An open dialogue

February 21. Kazpravda.  Almaty

By Vadim MAHIN

An open dialogueYesterday at the traditional public meeting, the mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yesimov told about the achievements of socioeconomic development in 2013 and goals for the current year.

He began his report with an explanation of the situation that prevailed after devaluation of tenge. In particular he noted that the Head of State tasked to minimize social consequences of this forced step through specific measures and to increase from 1 April wages of various categories of workers and employees, pensions, scholarships, targeted assistance and social benefits. The President took an important decision to allocate 1 trillion tenge from the National Fund for lending to enterprises at low interest rate.

– The task at the local level is to curb prices for socially important goods, said Yesimov. – And concrete measures in this direction have already been taken. It is clear that the devaluation of the national currency will involve changes in the city’s budget, but social programs of the year will be kept in full.

According to the mayor, the city again confirmed the status of economic, financial, cultural and educational center of the country. And measures taken in all sectors of the city’s life are the logical chain on the way to gaining of a worthy place in the number of highly developed cities of the world. Budget is the main indicator of economic health and the growth of incomes in the form of taxes, customs duties and other payments confirms that the city’s economy is in good condition. For the last year 1 trillion 368 billion tenge or by 13% more than in 2012 were collected in the state budget.

As President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted, Almaty remains a major donor of the country’s budget. It provides up to 18.3% of Kazakhstan’s GDP and contributes to the budget of the republic about 28 % of state budget revenues. Yesimov stressed that in the past year, industrial growth reached 5.5 %; foreign trade turnover grew by 9.5% and reached 27 billion 732 million U.S. dollars.

The real wage per worker in Almaty is now 142 thousand tenge, and accumulations of citizens increased by 10% and exceeded 2 trillion 630 billion tenge.

In his report the mayor analyzed the work of transport, energy and construction sector. Today there are 400 buses running on natural gas in the town and their number will increase. The second subway line including stations “Moscow” and ” Sayran” is under active construction, additional funds were allocated for upgrading of public and housing utilities. .

Particular attention at the meeting was paid to industrial-innovative development, environmental problems and development of small and medium-sized business in addition to the issues of improving the healthcare, youth policy and social services. Speaking of sports and tourism, the mayor detailed on creation of the mounting skiing facilities and infrastructure of the year-round resort Kok Zhaylau.

The participants of the meeting asked questions about housing affordability, the demolition of dilapidated houses, deterioration of thermal networks, employment of disabled people, gasification of buildings and shortage of medicines. As the organizers of the meeting assured, they will be considered promptly and included into action plans for the near future.