resources leads to the fact that employers, mainly developers, outbid each other’s employees, which increases the cost of their services.
“If we talk about the period before the pandemic, for several years, housing prices in Moscow have hardly increased. In the context of the pandemic, the cost of housing has increased, in fact catching up with the inflation of previous years, ”said the vice-mayor of Moscow.
The announcement simply highlighted the inconsistency regarding migrant policy and the complete lack of forethought, especially what to do with migrants from former Soviet republics. Thanks to these migrants, mainly employed in the fields of construction and (cleaning, sewage disposal or removal services) in various neighborhoods or neighborhoods, Moscow has won awards for being a modern and clean smart city in Europe. These migrants permanently play an important and often underestimated role in the construction of infrastructure and in the general development of society.
According to a survey by Promsvyazbank (PSB), Opora Rossii and Magram Market Research conducted in June 2021 found that 45% of small and medium-sized businesses in Russia need new employees.
Entrepreneurs still view the unfavorable economic conditions caused by the pandemic as the main obstacle to business expansion, and hiring new staff requires additional costs for training in the social service sector.
Opora Rossii, an organization of Russian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), among other organizations and commercial institutions, have been very instrumental on the important role of the labor force, its combined purpose and its beneficial impact on the economy of Russia.
Several experts also explained that migrants from the former Soviet republics could be useful or resourceful in developing the economy, especially on various infrastructure projects planned for the country. This enormous human resource could be used in the vast agricultural fields to stimulate national agricultural production. On the contrary, the Federal Migration Service is indiscriminately expelling them from Russia.
As part of the long-term sustainable development agenda, Russia has multibillion-dollar plans to close its infrastructure gap, especially in the provinces, and undertake megaprojects across its vast territory, and manpower. migrant work could be useful here.
The government can ensure that constant improvements are made consistent with the strategy of legalizing (or properly regulating their legal status) and redeploying available foreign labor, the majority coming from the former Soviet republics. , rather than sending her back to her country of origin.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has been credited with transforming the city into a very neat and smart modern city, in part thanks to the foreign workforce – a reliable and invaluable asset – doing the job perfectly. cleanliness and on large-scale construction sites, and in various micro-regions. on the outskirts or on the outskirts of Moscow.
Building on its accumulated experience, Moscow City Hall began to host Smart Cities Moscow, an international forum dedicated to the development of smart cities and to discuss changes in development strategies, infrastructure challenges and adaptation of the urban environment to the realities of the new normal society.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged that Russia lacks sufficient numbers of migrants to realize its ambitious development plans. He further highlighted the fact that the number of migrants in Russia has significantly decreased and their number is no longer sufficient to implement ambitious infrastructure projects in the country.
“I can only speak of the real situation, which suggests that in fact we have very few migrants left over the past year. In fact, we have a serious shortage of these migrants to implement our ambitious plans, ”stressed the Kremlin spokesman.
These include projects in the agriculture and construction sectors. “We have to build more than what we are building now. It should be more tangible, and it requires working hands. There is certainly a shortage of migrants. Now there are few of them because of the pandemic, ”Peskov said.
The labor shortage is not only linked to Moscow but it applies to many regions including the Far East. At the 6th edition of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok, declining demographics and labor shortage were identified as factors affecting the development of the vast region . With plans to build residential blocks, establish industrial hubs and repair businesses, these largely depend on the active workforce.
The Russian government continues to discuss a wide range of repopulation programs, hoping to attract Russians in particular, even with the promise of incentives such as double income, mortgage system, retirement anticipated and free plots of land, but few results were achieved. According to official sources, the population of Russia is dropping significantly and now stands at 146 million.
The Far East is almost the size of Canada with its current population (a mix of indigenous and legalized immigrants) of over 38 million. By comparison, the Far East, which is estimated at 40% of Russian territory and with around 6.3 million inhabitants, is one of the least populated regions in the world.
The Kremlin has made this its top priority in the long term, and the difficult task is to create an environment conducive to investment and attract people. President Vladimir Putin admitted at a meeting on the socio-economic development of the Far East that the rapid exodus of people from the Far East suggests that the region has not yet received enough support measures.
“Much has been done, but it is still not enough if we observe an exodus of the population,” stressed the Russian leader during the September forum in Vladivostok.
President Vladimir Putin has already approved a list of instructions to reform the migration requirements and the institution of citizenship in Russia, on the basis of the proposals drafted by the working group for the implementation of the concept of migration policy of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025.
“In the framework of the working group for the implementation of the national concept of migration policy of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025, the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation will organize work aimed at reforming migration requirements and institution of citizenship of the Russian Federation. Federation, ”an official statement posted on the Kremlin website.
In addition, the President ordered the government, the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of Justice as well as the Presidential Cabinet to make changes to the plan of action for 2019-2021, aimed at implementing the State Migration Policy Concept of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025.