In 2022 the town of Balkhash will receive $35 million for the purpose of tourism development, according to Zhenis Kasymbek, akim (governor) of the Karaganda region.
With that money transfer, the government is going to cover the costs of new utility system construction in the settlement of Torangalyk and Chubar-Tubek, which are both located on the shore of Lake Balkhash. Even though both settlements used to be part of a rural area, on July 14, 2021, the government decided to make them administrative parts of the town of Balkhash.
“While the government was preparing a project of the state budget for the year of 2022, the Ministry of Finance and the budget commission have supported our plan of new tourist cluster development in Torangalyk and Chubar-Tubek and approved $35 million investments,” said Kasymbek.
The authorities are going to use that money to cover all costs of new utility system construction. They also want to provide the locals with an Internet access. In the future, a similar plan would be implemented in another settlement of Shashubay.
“This is a really big issue for Shashubay residents; they want the settlement to be transferred to the town of Balkhash and I’ve already negotiated with the government,” the akim added.
In the current year, the budget of the town of Balkhash is expected to reach $38.2 million. About $22.3 million (60%) of it are transfers from Nur-Sultan. With new investments next year, the budget might be raised twofold. Although it’s good for people, the ability of the town to cover its costs on its own is going to diminish.
However, the government expects that the town of Balkhash including two settlements on the shore will be able to attract about 500,000 people each year. Therefore they have put the town into the list of top 10 most important domestic tourist destinations.
This year the government was going to invest $23.4 million into the development of the tourist infrastructure in Balkhash but as of August 2021, the town received just $939,564 and has already spent that money for the construction of the utility system in the Gulf of Bertys.
Local entrepreneurs desperately wait for changes because earlier they were forced to make a business from scratch with no utility systems on the land parcels they've received.