Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has proposed a set of measures aimed to increase the country's population from 142 million to 154 million people. Putin said creating enough places in state kindergartens is a top-priority task for the country's leadership.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the majority of state kindergartens were closed and their buildings sold to private owners. Over the last decades, the national birth rate has improved, but the number of available places in state kindergartens remains miserable.

Families living in regions with negative demographic situation should receive financial support after the birth of their third kid, Putin said in an article published on the online edition of the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily Sunday. "This means about 7,000 rubles per month." Putin proposed re-building "working aristocracy" class.

By 2020 it should comprise about 10 million people, or one third of Russia's workers. He also proposed raising student scholarships by 5,000 rubles per month. Putin called for the introduction of schemes aimed to reduce the cost of real estate by 20-30 percent.If all these proposals are implemented, the country's population will grow to 154 million by 2050, he said.

Otherwise, it might decline to 107 million over the next 38 years, he emphasized.Putin served two terms as Russia's president between 2000 and 2008, but was barred from standing for a third consecutive term by the constitution. He became prime minister after his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, became president.

(Agencies)