Alatau Industrial Zone Key to Almaty Anti-Crisis Plan, Says Akim

The Almaty anti-crisis programme was presented by Akim (Mayor) Ahmetzhan Yessimov Feb. 19 during a meeting with the public.

mayorYessimov noted that the optimisation of Almaty’s budget to 35 billion tenge (US$189 million), while increasing revenues, would not affect the volume of the city’s social obligations.

The first point in a list of key priorities of the anti-crisis plan is the industrial zone of the Alatau district, according to the akim. Twenty-eight projects worth 230 billion tenge (US$1.2 billion) in the engineering, construction, light food and pharmaceutical industries are to be realised in its territory within a few years.

“This year, the construction of these projects will create 1,500 jobs. Next year that will be 6,000 jobs. Projects that start running [in the industrial zone] will create 20,000 jobs and provide tax revenue of 7 billion tenge (US$37.8 million). The first projects will be launched later this year,” said the mayor.

The second item is the development of Alatau IT Park. Since 2011, the number of companies operating in the park has doubled. According to the akim, 160 innovative companies worth 10.5 billion tenge (US$56.7 million) will be established in the near future, creating 2,000 jobs and providing tax revenue of 2.4 billion tenge (US$13 million).

The third area of ​​anti-crisis measures is legalisation and privatisation. The akim noted that Almaty’s special programme will bring to light material resources and facilities and thereby will help to increase tax revenues to the city budget in the future.

“To date, the number of legalised assets is 1,945 in the amount of 24 billion tenge (US$130 million). The volume of money legalisation in the city was 10 billion tenge (US$54 million). In 2015, the privatisation and the legalisation program of the city should contribute 6 billion tenge (US$32.4 million),” said Yessimov.

A fourth measure would be the issuance of municipal bonds. The volume of these bonds was made public in November 2014 and will be worth about 20 billion tenge (US$108 million). Money raised through these bonds will be spent on housing construction, improving traffic, trade and food security and developing ecological transport.

In 2010, Almaty issued securities worth 13 billion tenge (US$70.2 million) which were aimed at developing urban projects. According to the mayor, the measure was effective. In particular, he noted the creation of a system of video surveillance on urban roads, which cost 3.4 billion tenge (US$18.4 million) and brought12.7 billion tenge (US$68.6 million) in fines to the city budget.

The fifth point of the anti-crisis programme is strengthening work with government institutions and development funds. The most important of these is the work with Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund, which in late 2014 concluded a state order memorandum with Almaty for 800 billion tenge (US$4.3 billion).

The city will also work with Baiterek Holding, having signed agreements worth 10 billion tenge (US$54 million) for the demolition of shabby housing and construction. In addition, a 4.5 billion tenge (US$24.3 million) agreement was reached with Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund for lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that do not fall under the criteria of other government loan programmes. Two billion tenge (US$10.8 million) will come from the city administration.

In conclusion, Yessimov noted that significant emphasis would be placed on the development of SMEs, as the sector today provides 66 percent of the revenue to the city budget. To further improve the business climate in the city, the administration recently held a meeting with business people in Almaty and developed a series of legislative amendments that will simplify many tax, infrastructure and customs procedures for entrepreneurs.

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