The Governor spoke about the draft directive on the development of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody resorts, prepared jointly with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. The project envisages over 50 events and the development of 26 facilities.
According to Mr Vladimirov, Caucasian Mineralnye Vody resorts surpass all similar European ones in terms of the number of tourists and holidaymakers and with regard to the quality of the mineral water. Even during the worst years, the tourist flow in Caucasian Mineralnye Vody amounted to 42 percent of the entire number visiting European resorts. For example, in 2019, there were 147,000 foreign tourists in Caucasian Mineralnye Vody. Last year the number was 30 percent lower for obvious reasons.
The governor reported that today English businesses and other foreign investors are putting money into the development of Caucasian Mineralnye Vody. In the five years between 2015 and 2020, 25 billion rubles were invested in Caucasian Mineralnye Vody. Roads are under construction, and today almost all the resort cities are as accessible as possible for transport. Urban renewal has begun: about 70 improved facilities have been created in Caucasian Mineralnye Vody.
According to Mr Vladimirov, it is necessary to begin uniting Caucasian Mineralnye Vody with the resorts of the Black Sea coast. This is a large project; the cost of the road is estimated at 91–97 billion, but it will give people the opportunity to be treated at Caucasian Mineralnye Vody while going skiing on Elbrus, in Arkhyz and Dombay and relaxing on the Black Sea coast, for example in Sochi.
Answering the President’s question, the Governor gave an estimate of the funds necessary for the construction of new facilities and the renovation of 26 existing ones. This requires 48 billion rubles, including 4 billion to be contributed from the regional budget. As of today, 140 million have been allocated for design. The draft government directive has been approved by all the parties and is awaiting the President’s support.
The second issue on the agenda was the development of rural areas. The programme for the comprehensive development of rural areas was launched two years ago. According to the programme, 3,500 facilities are to be built or renovated between 2019 and 2024. Specifically, 126 primary healthcare facilities will undergo renovation this year, including 83 facilities in rural areas. The governor stressed that the programme had helped reduce internal and outbound migration in rural areas, which was particularly difficult to achieve in Stavropol Territory.
As concerns social issues, Mr Vladimirov noted that every town had an ongoing project. As many as 402 facilities in 343 towns are in the works. The concessional mortgage programme for rural residents is making great progress as 1,503 families took out almost 600 million rubles in mortgage loans last year.
Vladimir Putin noted that significant funding would be allocated from the budget to support rural areas. Various options are being considered, some of which are not related to supporting agriculture. Hundreds of billions have been put aside for social development. Additional funds, or 7 billion per year, will be provided for land amelioration.
Vladimir Vladimirov confirmed that Stavropol Territory had received this year’s land amelioration funding. It is an extremely important measure as no funding was available for soil improvement in the region between 1982 and 2013. As of now, 23,000 out of 400,000 hectares of land remain to be rehabilitated. Every year, another 21,000 ha is reclaimed. It is expected that an additional 100,000 will be improved by 2024.