Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia's volatile Chechnya republic, has ordered his government to develop small and medium businesses in order to lower unemployment by 15 percent in 2011.
"We managed to reduce unemployment from 45 to 40 percent this year, and the goal for the leadership and the government in 2011, is to reduce it to 25 percent," Kadyrov said.
Local authorities earlier said regional and federal spending on the development of Chechnya's small and medium enterprises had been doubled to 700 million rubles ($22.3 million).
The construction of several large industrial facilities will begin next year, which is expected to create some 5,000 jobs , Kadyrov said.
But, he added, this will take several years and local residents should be given an opportunity to “earn their daily bread today.”
High unemployment coupled with low living standards are thought to be the main factors driving residents of the North Caucasus to join militant groups. The Russian government moved earlier this year to improve the economic and social situation in the region, where militant violence is still commonplace following a decade-long anti-terrorism campaign in Chechnya.
Kadyrov also ordered Chechen municipality heads to "work hard" to develop local economies by attracting investors.
"A leader who is unable to attract investment to his region in a weak leader," the Chechen strongman said.
GROZNY, December 2 (RIA Novosti)