Almaty Mayor presents economic recovery plan
The economy of Almaty fell by 9.2 percent due to the nationwide state of emergency and the coronavirus quarantine measures. The greatest decline is observed in the areas of transport and trade. Mayor of Almaty Bakytzhan Sagintayev spoke about plans to restore the economy of the city at the online press briefing.
“40 percent of the economy of Almaty is in trade and this situation needs to be changed. We shouldn’t be dependent on trade. The shadow economy prevails in trade. We don’t know how salaries are calculated, how many workers are there, especially in markets,” Sagintayev noted.
The Mayor of Almaty also said that 104 billion tenge (US$252 million) was allocated to the employment roadmap. Of these, 24 billion tenge (US$58 million) was the transfer from the state budget and the rest were the investments raised through bond issuance.
Sagintayev noted that some sectors of the city’s economy are actually growing, including the industrial sector.
In addition, 60 billion tenge (US$145 million) came to the budget of Almaty due to the corporate income tax. These are the taxes that were paid from January 1, 2020.
“The city is self-sufficient. The Fitch Ratings marked Almaty’s economy at the level of the sovereign rating. We can easily be listed in the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and raise money to cover our deficit. I think that this is a temporary measure. We reviewed almost all our budget expenses and canceled all the unnecessary events. We had the budget sequestration. These measures allowed us to allocate money only to the creation of new jobs and maintenance of the social infrastructure. All those companies that are associated with the budget can be sure that the budget will fulfill all its obligations to suppliers. We see this from the revenues that are available today,” Sagintayev noted.
Almaty has the highest number of COVID-19 cases among regions and cities of Kazakhstan. In this regard, the city spent 16.4 billion tenge (US$39.8 million) on the fight against the spread of COVID-19 infection. 6.9 billion tenge (US$16 million) were allocated from the state budget, of which five billion tenge (US$12 million) were spent on the construction of a modular infectious diseases hospital. Nearly 9.5 billion tenge (US$23 million) were allocated from the local budget. Sagintayev said that the most of these funds were spent on maintaining prices for essential goods and providing the health workers fighting the coronavirus epidemic with the personal protective equipment.