Meeting with Acting Governor of Astrakhan Region Igor Babushkin 2019-08-02 14:20:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Igor Babushkin, who was appointed Acting Governor on June 5, 2019, reported that he was able to critically assess the situation starting from the first days in his new post. For this purpose, he visited local communities and met with the people. Various requests are being received from the local residents, dealing with problems that have not been addressed for a long time, sometimes for many years. The Acting Governor singled out five priorities as part of his strategy. They aim to improve the quality of life and to boost social security in the region. This would be impossible without economic change; therefore, the region will launch a reboot programme. Mr Babushkin’s first legislative initiative called for expanding regional social support measures, which will have an impact on over 200,000 people. These measures are to become effective from September 1. As per the presidential instructions issued in February and May, the region is implementing projects on 50 social facilities, including sporting grounds, cultural centres, healthcare facilities, kindergartens and schools. Regarding healthcare, there are plans to complete the construction of the regional perinatal centre and a treatment/diagnostic wing of the local oncology centre. Replying to the President’s question about the regional chain of primary healthcare facilities, Mr Babushkin noted that it was necessary to modernise outpatient clinics, build additional paramedic centres and establish modular mobile centres. The President reminded Mr Babushkin about his instruction on a special economic zone at the port. According to the Acting Governor, a working group has been established, and a land plot is being allotted for the special economic zone. Local authorities are in talks with federal executive agencies, the Transport Ministry, Rosmorport and potential investors. As per the instruction, a clear understanding of deadlines and stages of establishing the special economic zone will be reached by December 1, the Acting Governor said. The project will make it possible for annual freight traffic volumes to reach up to 15 million tonnes along the North-South and West-East routes. Vladimir Putin promised to provide extra assistance and support, if it becomes necessary.