On the eve of the government change
text: Dmitriy Korneyev , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
The forthcoming change of the cabinet that has become unavoidable after the presidential election is provided by the Constitution.
The president N. Nazarbayev, who received an unprecedented credit of trust from the Kazakhstani people and a "carte blanche" for the nearest seven years must now form a new government corresponding to new large scale tasks faced by the country.
It has now become the most important subject for discussions especially among the authorities, political scientists, analysts, and journalists.
There are a lot of forecasts and suggestions about the next government, whether all present ministers will maintain their positions or not. The election is over and now only the president can decide if officials occupying the state positions suit his plans or not.
As soon as he won the election N. Nazarbayev said that he was satisfied with the work of the current government and that he was ready to continue working with it, but he did not rule out possible changes.
Therefore the political elite are worried. Ministers also are obvious судьбой. And it is quite clear: to estimate the efficiency of state authorities is quite difficult and complicated. Despite the generally prosperous economic and social situation in the country, nobody knows the multiple drawbacks in their work and in the work of their ministries better than the ministers. They are fully aware that many good intentions remain on paper…
Perhaps it is not an incident that right after the election many ministries held a number of events that can be perceived as veiled "reports" on their work before the head of state.
Some made such reports to the parliament, others held open meetings or workshops dedicated to achieved results and bright perspectives for the future…
The PM Danial Akhmetov, does not worry about his career as he stated on the election day.
"I am working," - he answered laconically to questions from journalists. To say the truth, he has nothing to worry about. He is heading the government in the period of an unprecedented economic growth of Kazakhstan in which he partakes for sure. A strong budget, growing incomes, the successful implementation of state programmes, the dynamic process of industrial modernisation - all these mighty arguments in favour of the current PM are unlikely to escape the president's attention.
This PM began the programme of industrial-innovative reforms in the sectors of the economy unrelated with raw materials - who can continue it apart from him?
The plans are grand for the future year. A record budget has been approved for 2006 in the amount of 1 trillion 491 billion KZT, a 8.3 per cent GDP growth against 2005, a growth of social budget expenditures up to 609.1 billion KZT (almost 40 per cent of total expenditures;) a significant growth of the financing in the most important state programmes is expected: in education and science, development of agricultural technologies, water supply, healthcare, and others.
However, at the same time the government more than once noted weak financial discipline in ministries and other authorities, their failure to utilise huge financial resources.
Billions allocated by the state for different economic and social projects remain underutilised. The restructuring of the economy is till slow, there are a lot of problems related with development of the most important areas. In a word, there is a lot of work and it is quite early to get rest on the laurels. Nevertheless, his prospects to remain the head of government are considered to be quite certain.
Successes were discussed also at a recent national meeting on the agro-industrial complex.
The volume of the agricultural gross production during the last three years has reached 772 billion KZT growing by 38 per cent. At the same time the number of profitable ventures has increased, the agriculture has started to earn 5.7 billion tenge profits per annum, while before 2000 it was bringing 17-18 billion losses each year.
Only grain is collected in the country in the volume of 15 million tons, of which 4-5 million are exported. During the implementation of the "Aul" programme the state spent more than 200 billion KZT for the agrarian sector development.
However, the most important tasks are financial and material strengthening of the agrarian production, continuation of the agricultural improvement, achieving competitiveness of the Kazakh agrarian products on the external markets.
The current agenda includes the country's accession to the WTO, so that we can't do without structural changes in the village. But if we consider the fact that Akhmetzhan Yessimov is responsible for all these issues as a vice premier, his further destiny, as well as that of Askar Myrzakhmetov, minister of agriculture, also look quite well-off.
At the same time Vladimir Shkolnik, minister of energy and mineral resources of RK, also spoke at a workshop in Astana. He drew attention of his audience to a joint memorandum of his ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture on social partnership in provision of fuel for the domestic market.
This agreement must provide stable prices at the domestic market of oil products, so that the oil supplies to it are suggested to be increased to 12 million tons. Obviously, this scheme is a response of the minister to the recent petrol crisis in the country, which could be suppressed only by harsh administrative measures.
But it is impossible to always use administrative measures and bans. Therefore the minister prepares in advance a legal basis for the social partnership between the producers of fuel, their consumers, and the state. Moreover, all parties pursue an objective of low prices for fuel. For instance, according to the ministry, the average price of diesel fuel must be 36 KZT per litre. For the main consumers in the country - the agriculturalists, it is of course profitable, but what will the fuel producers say to it? In general Shkolnik has good chances to remain the minister.
Minister Yerbolat Dossayev, according to many, is one of the first candidates for leaving his position. Many clinics, hospitals, and medical points have resumed their activities, started to receive modern equipment and a steady flow of medicines, the financial situation of medical workers has improved as well. But it is obviously not enough for a country that aims at entering the world's top 50 developed countries.
The clinical examination of the population is not yet at a due level, as well as suppression of socially dangerous diseases, such as, for example, the TB, whose growth in the country continues.
The systems of early detection in all regions, remains only in plans. The country must cardinally change its attitude to the child and teenage medicine, create a system of permanent monitoring, first of all - for pregnant women and children. Attempts to develop distant medicine remain attempts and experiments.
And there are quite a few problems that remain unresolved despite availability of the budget money.
Guljan Karagussova, minister of labour and social protection, spoke before the parliament at a government hour. She informed the parliament about the course of social reforms for 2005-2007.
The figures are very good, public sector workers get 50 per cent increases, doctors have 25 thousand per month, and teachers - 28 thousand.
The minimum retirement pension is 9,200 KZT, and the average one - 12,255 KZT. The minister has especially stressed that today the pensions in Kazakhstan are the highest in the CIS. However parliamentarians were interested in another thing: why there is domination of bureaucracy in the labour ministry, why people get their pensions with delays, and registration of documents sometimes takes weeks? Why the disabled with their employment problems are ignored by the ministry?
The minister said that it was a responsibility of local authority to create jobs for the disabled. The government is working on special programmes against poverty, suggesting a growth of individual social aid and, what's more interesting - "prevention of economic parasitism"… State social welfare payments for the disabled will be increased as from next January by 1 thousand tenge and if a family's breadwinner dies - by 300 to 1,000 tenge.
Harsh estimations of the labour ministry made by the parliamentarians cannot surely become a final argument for her dismissal, but anyway there are a lot of complaints about her work.
And we will get all answers when the president makes his decisions…
Also in the "In Depth"
09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan