Government • 16 October, 2018

Government reviews implementation of the President’s Five Social Initiatives

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October 16 at the Government meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the progress in the implementation of the President’s Five Social Initiatives was reviewed.

New Housing Purchase Opportunities for Every Family

On the first initiative, the Chairman of the National Bank Daniyar Akishev reported on the implementation of the 7–20–25 Program. The program was launched in July 2018. Kazakhstanis can purchase housing at the expense of a loan in tenge with an annual rate of 7%, an initial contribution of 20% and for a period of up to 25 years.

“First of all, a person must choose housing according to the criteria defined in the program. Secondly, you need to come to the bank member and apply for a loan. Thirdly, it is necessary to have officially confirmed income and not to have housing on the right of ownership. Currently, seven banks are accepting applications,” said Akishev.

To date, 2,352 applications worth 28 billion tenge have been approved for loans.

“A quick start and successful implementation of the order of the Head of State is important. In a short time, the necessary infrastructure has been created, the information campaign has been expanded, and work is actively carried out with banks and the public. To improve the efficiency, the program was amended in September,” the head of the National Bank reported.

Thus, the city of Shymkent and the suburban areas of Astana and Almaty are classified as regions with the maximum cost of purchased housing in the amount of 25 million tenge. The concept of primary housing has been expanded at the expense of residential real estate, implemented by akimats and construction investors. Measures to stimulate housing supply were adopted. The mechanism of purchase by the Baspana mortgage organization of tenge bonds of local executive bodies at a market rate for housing construction is provided.

“The program has a social orientation in the form of a low interest rate and long loan terms, but it remains a mortgage. This means that you need to have officially confirmed income in order to repay the loan. For example, to buy an apartment worth 10 million tenge, you need a down payment of 2 million tenge. Monthly payment will be 57,000 tenge. Accordingly, a citizen must have an income of about 120 thousand tenge per month in order to obtain the approval of the bank. Because there is a rule that the payment of debt on a loan should not exceed half of the income,” said Akishev.

Reducing Tax Burden to Increase Wages of Low-Paid Workers

As reported by the Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov, from January 1, 2019, the tax burden is reduced 10 times for workers with a salary of up to 25 MCI.

“The norms developed will entail losses of local budgets in 2019–2021 in the amount of 93.7 billion tenge. Losses for 2019 (29.1 billion tenge) will be compensated for by the republican budget during the three-year transfers of 2017–2019,” he said.

According to him, compensation for losses of local budgets is provided for under the draft law “On the Republican Budget for 2019–2021,” which is in the Parliament of Kazakhstan.

Increasing Accessibility and Quality of Higher Education and Improving Living Conditions of Students

As reported by the Minister of Education and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev, in pursuance of the instructions of the Head of State, additional 20,000 grants were allocated in 2018. The total number of grants for two years increased from 39 to 69 thousand, including 20,000 additional grants.

“To date, they are all distributed. All grant holders started their studies. These are more than 51,000 students who are studying for undergraduate programs, 13,000 — for master's programs, more than 2,000 — for PhD. Exactly half of the grant holders, that is, 34,000 students are enrolled in technical specialties. Most of them are trained in the direction of information and communication technologies, cybersecurity, radio engineering and electronics. More than 5,000 grants were provided for under the Serpіn program for rural youth from labor-surplus regions,” the minister said.

At the same time, about 20% of the grants are aimed at training teachers, including those with enhanced linguistic competences. The cost of training a specialist with a higher education in technical and agricultural specialties was increased from 346,600 tenge to 635,800 tenge. The cost of grants in all universities for technical and agricultural specialties increased from 346,600 tenge to the level of national universities and amounted to 635,800 tenge

“The President’s order regarding the increase in the number of grants has been fulfilled. In parallel with the increase in the number of grants, to improve the availability of higher education, the following measures are taken: organizing and conducting of the Unified National Testing several times during the year, providing opportunities for conditional enrollment of school graduates, enabling universities to receive foreign citizens, introducing scholarship programs for foreign citizens and implementing a new model admission to the master’s programs," said Sagadiyev, voicing the first results of the work. So, for example, 1,800 students who traveled abroad each year were reduced to 630 students, that is, three times.

In addition, as reported by the minister of Education and Science, the mission is also being executed to provide students with places in the dormitories. To do this, all the necessary regulations were adopted, financing issues were resolved. Work on the construction of dormitories began in September 2018.

“The draft of the republican budget for the upcoming three-year period supported 15 billion tenge for the placement of state orders. In total, 153 billion tenge for 10 years provided for 75,000 places. All necessary measures have been taken to address this need. All the priority projects implemented in the next five years are provided with land plots. In general, 166 land plots are provided, of which 116 belong to educational organizations, 50 land plots are allocated by akimats,” reported Sagadiyev.

In relation to 24 land plots on which it is planned to introduce new places, design estimate documentation has already been prepared. Regarding 47 land plots, design and estimate documentation is under development.

Expansion of Microcredit

Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Madina Abylkassymova that on behalf of the Head of State, in the framework of the Fourth Social Initiative, funding for microcredit was increased by 20 billion tenge in 2018, including for microcredit in cities — 6 billion tenge, in villages — 14 billion tenge. Taking into account the additional funds allocated, the total amount for microcredit amounted to 62 billion tenge, of which 45 billion tenge is provided for rural and 17 billion tenge — for urban areas. It is planned that this year the coverage of microcredit will be 14,000 people.

“In total, from the beginning of the year, 38.4 billion tenge was spent on microcredit, of which 10.5 billion tenge were in urban areas, and 27.9 billion tenge in rural areas. The best indicators in the regions in terms of disbursement of funds are observed in the city of Almaty, Almaty, West Kazakhstan, and Zhambyl regions,” Abylkassymova informed.

Since the beginning of the year, 8,893 microloans have been issued, of which 7,901 or 72% of the annual plan in rural areas, and 992 or 33% of the annual plan in cities. The average size of microloans in rural areas is 3.5 million tenge, and in cities — 10.6 million tenge.

“As the Head of State emphasized, microcredit is especially important for increasing the income of the self-employed and unemployed population. As part of microcredit, 7,914 people from among the self-employed and 979 unemployed were able to do business and also formalize their activities. In addition, an important social effect in the form of job creation has been obtained. In total, 8,256 jobs were additionally created by recipients of microcredits,” Abylkassymova said.

Along with this, one of the most effective measures to increase the number of entrepreneurs in the framework of the Program is training in the basics of business in the Bastau-Business project. In the first nine months of 2018, 24,100 people or 80.3% of the annual plan were covered with training, of which 13,400 participants defended their business projects, of which 4,100 received microcredits.

According to the First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniev, in the framework of the second direction of the Enbek Program, the Ministry of Agriculture, through KazAgro subsidiaries, is working to provide microcredits for business projects in rural areas and small cities. For these purposes, in 2018 a budget loan of 44.7 billion tenge was allocated, including 13.9 billion tenge of additional funds allocated as part of the fourth initiative, the Five Social Initiatives of the President.

“Loans are granted to unemployed, self-employed, aspiring entrepreneurs, agricultural cooperatives, participants in anchor cooperatives. The maximum amount of microcredit is: for the development of anchor cooperation — 12 million tenge, in other areas — 6 million tenge. In order to solve the problem of pledging microcredits issued, measures are provided for their partial guaranteeing. KazAgroGarant JSC acts as a guarantor. The amount of guarantees is up to 85% of the amount of microcredit. For borrowers, the guarantee is provided free of charge,” Yevniev said.

Through the Ministry of Agriculture in the framework of the project Bastau-Business at the expense of funds allocated in 2018, it is planned to issue 11,000 microcredits, including 2,200 microloans for start-up projects. It is planned to train 30,000 start-up entrepreneurs, while at least 6,000 of them will be given microcredits for the implementation of entrepreneurial initiatives.

As of October 12th, the execution in the republic amounts to 28.6 billion tenge with the issuance of 8,113 microcredits. Credits for the implementation of 6,154 start-up projects were issued in the amount of 20 billion tenge. Almost 19,382 people were trained. Of these, 4149 microloans in the amount of 14 billion tenge were received.

Further Gas Supply in the Country

The First Vice Minister of Energy Makhambet Dosmukhambetov reported on the current situation on the construction of the Saryarka gas pipeline as part of the Five Social Initiatives of the President. So, August 28, the Gosexpertiza RSE issued a positive opinion on the design and estimate documentation of the Project Construction of the Sary-Arka gas pipeline, stage I (section Kyzylorda - Astana).

The first vice minister notes that according to the Road Map of KazTransGas JSC, construction and installation work on the Saryarka gas pipeline is scheduled to begin after the appointment of the general contractor, in November-December 2018 and completed before the end of 2019.

The Saryarka gas pipeline will be connected to the existing Beineu - Bozoi - Shymkent gas pipeline in the Kyzylorda region. Technological parameters are defined. Until 2030, it is planned to meet the demand of Astana and populated areas along the Saryarka highway, projected at 1.5 billion m³/year, and by 2040 in the amount of 3.6 billion m³/year in the case of gasification of Kokshetau and North- Kazakhstan region.

In order to fill the gas pipeline and ensure gas supply to consumers, akimats of the Karaganda, Akmola regions and Astana are preparing design estimates for the construction of gas distribution networks, which should be ready to connect to the gas pipeline as it completes in 2019–2021. According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Energy, about 800 workplaces will be created during the construction period.

Akims of Mangistau region Yeraly Tugzhanov, Atyrau — Nurlan Nogayev, Astana Akim Bakhyt Sultanov, and Deputy Akim of Aktobe Region Olzhas Smagulov reported on the work on the implementation of the Five Social Initiatives in the regions.

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