I. Metshin: "Kazan has a potential for sustainable economic development"
Report on the 2014 activities of the mayor of Kazan to the XLI session of Kazan City Duma.
Needless to say that due to the overall trend in the country's economy, we had to adjust our plans. However, the margin of safety, which is a result of sound economic policy pursued by the Republic of Tatarstan, its capital and its enterprises and businesses, allows all branches of municipal economy to operate confidently.
Despite the negative global political and economic situation, the international rating agency "Fitch Ratings" raised the 2014 city credit rating from "B +" to "BB-" and confirmed it in January 2015, with a stable outlook for the future.
Throughout the year, the city's economy has been developing positively, and, in general, Kazan has a potential to create necessary conditions for sustainable economic growth. Kazan's gross product in 2014 amounted to 560 billion rubles, which was 33.5 billion rubles more than in 2013. Kazan's large and medium-sized industrial enterprises shipped manufactured goods and rendered services worth 242.4 billion rubles. The index of industrial production reached 104.1%. The retail trade turnover totaled 450 (449.9) billion rubles, which exceeded the level of 2013 by 2.6%.
Some 3.5 thousand wholesale and retail trade stores, about 1,600 public catering establishments and 1.5 thousand service shops operate in Kazan, with more than 100 international brands represented. Kazan's retail space is 1,100 sq.m per 1,000 population, exceeding the norm of 279 sq.m.
During the reporting period, the city of Kazan collected 100.8 billion rubles in taxes, and there had been an increase in that amount for a number of years. Of each ruble of revenue collected in 2014, the city budget received 9.2%, the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan – 58% and the federal budget – 33%.
The adopted 2014 revenue and expenditure city budget was 17 billion 524 million rubles, while actual revenues amounted to 21 billion 659 million rubles. The 2014 city budget expenditures amounted to 22 billion rubles.
As of January 1, 2015, the municipal debt of the city was over 30 billion rubles, having decreased by 29 million rubles in comparison with the beginning of 2014. In 2014, the city succeeded in attracting medium-term bank loans in the amount of 5.2 billion rubles at the lending rate of 11.3%, which was 2% lower than the average rate (13.25%). All short-term loans were replaced with mid-term ones, with revolving credit facilities maturing in 2017, thus significantly lessening the debt burden.
The construction sector is the most important indicator of the development of any city. During 2014, 801 thousand sq. m of housing were completed in the capital. The average housing area provision per one inhabitant reached 23.84 sq.m. In this respect, the city has been among the Russian Federation megacity leaders in the last 6 years.
A large amount of work was done in the field of road construction, the Universiade having been the main stimulus. However, the increase in the level of motorization will again create serious traffic problems. Over the past 10 years the number of cars in the city has increased two-fold. The average year sees an increase of 20 thousand cars. As of 01.01.2015, the level of motorization was 315.4 cars per thousand residents.
In order to optimize traffic management, a comprehensive traffic scheme is being developed within the overall master plan. The Research and Design Institute of Regional Development and Transportation of St. Petersburg, a leading development institution, has prepared an action plan up to 2020, whose implementation will improve the situation on the roads without significant financial investments in the near future.
The high standards of area improvement set during preparation for the 2013 World Summer Universiade were maintained in the reporting year. Some four million flowers were planted, thanks to which Kazan gained an attractive image of a blossoming metropolis, praised by both Kazan residents and guests. The floral arrangement area has more than doubled in comparison with the record year of the Universiade, reaching 65 thousand square meters (in 2013 it amounted to 28 thousand square meters).
2014 was a breakthrough year in terms of attention paid to the parks, but what was even more important was the launch of their reconstruction. A list of objects to be renovated and restored had been drawn up, which included 32 parks and gardens with an area of over 110 hectares.
The implementation of "The Green Record" project was continued last year. The city planted more than 24 thousand trees and 6 thousand shrubs. Overall, in the three years of the project, 130,000 new trees were planted in the city.
The sporting life of Kazan in 2014 was no less active than in the year of the Universiade.
The city became one of the main sports centers not only in Russia but also worldwide. In 2014, Kazan held major tournaments: the World Fencing Championship, the first-ever World High Diving Cup, the European Badminton Championship and eight championships of Russia.
In 2014, the number of people who visited the sports facilities reached more than 360 thousand. It is noteworthy that the citizens' growing interest in a healthy lifestyle was the main result of the Universiade. As of January 1, 2015, the total number of citizens regularly engaged in physical culture and sports amounted to 426 thousand 123 people, which is 35.7% of the total population. Thus, the five-year growth amounted to 18.6%.
The most important city event of 2015 will be the World Aquatics Championships, which starts July 24. 2,400 athletes and 1,800 officials from 200 countries are expected to attend.
The increase in tourism is one of the main tasks of the municipal authorities. Thus, 1 million 750 thousand tourists visited Kazan in 2014, which was 14.3% more than in 2013.
Due to its unique geographical position, accessibility, rich history and traditions of hospitality, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan has become recognizable not only in Russia and the CIS, but also throughout the world. The number of foreign visitors to Kazan in 2014 amounted to more than 145 thousand. Most foreign tourists came from Turkey, Germany, China, the USA and Italy. Needless to say that such international events as the 2013 Universiade, the upcoming 2015 World Aquatics Championships and the 2018 Football Cup have played and will continue to play a huge role.
The past year was marked by intense and fruitful work for the good of the city and its inhabitants.
The main objectives for 2015 are to continue work on housing construction, construction and repair of schools and kindergartens, to promote small and medium-sized businesses and to improve the quality of education.
Stability in city economy and political life and fulfillment of all social obligations will be achieved through persistent teamwork.