Setbacks for Kazan: uncontrolled migration, low wages, and dependence of businesses on state support

Setbacks for Kazan: uncontrolled migration, low wages, and dependence of businesses on state support Photo: Maksim Paltonov

What prevents a transformation of Kazan into a city with active and creative citizens, open government and safe urban environment? Why did the deputies vote against the adoption of the budget of Kazan for 2017? What spheres of life of the Kazan citizens will remain without funding next year? The answers to these and many other questions were given at the XII session of the Kazan City Duma. All the details of the meeting — read in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

Uncontrolled migration and low wages hinder Kazan from achieving perfection

The first speaker of the session was Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin who told about the ''Development Strategy of Kazan-2030''. The drafters synchronised the Strategy with a similar document of the regional level and they have many common features: its main leitmotif is the vector of the global competitiveness of the Republic as a region with an advancing rate of development and high involvement in the international division of labour.

The city authorities see Kazan of the future the following way: the capital of Tatarstan by 2030 is to become the territory of health, a convenient city with active, creative and responsible citizens, open government and safe urban environment. The officials are planning to ensure the proportion of people engaged in physical culture and sports increases up to 50% and an average life expectancy rises to 76 years.

The first speaker of the session was Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin who told about the ''Development Strategy of Kazan-2030''. Photo: kzn.ru

Also, Ilsur Metshin promised to take care of the small and medium businesses, which forms one-third of GMP in Kazan: by 2030, the administrative barriers will become archaic, while the share of SMEs in territorial gross product will rise to 50%. The city's economy will move in the direction of small plants, using modern technology, producing innovative products. The volume of investments in the economy of the city is planned to be doubled, the share of innovative output is to grow to 30%, the volume of tourist flow is expected to increase to 5 million people. There are also plans to increase GMP per capita by 75%, to ensure the housing up to 30.5 square meters per capita and to increase the incomes two times.

''Emphasis has been placed on the model of a polycentric city — in addition to our well-kept center, we need to create a network of local centres and to continue working on the withdrawal from the historic centre of industrial enterprises. We have already started this movement — on Monday we submitted to the President a master plan of the Admiralty Sloboda,'' said the mayor.

At the meeting, they also announced the factors that restrain the movement of the city to the rainbow plans – it is unmanaged migration, non-competitive wages and, as a consequence, the brain drain, deterioration of the engineering infrastructure and weak integration in international transport connections, high dependence of business on government support and high administrative barriers.

According to Artur Valiakhmetov, in the medium term prospects, it is forecasted a moderate growth of industrial production. Photo: kzn.ru

Forecast for Kazan development and ''controversial'' budget

The forecast of socio-economic development of Kazan in 2017-2019 was announced by the chairperson of the economic development of the Executive Committee Artur Valiakhmetov. According to the submitted data, in the medium term it is forecasted a moderate growth of industrial production in 2017, the industrial production index is expected to be within 101.1%, and in 2018 and 2019 — 1% per year. However, there is a tendency of insignificant growth of investment in fixed capital — the volume will increase by 23.7% by 2019 and will amount to approximately 216 billion rubles. An average monthly wage of the Kazan citizens in 2017 is expected to be 34 554.6 rubles, in 2018 — 36 136.6 rubles and in 2017 — 37 808.9 rubles.

After Valiakhmetov, the head of the financial department of the Executive Committee Radik Shafigullin read a report on the budget of Kazan in 2017 and the planning period of 2018 and 2019. The announced figures during discussions of the draft budget project caused a lot of the claims of the deputies of Kazan City Duma, and the day before three deputies voted against its adoption, which caused a genuine surprise of Ilsur Metshin.

As for the budget revenues, the revenues from income tax of natural persons is expected 4.3 billion rubles, from land tax in 2017 — 3.4 billion rubles, from total income tax — 1.8 billion rubles. The total volume of expenditures of the city budget is expected the same extent as the income – it will amount to 19.9 billion rubles.

The expenditure budget turned out to be particularly interesting. Let's start with the fact that the total expenditure budget of Kazan in 2017 is provided in the amount of 19 569 693.55 thousand rubles. The expenditures in 2018 and 2019 are planned in the amount of 20 173 374.56 thousand rubles and 20 433 572.92 thousand respectively. In fact, the budget of Kazan retains a social orientation: 75% takes the socio-cultural sphere (the costs are expected in the amount of 14 728 123.6 thousand rubles).

The national economy accounts for 1.5 billion rubles, the state issues — 1.2 billion rubles, housing and communal services — 1.7 billion rubles, national security — 156 million rubles, environment protection — 105 million rubles, education — 13 098 122.5 thousand rubles.

Photo: kzn.ru

''21 people from Kazan went to Syria, 5 of them took a one-way ticket''

The budget expenditures in 2017 will be reduced in the following areas: national security, maintenance of the united duty and dispatch service and search-and-rescue team, activities in the field of the national economy (in terms of subsections Agriculture and fisheries, Transport), major repairs of the housing fund, as well as compensation payments for meals of students of the secondary schools of Kazan.

However, the difficult situation is with the funding of state programs: for example, the draft budget project does not include funds for financial support to implement programs for the prevention of terrorism and extremism in the amount of 7 380.0 thousand rubles. The chief of Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in Kazan Alexey Sokolov noticed that the level of terrorist threat in the country and the Republic is quite high.

'Today, there are 296 people, 218 are residents of Kazan, are registered in the office on the line of religious extremism. Three persons have been identified who in 2016 went from the Russian Federation to Syria. 21 people left from Kazan, five of them took a one-way ticket. There is information about their elimination in fights. 16 criminal cases of an extremist orientation have been brought,'' reported Sokolov.

However, the budget does not provide funding of the program of prevention of drug addiction of the population (3 250.0 thousand rubles), although, according to Sokolov, ''the drug situation remains difficult'': the number of people with a diagnosis of ''drug addiction'' reaches 7 228 people, also in 2016 there were identified 648 drug-related crimes.

Also, according to the speaker, there is no funding for financial support of small businesses within the framework of the program of preferential lending, for the development of tourism. However, additional resources are required for meals of students and protection of educational facilities, the funding of low-income citizens has not been provided. Besides, the parks and gardens that have recently been restored remained without funding.

Despite the comments, as well as the fact that some ministries voted against the draft budget project of Kazan in 2017, it has been adopted.

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By Lina Sarimova. Photo: Maksim Platonov