Meeting with Acting Head of Kabardino-Balkaria Kazbek Kokov 2019-07-23 13:50:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Acting Head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Kazbek Kokov to discuss the current socioeconomic situation in the region and further plans to develop Kabardino-Balkaria. Kazbek Kokov has been heading the Republic since September 2018. He reported that there was an increase in the key economic sectors in the first six months of 2019. Industrial production grew by 2 percent, and agricultural production amounted to 11.4 billion rubles, or a rise of 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Construction and retail trade also show growth; there is a positive trend in the influx of tourists to the Republic – about 7 percent rise in the first half of the year. The growth rate of investments in fixed assets achieved last year remains unchanged. The average salary continues to grow – about 2.5 percent. The main focus in work following 2018 was made on improving public financing. Thanks to a set of measures taken to mobilise tax and non-tax revenues, and with the support of the federal government, the regional authorities achieved a reduction in the national debt by 1.8 billion rubles. The growth of own revenues amounted to about 9 percent, which also made it possible to reduce the national debt to eight billion rubles from 12 billion. Mr Kokov also reported that 5.6 billion rubles were received from the federal budget for the implementation of national projects. The most financially demanding projects are demography and education. In addition, a lot of funds are spent on road construction and the development of sports. The Acting Head of the Republic noted that despite the positive trends in socioeconomic development, the Republic lags behind many average Russian indicators, including the share of the domestic regional product per capita, low wages and low incomes of the population. To solve these problems, the Republic was tasked with achieving growth rates above the average for the economy in Russia. For this, all strategic documents, planning documents, and the strategy for socioeconomic development were adjusted. The President noted that the trends are quite satisfactory in general and recommended that Mr Kokov build good working relations with federal ministries and departments in order to receive funds on time and regularly, and that the Republic should be ready to absorb funds and resources that are allocated for the relevant national projects to be implemented in Kabardino-Balkaria.