GOVERNMENT WEEK. New appointments to Government. Further measures to strengthen banking system. Kazakhstan to make new breakthrough
Astana. March 6. KAZINFORM / Balym Issenova / Kazakhstan first week of spring is filled with a number of memorable events. Firstly, new appointments to the Government have taken effect this week. The following governmental officials were relieved of their duties: Governor of the East Kazakhstan region A. Bergenev, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan Medet Sartbayev, Deputy Head of the Presidential Security Service Amantai Kurenbekov. Minister for Environment N. Iskakov’s resignation was also accepted. New appointments to the Government, effective March 3-4, 2009, were made. Umirzak Shukeyev took up First Deputy Prime Minister post; Serik Akhmetov was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. U.Shukeyev will administer the operational administration, development of agro-industrial complex, construction sector, and realization of breakthrough projects. Deputy Prime Minister S. Akhmetov will administer transport and infrastructure, development of small and medium businesses, and deal with the issues of increasing Kazakhstan's participation, regional policy and housing maintenance and utilities. B. Saparbayev assumed position of the Governor of the East Kazakhstan region. The Prime Minister Massimov said that this decision had specific prerequisites. First, B.Saparbayev has extensive experience in regional administration. Secondly, former Minister of Labor and Social Protection has to tackle an employment problem in the region. The new Governor was given a range of tasks. Among them - the necessity of careful and circumspect personnel work in the region. A. Myrzakhmetov became Governor of the South Kazakhstan region. «The new Governor is expected to address the issues of unemployment, further development of the economy, agriculture, small and medium businesses and other important issues», PM K.Massimov said. M. Zairov was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Nurbank JSC. Changes in the leadership were forced by the accomplishment of the stabilization stage and the necessity to strengthen bank’s further development. Nurbank is planned to repay USD 100 million syndicated loan in April 2009 and USD 150 million Eurobond in 2011 from own funds. Household deposits increased by 104% following the results of 2008. N. Ashimov was appointed the Minister for Environment. G.Abdykalikova heads the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. It is anticipated that new appointments will help further measures taken by the Government. KZT 720 bln have been allocated for banks and financial organizations as part of the anti-recessionary program, Head of SamrukKazyna National Welfare Fund K. Kelimbetov informed Monday at the Government meeting. Financial-sector investments focused on the country’s four largest banks, which received 476 billion tenge. The fund deposited 212 billion tenge in BTA Bank. The fund deposited 120 billion tenge each in Kazkommertsbank and Halyk Savings Bank, the country’s second- and third-largest lenders, and 24 billion tenge in Alliance Bank, the fourth-biggest. The Kazakh Government’s financial-sector investments are fully supported by the Kazakhstan nationals. Shareholders of the Alliance Bank declared that they would fully support all government efforts to stabilize the situation in the banking sector and, in particular, in the Alliance Bank. «For us, it is important that the Alliance Bank will function as a reliable financial institution and is an active agent of the Government in financing the economy. Shareholders of the Bank live in Kazakhstan and they are not going to leave the country and they are willing to take responsibility for their actions. «We declare that we have not and will not participate in any political activities and will not be susceptible to various political provocations. At this difficult time of crisis shareholders of the Alliance Bank call not to politicize economic measures, which are applied not only in Kazakhstan, but throughout the world, do not use constraints in the economy to earn political dividends, and to focus on the adoption of reasonable, effective and prompt measures for the early overcoming the crisis,» the message reads. The President charged the Government to allocate at least KZT 140 bln for ensuring regional employment and staff retraining, local budgets should allocate resources for employment strategy financing. "We will create new jobs for those, who lost their jobs», the Head of the State said. N. Nazarbayev noted that we can provide with jobs at least 350,000 Kazakhstanis if we realize all programs. We have all opportunities for labor market development. Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC has increased Kazakhstan’s share in purchases from 70% in 2008 up to 79% in 2009. The total amount of purchase of Kazakhstan goods and services is KZT 238 bln», Kairat Kelimbetov said. The total amount of purchases of KazMunaiGaz National Company in 2009 is expected to be KZT 349 bln, KZT 240 bln out of them will be spent to support domestic producers», he added. At the Government meeting on Monday, Prime Minister K. Massimov urged to put the program of mortgage refinancing under public control. The Prime Minister assigned mass media to actively participate in the coverage of the implementation of this program. «You should broadcast those who obtained mortgage loans and those who did not. This way the work must be brought to the public attention».The Government budgeted KZT 120 bln for the mortgage refinancing program which started on March 1. Within two weeks the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will finish revising subsoil use contracts to make provisions on Kazakhstan’s participation in the overal volume of public procurement. «According to the results of the monitoring conducted by the Ministry, about 300 contracts did not have items on Kazakhstan’s participation in the total public procurement», the Executive Secretary of the Ministry A. Batalov said. Prime Minister K. Massimov urged the Ministry to rectify the situation within the next two weeks. About KZT 40 bln from the local budgets can be allocated to support the real sector of the economy. Kazakh Vice Minister of Economy and Budget Planning M. Kussainov informed of it at the telephone conference of the Government on the issues of the development of the real economy sector. «As a whole, we consider it is possible to refund the local budget to the amount of KZT 40 bln including expenditures for technical equipment, complete repair of buildings, professional training of the civil servants, construction of administrative buildings, tourism and sport facilities», M. Kussainov said. «Along with the expenditures for social welfare the released funds can be spent for the following: complete repair of education and healthcare facilities, repair of local roads, reconstruction and repair of engineering networks of the communal sector,» he emphasized. At the V Forum of Kazakhstan Women dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the National Committee for Women, Family and Demography on March 5, President N. Nazarbayev congratulated the women of Kazakhstan on the International Women's Day. «In this difficult time I wish all Kazakhstan women patience for the sake of peace, stability and well-being in every family», N.Nazarbayev said. The President charged the National Committee for Women to study experience in family and demographic policy gained by public and scientific associations, international organizations. «The Strategic Plan of Kazakhstan’s Development till 2020 which is being outlined now on my errand must reflect the key priorities of demographic policy», President Nazarbayev said. The President charged People’s Democratic Party Nur Otan to encourage women to take executive positions. «We must extend women’s opportunities to take an active part in social and political life. All countries where 30-40 % of official executives are women, have a developed and socially oriented community», N.Nazarbayev said. «In Kazakhstan over last five years the number of women among Maslikhat and Parliament deputies has not changed. Today they make only 17 %. The number of women who hold executive positions in central authorities does not increase. Our country has plenty of leaders among women and they succeed. Employers must encourage women in building up their career», the President noted. "From now on Nur Otan must take control of this issue. 56 percent of the Party members are women. I am sure there are a lot of worthy candidates among them. We must help them advance, but women should be more active, too», the President said N. Nazarbayev also urged to foster women's business activity. «It is important to create the environment for women to get employed. Therefore I charge the Government and local authorities to adopt certain measures to help them successfully compete in the employment market», he said. President Nazarbayev also encharged the Government to study the world experience of distant employment which allows working at home and fulfilling family responsibilities. N. Nazarbayev made special emphasis on the problem of disabled children. «In today’s difficult situation we must support the families which raise children with disabilities. From 2010 we will introduce social relief for disabled children under 16», the President said. At the end of this week President N.Nazarbayev made his annual Address - to - the Nation. In this Address the President concretizes all antirecessionary measures discussed earlier. In Senator G. Kassimov’s view, anti - crisis measures in Kazakhstan are unprecedented. «A new fact for us is that the primary sector revenues will be directed to the budget directly, not to the National Fund. The funds from the National Fund will not be taken, the margin to the amount of USD 47 bln will remain. Increase of expenditures for social sphere, salary and pension payments is provided in the three-year budget. And the increase will outstrip the rates of inflation. I’m sure that the living standards of the population will not decrease», the Senator said. G.Kasymov considers that the commission of the President to pay attention to the development of the rural areas is of special importance as well. «The President has outlined those directions of development which will be financed from the budget: construction of roads, domestic telecommunications and construction of schools. The most important thing is that the Address provides for retraining of personnel which will allow us to become stronger and renewed after the crisis. The Head of the State highlights that stability and unity of our nation is a pledge of the state’s success», Mazhilisman V. Nekhoroshev said. «Our future depends on further modernization of economy, development of basic infrastructure», President's Address reads. According to the President, this touches first of all upon the projects on modernization of oil refineries. «We have three oil processing enterprises at present. It’s a shame that we import oils and do not provide the country with jet fuel!» N. Nazarbayev noted. «We should work on this issue and begin to lower this dependence. Construction of an oil and gas complex in Atyrau and organization of the projects on energy industry will be continued», the President added.