Wednesday, 29 January 2020, 00:56:28
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, participants of the regular Government session considered measures to implement the Head of State’s instructions given at the extended Government session on Jan. 24, 2020, and adopted the concept of the State Program for Water Resources Management for 2020-2030. On the sidelines, media representatives received answers to their questions, and following the meeting, a press conference was held with the participation of the Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov. In addition, in connection with the outbreak of coronavirus in China, a briefing with the participation of Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov, Chief State Sanitary Officer Zhandarbek Bekshin, as well as First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shakhrat Nuryshev was held.
What measures will the Cabinet of Ministers take to implement the Head of State’s instructions?
On Jan. 24, 2020, the President of Kazakhstan held an extended Government session, where he clearly set a number of specific tasks, including the creation of a Center for Analysis and Monitoring of Socio-Economic Reforms, an effective public administration system, regulatory measures to prevent the growth of consumer lending, a separate Committee for the Protection and Development of Competition, and cost optimization, modernization of fiscal policy, etc.
Askar Mamin noted that these instructions are aimed at achieving the strategic goals set by Elbasy to increase real incomes and the quality of life of Kazakhstanis.
Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov pointed out the need to develop a medium-term economic development plan, adopt three legislative acts — the revised Technical Regulation Act, and amendments to the Budget Code and the Health Code.
It was also said about the need to approve three program documents: Monetary Policy Strategy, Trade Policy Program and Water Management Program.
Within the working group, it is proposed to identify ten subgroups. They cover all the instructions of the Head of State. Within each subgroup, specific measures are being developed aimed at the practical implementation of the Head of State’s instructions.
The National Bank plans to carry out work in several areas. Including — to increase the effectiveness of monetary policy, ensuring a balance between the stability of the financial system and the need for general economic growth, the development of the foreign exchange market, etc.
As noted by the Head of State, attracting direct investment is a key tool for country development.
To get a clearer picture, starting in April 2020, the National Bank will quarterly publish statistics on foreign direct investment inflows without taking into account the oil and gas industry.
Coordination of all measures to ensure financial stability and further financial sector reforms will be ensured through the created Financial Stability Council in accordance with the Decree of the Head of State.
One of the directions of the financial regulator in the framework of these measures is to ensure financial stability, including the improvement of the banking system. According to the Chair of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Regulation and Development of the Financial Market Madina Abylkassymova, an independent assessment of the quality of banking system assets, which started in 2019, will be completed in February 2020. Corresponding approaches will be developed before the end of the first quarter of this year.
Abylkassymova also informed that in order to ensure the stability of the financial sector on a systematic basis, from 2020 a risk-based supervision in the banking and insurance sectors will be introduced on a full-scale basis. The risk-based supervision will be strengthened by macroprudential regulation measures, which are jointly implemented by the Agency and the National Bank within the framework of the Financial Stability Board.
In addition, comprehensive measures to develop the financial sector will be developed together with the financial community to regulate and develop the financial market in order to create additional investment opportunities and attract capital.
As part of the execution of the president’s order to reduce unproductive budget expenditures, the head of government instructed ministers, akims of regions and heads of national companies to submit relevant proposals to the Ministry of Finance within a week.
“The Ministry of Finance should report on the developed approaches to reduce unproductive budget expenditures in two weeks at a Government session,” Mamin said.
How will water consumption change in Kazakhstan?
Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev presented the Concept of the State Program for Water Resources Management in Kazakhstan for 2020-2030.
The annual surface water resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan are about 100 cubic km, of which more than 44% are formed outside the country. 67% of water consumption is accounted for by agriculture, 30% — by industry, and the rest — by household needs. By 2040, the water consumption in Kazakhstan is expected to grow by 56%.
The program aims to maintain water balance at 100 cubic km by 2030 by increasing additional surface water resources: building new reservoirs by 5-7 cubic km, water conservation up to 5 cubic km, groundwater use up to 15 cubic km.
The document provides for the construction of new irrigation systems to increase irrigated land from 1.7 to 3 million ha, an increase in the length of the lined main and distribution channels from 3,423 to 19 thousand km.
The aim of the draft program is to guarantee the provision of water resources for the sustainable development of the country, the conservation and restoration of water bodies to a state that provides environmentally friendly conditions for the population and the economy.
Askar Mamin instructed to ensure high-quality development of the program, noting that this Concept meets strategic goals and finds support in the Parliament.
On the sidelines of the Government, acting Chair of the Emergency Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Marat Kuldikov said that due to the worsening weather conditions in the country, a difficult operational situation has developed. In this regard, today roads of republican and regional significance were closed 106 times. 93 storm warnings were announced in 10 regions of the country. More than 2 thousand people were rescued in three days from snow drifts.
“From Jan. 24 to 27, more than 2 thousand people were saved and evacuated from snowdrifts. More than 2 thousand pieces of equipment were also rescued. The main emergency occurs in our capital, Akmola and Karaganda regions. Only some road sections were blocked in Pavlodar, East Kazakhstan, West Kazakhstan and Aktobe regions,” Kuldikov said.
In this regard, 10 operational headquarters have been created in nine regions of the country. Travel problems remain in the direction of Pavlodar region and Schuchinsk. The emergency mode is announced only in Nur-Sultan, the issue of introducing an emergency mode in the Akmola region is being considered.
Deputy Chair of the Administrative Police Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Serik Tussupov said when it is supposed to start the registration of cars imported from the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. He also clarified that the department carries out only explanatory work, no punitive measures are taken.
“We are committed to dialogue with the population and are trying to convey to our citizens that any vehicle is like a type of property subject to mandatory state registration. This is, first of all, road safety and the behavior of individual drivers who drive a foreign vehicle. We have a case where, for example, in the capital, a driver violated the rules of the road more than 300 times a year. Not a single law-abiding citizen will assume the right to violate this. We have not observed such violations from a single citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan with registered cars. As for the owners of foreign vehicles, there was a 3.5-fold surge in the number of violations committed precisely by Kazakhstanis driving foreign vehicles,” Tussupov explained.
According to him, the amount of payment is established by tax legislation and it is the same for everyone.
“A citizen must pay about 10 thousand for a license plate and a registration certificate and from 600 thousand tenge to a little more than a million, depending on the year of issue of the vehicle, the initial registration fee,” he said.
As for the registration deadlines, Tussupov said that it will begin in February and will last until March 2021 for the grace period for citizens with a possible deferred payment.
“In order to prevent misinformation of citizens and confusion in public service centers, we are now carrying out preparatory work. As long as possible, we will conduct such registration so that citizens can still legalize their transport. It is possible to pay after registration of the vehicle. That is, she can pay extra during the year in order to take off the load and give an opportunity to those who have documents in their hands, which are executed in the proper order and who have everything in order with the vehicle,” said the deputy chair of the Administrative Police Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance Alikhan Smailov said that in general, growth in consumer prices was 5.4% in December 2019 compared to December of the previous year. Inflation remained in the same range of 4-6%, which was within the targeted corridor.
“In general, price stability for all consumer goods was ensured by reducing utility tariffs and tariffs regulated by monopolists. This year we will make every effort to restrain the increase in food prices in the corridor, which we target ourselves,” Smailov said.
The first deputy prime minister also informed journalists about the optimization of budget funds of state bodies and the quasi-public sector.
“The president has banned the purchase of expensive furniture and cars. There is this commission. Also, unnecessary events have now stopped, or need to be rescheduled for next year. All government agencies must report on this request. In two weeks we will bring it to the Government session,” Smailov said.
Vice Minister of Energy Murat Zhurebekov commented on the issue regarding the settlement of the Karachaganak dispute.
“We are currently awaiting an offer from the shareholders of this project, since the initiative of the dispute was on their part. We are waiting. I think that in the near future the issue will be resolved. We are simultaneously conducting a draft regulatory agreement. There are a lot of technical and legal issues,” said Zhurebekov.
The vice minister also dwelled on the issue of restoring the export of Kazakhstani oil to China.
“Today we are only talking about partial recovery. Work is underway, and in the near future we will know whether the entire volume has been restored. Since Jan. 22, conditional oil has gone from the Aktobemunaigas field. Now the work is underway. Soon it’s determined whether the entire volume has been restored and brought to air-conditioning standards,” said the vice minister.
At the press conference following the Government session, Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov said that this year investment will be the main engine of economic recovery.
“Our task is to bring the level of investment to 20% of GDP. This will be facilitated by an increase in housing construction. In 2020, we plan to introduce 15 million square meters. meters of housing, it is 2 million more than last year. The implementation of the Nurly Zhol program will also contribute to this; more than 2.5 thousand highways of republican significance will be built and reconstructed. According to the industrialization map, 120 projects will be implemented in the amount of over 1 trillion tenge. Within the development of the agro-industrial complex, 94 projects worth 500 billion tenge. Also, amendments to the legislation will be prepared separately, which will stimulate investment activity and the development of entrepreneurship,” Dalenov informed.
To a question from a news agency correspondent about taking concrete measures to demonopolize and remove administrative and economic barriers to entry of new entrepreneurs into the market, Dalenov answered that this year appropriate measures will also be taken to develop exchange trading, which is one of the instruments of competition, which will subsequently affect the creation of a solid foundation for the functioning of a healthy country's economy.
“The main thing is not only to ensure the sale of these goods on the stock exchange, but also to ensure wide representation on the part of suppliers. It is necessary not only to develop exchange trading, but also to improve the rules — make the market as diverse as possible,” said the head of the Ministry of National Economy.
As noted by Dalenov, the agency analyzed 20 product markets for the presence of obstacles to the development of competition. Classic reasons or identifying restrictions is a narrow market when there are few suppliers and many buyers. Either making purchases by the same companies, participating in a state stake or over-regulation of the market.
Dalenov also emphasized that, in terms of tax policy, investment activity remains a priority.
During a briefing on protecting the population from coronavirus, Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov spoke about the package of measures taken to prevent the introduction and spread of coronavirus infection in Kazakhstan, and also made a number of recommendations to Kazakhstanis who recently arrived from China.
Today, the country has strengthened sanitary control measures at airports and train stations, and countermeasures are taken to import and spread the coronavirus into the country.
“Since Jan. 6, an inspection has been carried out of all citizens entering China, including an inspection through heat metering. Questionnaires are filled out for all people with temperature, they are registered at the place of residence,” the minister said.
To date, 25,858 people have arrived from China, these are citizens of Kazakhstan and foreign citizens.
According to the head of the department, in case mass distribution is recorded, more than 4.5 thousand beds have been additionally deployed, in addition to those infectious beds that are already available.
Yelzhan Birtanov recommends the citizens who arrived from the PRC during the past 14 days to go or call their local clinic, make an appointment with their doctors, and tell them if you have any health problems.
“It’s for your safety that our medical specialists monitor you if there is a deterioration in your health, so that we can take measures to protect you and your family members,” the minister of healthcare said.
First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shakhrat Nuryshev spoke about the citizens of Kazakhstan who are currently in the territory of the People’s Republic of China.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 98 students from Kazakhstan are currently in the city of Wuhan. The Kazakh Embassy in China is in direct contact with the students.
“The students have everything they need, the universities in which they study provide them with everything they need. These are medical products, including, first of all, masks. Food is also in sufficient quantities. As you know, on behalf of the prime minister, we have created an Interdepartmental Commission. A meeting was held yesterday, now we are working on the issue of student evacuation. An official note was sent to the Chinese side on this issue. At the moment, specific questions are being worked out regarding the route: whether the plane will fly, where it lands, where it will be necessary to pick up people from. Negotiations are ongoing with students, and depending on their number, we will study the issue of sending a special board. Receipt of diplomatic permission is at the stage of coordination with China,” Nuryshev said.
According to him, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the PRC and the Consulate General have now strengthened the requirements for obtaining visas for citizens of the PRC in terms of requesting health certificates.
Currently, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there are 1,300 citizens of Kazakhstan in the territory of the PRC, of which 635 tourists rest in Hainan province. 204 people are the staff of the embassy, consulate general and members of their families, as well as 445 citizens of Kazakhstan, who are now in China.
In turn, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Zhandarbek Bekshin recommended that Kazakhstanis wear masks in cases of contact with possibly infected people and in places where there are a lot of people. There is no need to wear a mask on the street.
“In an open environment, this virus does not survive. At most, it can live only one day. The optimum temperature for the spread of the virus is 36-37 degrees, that is, this virus survives only in humans and animals. Therefore, it is unlikely that the virus will spread through the transport of food or packages. Goods that are brought to us from China by rail or road travel for about 2-3 days, that is, the virus does not survive. Another recommendation is that when eating food, it is necessary to rinse well or heat it. Raw vegetables and fruits must be washed with running water and rinsed in hot water,” said Bekshin.
As of today in the PRC, 4,515 confirmed cases of new coronavirus pneumonia have been recorded in 30 provinces, of which 106 are fatal.
Quarantine has been introduced in 15 cities in the province of Hubei, residents are prohibited from leaving the city, the entry and exit of flights, buses and trains are suspended.
In the world, 60 confirmed cases of the disease with a new type of coronavirus are registered in 15 countries.
In addition, a call center was organized 1406 (based on the Social Health Insurance Fund), + 7 (7172) 76-80-43, where citizens can call and find out all the information on the situation about the incidence of coronavirus in the world around the clock, as well as on preventive measures and the main symptoms of the disease.