Production expansion, new projects and business conditions: Prime Minister instructs to take comprehensive measures for single-industry towns development

Prospects for the development of single-industry towns in Kazakhstan considered at a Government session chaired by Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov.

The main specialisation of 20 single-industry towns, where more than 1.3 million residents live, is the extraction of minerals and their primary processing. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Economy Nurlan Baibazarov in his report reported that today 23 town-forming enterprises of oil and gas, coal, bauxite, iron ore, etc. operate in single-industry towns. At the end of last year, the volume of industrial production totalled 18.5 trillion tenge. The number of operating SMEs in single-industry towns increased from 92.3 thousand to 100.2 thousand over the year. 

In order to systematically address infrastructure issues and develop the real sector of the economy, comprehensive development plans for the cities of Altai, Balkhash, Zhitikara, Lisakovsk, Ridder and Stepnogorsk for 2023-2027 have been approved. A total of 326 measures worth 456.6 billion tenge are envisaged. This year, 62.8 billion tenge is planned for the development of infrastructure in single-industry towns. As part of economic diversification and creation of alternative industries in non-resource sectors of the economy, akimats will implement 41 "anchor" projects worth 1.4 trillion tenge with the creation of more than 10 thousand jobs.

Minister of Industry and Construction Kanat Sharlapaev said that special attention is paid to attracting investment in the economy of single-industry towns. Thus, this year four investment projects worth over 100 billion tenge with the creation of about 1 thousand permanent jobs are being implemented. 

Geological exploration works are carried out to attract additional investments. In 2020-2022, resources with an estimated value of 1.1 trillion tenge were discovered in the vicinity of single-industry towns. Investments worth 28.7 billion tenge have been attracted for exploration of the areas. This year it is planned to complete prospecting works on 5 promising areas near the monotowns of Abay, Kurchatov, Balkhash and Altai. 

High dependence of social well-being of single-industry towns on the activities of town-forming enterprises was also noted at the Government session. Reduced production can become a potential source of social and demographic problems. Over 20 years the population of single-industry towns has already decreased by more than two times. The main reasons have also been named - problems with jobs, low wages and low quality of life. 

"We want to develop single-industry towns, make them attractive to young people, so it is necessary to take measures to increase incomes and employment. This should be done through the expansion of production, implementation of new projects, creation of conditions for business. Akimats need to ensure the creation of attractive conditions and social packages for young professionals. Companies whose production facilities are located in single-industry towns should also bear corporate social responsibility. First of all, it is the protection of workers' rights, expansion of production, participation in social initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of the population," Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov said.

Minister of Energy Almassadam Satkaliyev reported on the progress of modernisation of engineering infrastructure of single-industry towns at the Government session. At the stage of implementation are repair and restoration work at Stepnogorsk CHP and modernisation of Balkhash heat and power plant. Repair and reconstruction of 28 boilers and 11 turbines in Stepnogorsk, Ridder, Temirtau, Shakhtinsk, Rudnyi, Ekibastuz and Kentau are also planned. The work on gasification of 11 single-industry towns continues, which in the future will provide about 600 thousand people with gas. 

Olzhas Bektenov noted that in matters of ensuring a comfortable life in single-industry towns, akimats should pay special attention to the uninterrupted operation of infrastructure facilities. In addition, it is necessary to focus on the construction and repair of infrastructure, housing, availability of educational and medical services. 

Akim of Karaganda region Ermaganbet Bulekpaev reported on the results of creation of an industrial zone in Saran city, which allowed to give a new impetus to the development of the settlement. By the end of this year, it is instructed to create similar industrial zones in the cities of Khromtau, Satpayev, Balkhash and Kulsary. In the future, this experience should be extended to other single-industry towns.

To ensure a differentiated approach to the development of single-industry towns, Prime Minister instructed: 

  • Within the framework of the next refinements and adjustments of budget programmes, intensify the work on increasing the limits of infrastructure financing. At the same time, it is necessary to fully utilise the potential of the local budget in this work.
  • Ensure full implementation of planned repair works at CHPPs and heat, water and electricity networks with strict adherence to schedules.  Special demand will be made from akims for the next heating season.
  • To stimulate domestic production, double the number of off-take contracts in single-industry towns by the end of this year. 
  • Within two weeks to make proposals for the creation of small industrial zones on the territories of empty facilities in single-industry towns.
  • Attract investors to process technogenic-mineral formations. Within a year it is necessary to carry out geological exploration works near single-industry towns.
#Olzhas Bektenov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Economy #Employment #Employment #Government session #Infrastructural development #Regions #Social Security

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