Meeting with Head of Karachayevo-Circassia Rashid Temrezov 2021-08-03 14:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Head of the Karachayevo-Circassian Republic Rashid Temrezov, who updated the President on the socioeconomic situation in the republic. Acting at the President’s suggestion, Rashid Temrezov began his report with the situation in healthcare, including in light of the pandemic. He said the republic had a sufficient supply of personal protection equipment, medication, medical equipment, vehicles and medical personnel, as well as hospital beds. The current focus is on vaccination, the pace of which is increasing. The republic is receiving methodological and practical assistance from the Ministry of Healthcare and is modernising primary care. After that, the head of Karachayevo-Circassia spoke about infrastructure projects. He said that during the past few years, they had built over 600 socially significant facilities and that 62 percent of the republic’s budget is focused on social projects. It is vitally important for the republic to build utilities and road infrastructure for developing tourism. In this context, the President proposed drafting a development project, adding that the existing regional projects actually concerned the entire country because they are related to the resort areas where people travel from all over Russia. Rashid Temrezov noted that last year, 1.54 million tourists visited the republic, which has a population of 0.5 million, despite the pandemic. That has definitely boosted small and medium-sized businesses. As for construction, the completion rate for housing went down in 2020. However, according to the Construction Ministry, this year the republic will rank third in the country with 298,000 square metres of housing completed. Rashid Temrezov pointed out that the relocation of people from dilapidated housing should be finished by the end of 2022, in time for the 100th anniversary of the republic. The agricultural sector’s development pace is increasing. According to the head of the republic, intensive fruit farming is on the rise, with 200–300 hectares of intensive fruit orchards laid out every year using modern technology, including irrigation engineering. In the past, local farmers mostly cultivated melons and gourds. But now people, who mostly grew vegetables on their private land, are planting orchards and creating cooperative farms with the help of regional allocations. Rashid Temrezov noted that this had helped to decrease the outflow of people from rural areas. The rural development programme supervised by the Agriculture Ministry has given a serious boost to farming. The President pointed out that this was also important for the labour market, considering that the republic still had problems with employment. Rashid Temrezov replied that this is why additional benefits had been introduced this year to encourage private land owners to create cooperative farms. In addition, many culture and sports centres have been built in rural areas, and additional funding has been approved for staffing. This is another factor reducing the outflow of people from rural areas. The head of the republic also said that they were also working to settle perennial problems such as the shortage of water and gas, the lack of kindergartens, rural medical assistance centres and cultural centres.