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New regional development program will improve lives of 90% of rural population

Tuesday, 31 December 2019, 14:04:28

First five-year plan of the implementation of the State Program for Development of Regions is ending this year. The program’s aim is to create the conditions for the further formation and growth of the socio-economic potential of the regions. Vice Minister of National Economy Yermek Alpyssov spoke about the results of the state program in an interview with Primeminister.kz.

— What has been done during the implementation of the program and which target indicators have been achieved in the development of the economy by the country's regions in 2019?

— The State Program for Development of Regions was adopted in 2014. Previously, it accumulated elements of housing and water supply. Starting next year, a new regional development program until 2025 was adopted. The main indicators were an increase in urbanization. If in 2015 the level of urbanization was above 56%, in 2019 it is 58.2%. In connection with the implementation of the program, in the first five years, the water supply of not only cities, but rural settlements has significantly improved. The level of centralized water supply in the cities reached 94.5%, and in rural areas — almost 60%. This work will continue within the framework of Nurly Zher from 2020. In the new program for the development of regions, we focus on the development of cities and rural settlements.

— How much has the target orientation of the new program changed from the previous one? What projects in the second five-year plan will the main package of allocated funds be directed to?

— The goal of the program is managed urbanization. Over the years of Independence, from one city with a million population, we have reached the level of three cities with a million population. Recently, Shymkent received the status the city of republican significance. We have determined for ourselves the areas of work and, first of all, this is the development of four large agglomerations. These are the capital, Almaty, Shymkent and Aktobe. In addition, we have cities of the second level, 14 large urbanized zones, which include our 13 regional centers and Semey. Apart from this, there are large monotowns with a population of more than 50 thousand people, we have 18 such urbanized zones. We also do not forget small towns. A separate priority within the framework of Aul – El Besigi is the development of satellite villages with growth potential in order to improve the quality of life and increase the welfare of our citizens.

— What does the new direction of the program for the modernization of reference and satellite villages in the framework of Aul – El Besigi provide? What effect will the population get from this? What are the scale of the implementation of the project Aul – El Besіgі? What tasks are set for the project? What results are planned to be achieved in 2020?

— This program is aimed at improving the quality of life of the villagers and modernizing the social infrastructure of rural settlements. The ministry has developed a new methodology for identifying villages with development potential. Of the 6.5 thousand villages in our country, approximately 3.5 thousand were identified, of which 1,150 are reference villages, the rest are satellite and border villages that also have development potential. We have identified them using this methodology, now at present 85% of the villagers live in these settlements. It is assumed that this project will work for seven years, and we will be able to modernize the entire social and engineering infrastructure in these settlements until 2027. This will give an impetus to the development of the rural economy. In addition, all state programs aimed at supporting entrepreneurship not only in cities, but also in rural areas will be sent to these support villages. According to the results of the project, we expect that by 2027 approximately 90% of the rural population will live in these rural settlements, that is, 7 million people will be provided with high-quality social and engineering infrastructure.

— How much funds are provided for the implementation of this project? Will the opinion of the villagers be taken into account during the construction and reconstruction of facilities?

— It is estimated that about 900 billion tenge will be allocated over seven years. The opinion of the villagers will also be taken into account, in areas with drinking water problems, water supply networks will be reconstructed, in areas with electricity network problems, electricity networks will be repaired, etc. The draft program involves an integrated approach. In the new program of the regions, all those objects, benefits and services provided by the state and our private entrepreneurs should be within walking distance. According to standards, we must provide social and engineering infrastructure for the life of the population.

— What mechanisms were adapted in the implementation of the tasks? In which regions did the program have a positive effect on the comprehensive modernization of the region, and in which regions there is work to be done?

— First of all, it is investment attraction. The new program assumes the allocation of more than 1 trillion tenge for the development of cities and villages in different directions. This is not only large cities, but also the development of the outskirts of large cities, single-industry towns, the development of rural settlements. Money from the budget is allocated by targeted transfers not only from the republican, but also on a parity basis with the local budget, plus the social responsibility of business and the attraction of private investment.

In general, the positive effect of the implementation of this program is observed in all regions. However, there are differences in some indicators. For example, Akmola, Mangystau and Atyrau regions are almost 100% provided for urban water supply. Pavlodar and Kostanay regions do not reach the average republican indicators. This suggests that we, together with the regions, need to reflect and direct fixed assets to the necessary areas.

— As part of the implementation of the new program until 2025, what kind of work is planned in the regions to form centers of economic growth and increase competitiveness?

— Managed urbanization itself is a global trend. The main economy is located in large cities. If we take the developed OECD countries, the average level of urbanization is about 77%, in our country in 2019, 58.2%. By 2025, we plan to achieve 62% of managed urbanization. The cities are concentrated finance, human capital, investment. Now in the new program, we assume certain growth points, first of all, these are four large agglomerations, 14 urbanized zones, including our regional centers and Semey, plus mono and small cities, we have 18 urbanized zones.

This also includes the development of promising reference and satellite villages. Budget investments will be directed to these directions, and private investments will be attracted for the dynamic development of all regions. The points of attraction will be large cities.

— How have the infrastructure of cities, district centers and villages been improved in 2019? What directions were the main focuses made on? In which regions, in the first place, the construction and reconstruction of facilities was carried out?

— There were several areas of urban development, including the regional centers. Funds were allocated for infrastructure modernization. This year, on behalf of Elbasy, 30 billion tenge were first directed to the development of the outskirts of large cities. These are the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent and the territories adjacent to them. In the future, this work will continue. In addition, 46 projects were implemented in 17 single-industry towns in 9 small towns. This all gives an impetus to the economic growth of human settlements.

— Thank you for the interview!

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