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Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Measures to prevent price increase for socially important food products considered in the Government

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The Chairman of the National Bank Daniyar Akishev, First Vice Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov and First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniev reported on the current situation in the country and the measures taken.

According to the Ministry of National Economy, since early 2018, the inflation rate has remained within the corridor of 5-7%. In September, inflation was 0.4%, from the beginning of the year � 3.3%. Annual inflation was 6.1% (September 2018 vs. September 2017).

In the regional context, since the beginning of the year, the average national level exceeds a number of areas. This is observed in Mangistau, Atyrau and Pavlodar regions, as well as in the cities of Astana, Shymkent and Almaty. The excess is from 0.1 pp to 0.8 pp, reported Dalenov.

He emphasizes that the list of socially significant food products today consists of 19 items (flour, bread, horns, buckwheat, rice, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, sugar, sunflower oil and cream, beef, meat chickens, milk, kefir, eggs, salt, cottage cheese). For 9 months of 2018 the prices for these goods increased by 0.7%.

The analysis of prices in the regions shows the exceeding of the threshold values by more than 15% in such cities as Astana, Karaganda, Uralsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk in 4 goods, Pavlodar and Shymkent in 3 goods, Aktau, Atyrau, Kostanay, Petropavlovsk, Taraz, Aktobe , Kyzylorda and Taldykorgan on 2 goods and Kokshetau on 1 product. There is no significant excess of threshold prices only in the city of Almaty, said Dalenov.

Thus, according to the First Vice Minister of National Economy, in such cases, legislation in the field of commercial activity provides for a set of measures. This is the use of reserves of stabilization funds and interaction with subjects of trade in the establishment of marginal prices.

Local executive bodies need to intensify the work of the Commissions established at akimats, as well as strengthen coordination with regional chambers of entrepreneurs to prevent further price increases, said Dalenov.

In addition, according to the ministry, to ensure the level of inflation in the established corridor (5-7%) in the remaining three months of the year, the monthly average inflation rate should be no higher than 1.2%. In this regard, interested state and local executive bodies should continue to work on the implementation of relevant measures and monitoring of the price situation.

In turn, the Chairman of the National Bank Daniyar Akishev noted that inflation for 9 months of 2018 remains at the level of a given corridor.

From the beginning of the year, the growth is 3.3%. Annual inflation in September was 6.1%. We expect that this year inflation will continue in the target corridor from 5% to 7% without additional measures from the National Bank, he assured.

First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniev reported on the activities of regional stabilization funds and the saturation of the market with domestic food.

In the whole republic, for all socially important food products, since the beginning of the year, there has been a certain increase in prices. At the same time, there is a decrease for certain products. This is buckwheat � by 27.2%, potatoes � by 22.3%, and onion � by 16%, Yevniev informed.

In terms of regions, on average for all socially significant foodstuffs, the largest price increase was noted in the cities of Turkestan � 4.7%, Shymkent � 4.5%, Zhezkazgan � 3.7%. In the cities of Almaty, Aktau, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, Uralsk, Semey there is a decrease in prices to 1%.

According to Yevniev, the main reasons for price fluctuations for vegetable products are seasonality of production. Also, the gradual rise in prices for significant food is due to the depreciation of the national currency. In addition, the rise in prices is influenced by the increase in prices for goods and services that directly affect the cost of production.

In order to stabilize the prices of socially important food products, the Ministry of Agriculture and akimats of the regions and cities of Astana, Almaty and Shymkent are taking certain measures. Thus, regional stabilization funds for foodstuffs are being formed in the regions. As of September 20, 2018, stocks in stabilization funds for commodity interventions amounted to 4,500 tons, 3,800 tons were transferred for refreshment and custody. Of the 4,500 tons available, 2,160 tons is sugar, 710 tons � vegetable oil, 670 tons � flour, 577 tons � buckwheat, 354 tons � pasta, Yevniev said.

At the same time, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, on the accounts and deposits of agricultural producers there is 5.1 billion tenge. Taking into account the rush with sugar, the Ministry of Agriculture recommended that the regions buy up to 10,000 tons of sugar with available funds.

As a systemic measure to stabilize sugar prices, the ministry is developing a sectoral program for the development of domestic sugar production, which involves such measures as: expanding crop areas, developing seed production and increasing the yield of sugar beet, providing support in the acquisition of agricultural equipment for the cultivation of sugar beet, and stimulating the construction of sugar factories from domestic beet raw materials, the first vice minister of agriculture added.

Also during the meeting, akims of Mangystau region Yeraly Tugzhanov, Atyrau � Nurlan Nogayev, Karaganda � Yerlan Koshanov, West Kazakhstan � Altai Kulginov, Pavlodar � Bulat Bakauov and Astana � Bakhyt Sultanov reported on the current situation in the regions and the measures taken to prevent price increase.

Having heard the speakers, the Prime Minister drew attention to the rise in prices for food and services in some regions, which exceeded the national average.

The job is not only to stabilize the prices of socially important goods. It is also associated with the prices of services in education, the provision of medical services.

Summarizing the consideration of the issue, Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that the issues of price increases socially important food products are very sensitive for citizens. Responsibility for preventing the rise in food prices, in the first place, are borne by local executive bodies.

In order to regulate the price market, local executive bodies should effectively use the capabilities of regional stabilization funds, make timely purchases, product upgrades, and basic food interventions. All this work should be constantly monitored by the akims. I charge to strengthen monitoring and, if necessary, quickly connect all resources, said Sagintayev.

Source: The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

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