Implementation of President's Addresses: Raising Wages, Supporting Business, Strengthening Education and Modernizing Infrastructure

On Sep.1, Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will deliver the next Address to the people of Kazakhstan, in which, as expected, the main part will be devoted to the social and economic development of the country. prepared an overview of the way the implementation of the President's Addresses, announced in September 2021 and March 2022, influenced the life of Kazakhstan citizens.

Raising Wages and Welfare

So, one of the first and main steps in implementing the September President's Address was to increase the minimum wage to 60,000 tenge from Jan. 1, 2022. This indicator, which used to be 42,500 tenge, has not been increased since 2018.

This measure allowed to increase the income of about 1.7 million Kazakhstanis in the country, increasing their economic activity and purchasing power. In addition, social payments were indexed twice this year. This affected 4.1 million people, of whom 2.2 million are pensioners.

In general, due to the multiplier effect, the increase in the minimum wage had a positive impact on many indicators of economic development of the country.

Also, from 1 Jan. 2022, a step-by-step increase in the salaries of some categories of civil servants began, on average, by 20% annually.

This measure affected about 600,000 people, including accountants, economists, lawyers, archivists, librarians, museum curators, foresters, technical personnel, etc.

To carry out this work, calculated up to 2025, all the necessary regulations have been adopted at the level of the Government. It should be added that more than 600,000 civil servants, including teachers, doctors, and social workers, have already had their salaries raised since 2020.

Another big step that had an impact on the welfare of citizens was the development of a set of soft measures to encourage businesses to increase the salaries of their employees, because, according to the Head of State, over the past ten years the growth of payroll has lagged behind the growth of profits of business owners by almost 60%.

As part of this work, the introduction of a single payment from the payroll for micro- and small businesses with a reduction of the total burden from 34 to 25%, changes in requirements for participation in regulated procurement, as well as preferential access to state support for businesses that increase wages.

Increasing the flexibility of the use of pension savings

Speaking about the implementation of support measures for citizens within the framework of the Address, we cannot but mention such an important step as granting the right to transfer part of pension savings (above the minimum sufficiency threshold) to accounts in Otbasy Bank JSC and subsequent purchase of housing.

To bring this idea to life there were made amendments and additions to the Rules of use of lump-sum pension payments. So, in accordance with new rules now it is possible: to replenish the housing construction savings, purchase a plot of land to build an individual house or build an individual house on its land plot.

As of today over 172 thousand people have already replenished their deposits for 270 billion tenge with subsequent execution of mortgage housing loans.

In total from January 2021 till July 2022 thanks to the initiative of the President more than 1.7 million people could early use 3.4 trillion tenge of pension savings. At the same time, more than 1.3 million citizens of Kazakhstan directed them to improve their living conditions.

Support for talented children and education in general

In his speeches, the Head of State regularly focuses on the need to develop human capital in our country, which also involves strengthening the sphere of education.

Thus, within the framework of implementation of the President's Address legislative amendments were introduced to support talented schoolchildren who are champions and winners of international subject Olympiads in general education subjects, creative competitions and sports competitions. Now they can get a grant to enter a higher educational institution without participation in the contest (annually 80 winners in 16 main directions).

In addition, winners and prize-winners of international subject Olympiads, as well as teachers who prepared them, are now paid lump sum cash bonuses. For example, a gold medalist receives a payment at the rate of 1,500 MCI (about 4.5 million tenge), and the teacher who trained him 26.5 times his base salary.

At the same time the work on construction of at least 1,000 new schools by the end of 2025 was started that will help to liquidate the emergency and three-shift schools as well as to eliminate shortage of places for pupils.

For example, last year 277 schools were built for 163,000 seats, and in 2022 another 225 schools are scheduled to be commissioned, of which 49 for 22,200 seats have already been built.

Business support

Given the serious economic effect and high demand among entrepreneurs, the Head of State decided to extend the Economy of simple things program, under which producers can receive preferential loans. Herewith its funding was also increased up to 1 trillion tenge.

The program is aimed at creating competitive domestic production of consumer goods, providing citizens with necessary things at affordable prices (clothing, footwear, furniture, crockery and other household items), as well as import substitution.

Over the past three years, the program participants have increased the output of local products by an average of 33%, and have saved and created about 67,000 jobs.

Modernization and construction of infrastructure

The President regularly focuses his speeches on environmental issues and the provision of water to the country's population.

To preserve the ecosystems of water bodies and for the careful use of resources, the Government has begun work on the reconstruction of 120 canals, as well as the construction of nine reservoirs in Akmola, Almaty, West Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Kyzylorda and Turkestan regions.

It is expected that the phased implementation of the reconstruction work will bring irrigated area to 2.2 million hectares and reduce irrigation water losses by 800 million m3 per year. It will also help to create 120,000 jobs in rural areas and grow agricultural products worth 510 billion tenge annually.

At the same time, construction of 9 reservoirs will reduce the threat of floods for 70 settlements and will lead to a partial reduction of water dependence on neighboring countries.

The President also set a task to introduce at least 2,400 MW of renewable energy capacity in different regions of the country in cooperation with strategic investors. The work in this direction is calculated until 2025, 715 MW of facilities have already been launched.

Renewable energy is the energy obtained from renewable resources: sunlight, wind, rain, geothermal heat. Advantages of RES are their inexhaustibility, positive influence on ecological and heat balance of nature, availability of application, and possibility to use lands for household and energy purposes.

At present there are 142 objects of RES operating in the country with a total capacity of 2,332 MW.

Appearance of new regions

An important historical consequence of the March Address to Kazakhstan was a partial change in the administrative structure of the country.

Thus, on the President's instructions, the Government took measures to form Abay region with its administrative center in Semey, Ulytau region with its center in Zhezkazgan, and the division of Almaty region into Zhetisu with its center in Taldykorgan and Almaty region with its center in Konayev, which was renamed into Kapshagay taking into account the opinion of the population.

According to experts, the implementation of the announced decisions will significantly improve the quality of the local state administration and planning, will give an impulse to the economic and social development of the new regions and administrative centers, including the launch of investment projects, creation of jobs and improvement of infrastructure.

The formation of a new advisory and consultative body – National Kurultai

The President decided to revive the National Kurultai in continuation of the work of the National Council of Public Trust in order to strengthen the cooperation between society and the state as a form of dialogue about all issues concerning the citizens.

The first meeting of the National Kurultai, which included representatives of each region from among prominent public and state figures, deputies, opinion leaders, sociologists, political scientists and others, took place a few days after the signing of the decree on its establishment. It discussed the implementation of new reforms in the country, the importance of preserving national values and improving the well-being of citizens.

According to the President, the main task of the National Kurultai is to focus on rational, fresh ideas and proposals that unite the nation. The principle of rotation of participants is envisaged in its work, which will allow for the gradual involvement of new faces. Also, a special online platform was created, where all Kazakhstanis can send their proposals for consideration.

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