5 President’s social initiatives: main results
In March, 2018 President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced Five social initiatives that would help improve people’s well-being. Nowadays the realization of these initiatives is afloat. And there are some results. Let’s remind what instructions the Head of State gave to the Government for each initiative and consider what has been already done. Read in the review material of the Strategy2050.kz Information Agency.
The first initiative: New opportunities of house-buying for each family
Within the framework of the first initiative the President instructed to launch the 7-20-25 housing program and create a special company that will attract at least 1 trillion tenge and send for repayment of new mortgage loans provided by the banks.
So, the program was launched in July, 2018. Legislative amendments were introduced for the development of the mortgage market. The newly created Baspana organization became a program operator. Eight second-tier banks participate in the program.
As of January 17, 2018 4350 applications for a loan amounting to 52 billion tenge have been approved under the 7-20-25 program.
17 percent of applicants were denied – 1,237 applications. The main reason is a bad credit history and lack of sufficient official income, Chairperson of the National Bank Daniyar Akishev said.
To update the program, the National Bank of Kazakhstan offers a number of measures:
– housing construction under the program in prospective regions, taking into account the demand for housing, demographic growth, population migration;
– giving the local authorities the right to raise financing for housing construction at the expense of the Baspana mortgage organization;
– commissioning of housing built under the Nurly Zher State Program, equally to depositors and people on the waiting list through Zhilstroisberbank, and to all citizens through mortgage loans under the 7-20-25 program;
– issuance of housing certificates should have a point character and is allowed only at the start of the program;
– the Government’s study of the possibility of granting the right to participate in the program to citizens who have housing.
The second initiative: Tax burden reduction for wage increase of low-paid workers
Nursultan Nazarbayev stated about the planned reduction of the tax burden for raising the salaries of low-paid workers.
Ruslan Dalenov, the First Vice-Minister of National Economy, reported on the work being done within the second initiative.
All the preparatory work has been carried out and completed. Legislative amendments have come into force on January 1, 2019. Explanatory work was carried out among taxpayers, compensation to local budgets is provided, the norms are applied, R. Dalenov said.
Regarding the legislative amendments, the First Vice-Minister said that the Tax Code has changed the order for those who have wages below 63 thousand 125 tenge. According to them, the tax burden has already been reduced 10 times and about 2 million workers will receive additional income of up to 15 thousand tenge per year.
Regarding the compensation to the local budgets, it was noted that amendments will entail losses of the local budgets. In this regard, these losses were reviewed and supported at the meeting of the republican budgetary commission. The republican budget has transfers. Thus, revenues of the local budgets are not reduced due to benefits.
R. Dalenov also reported that all employers are familiar with the amendments, explanatory work has been conducted among the population.
The second initiative is also tasked with exploring the possibility of introducing a progressive scale of individual income tax. According to the First Vice-Minister, international experience was studied and a detailed analysis of the current situation in the payment of hired labor was carried out.
In general, according to the Ministry of National Economy, the order to reduce the tax burden on low-paid workers has been executed.
The third initiative: Increasing the accessibility and quality of higher education and improving the living conditions of student youth
In order to increase the access and quality of higher education, the President proposed to allocate additional 20,000 grants in 2018-19. Of them, 11 thousand grants will be for training bachelors in technical specialties. At the same time, it is necessary to increase the cost of the new grants at all universities in technical and agricultural specialties to the level of grants at the national universities. Also it is necessary to pay much attention to the conditions of students’ education and living.
According to Minister of Education Yerlan Sagadiyev, in 2018 the number of grants increased by 20 thousand units. The total number of grants allocated annually in the country reached 69 thousand: 53 thousand students are studying for bachelor’s degree, 13 thousand – for master’s degree, over 2 thousand – for PhD programs.
He added that 50% of all grantees are trained in technical specialties (34 thousand people). Among them are relevant to the labor market directions as information and communication technologies, cyber security, radio engineering and electronics. 5 thousand grants are provided for rural youth under the Serp?n program. About 20% of grants are aimed at training teachers, including those with enhanced linguistic competence.
At all universities, the cost of grants in technical and agricultural specialties has become equal to the cost of grants at national universities and reached 635 thousand tenge. In this way, the order of the Head of State to allocate grants and increase the cost has been fully implemented, Sagadiyev said.
In addition, work is continuing to provide the student youth with dormitories. In 2019, it is planned to enter 5,000 seats.
For 3.5 months, we received 20 applications for 11,144 seats. We have concluded 12 contracts for 6556 places. Most of them are already under construction. In addition to this, by the end of this month, we plan to conclude 8 more contracts for 4,588 places. These are objects that will be commissioned next year, Yerlan Sagadiyev stated.
At the same time, educational organizations commissioned 10 dormitories for 2,780 places at their own expense and without using the state order mechanism.
The fourth initiative: Expansion of microcrediting
As part of this initiative, the Head of State instructed to allocate additional 20 billion tenge in 2018, bringing the total amount of microcredit to 62 billion tenge.
In 2018, the financing for the microcredit program was increased by 20 billion tenge, including for microcrediting in cities – 6 billion tenge, in villages – 14 billion tenge. Taking into account the additionally allocated funds, the total amount for microcrediting amounted to 62 billion tenge. Of these, 45 billion tenge (73%) were allocated for microcrediting in rural areas and 17 billion tenge (27%) in urban areas.
At the end of last year, the total amount of the microcredit program was 59.5 billion tenge, or 96% of the plan for the year, of which 45.4 billion tenge (100%) in rural areas, 14.1 billion tenge (83%) in urban areas.
In terms of economics, the microcredits were granted for the development of animal husbandry – 76% (10,699), crop production – 2.7% (376), poultry farming – 2.2% (307), transport and storage – 6% (843), accommodation services and nutrition – 4% (562), processing industry – 2% (282), wholesale and retail trade – 1% (141), provision of other types of services – 5.6% (787), construction – 0.4% (56).
The fifth initiative: Further gasification of the country
The President of Kazakhstan announced the decision to build a gas pipeline to Astana from Kyzylorda region.
Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev told about the current situation on the construction project of the Saryarka gas pipeline to Astana in 2019.
The construction of the main gas pipeline is planned to be carried out simultaneously by five linear streams. Completion of the construction of the linear part of the gas pipeline with the installation of crane assemblies, gas measuring stations, automated gas distribution stations, CP installations and hydrotesting of the pipeline is scheduled for the end of 2019. Mobilization of vehicles, equipment and personnel of the contractor will begin in late January. Preparation of the track will start from February 27th. In this case, the delivery of the first batch of pipe is scheduled for early March with completion in August. Line pipe welding will begin on March 21, Bozumbayev said.
Source: Kazakhtan 2050