Economy • 11 March, 2020

Measures taken to help maintain macroeconomic stability in Kazakhstan — Ruslan Dalenov

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At the press conference in the Government, the Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov answered journalists' questions regarding the current state of macroeconomic, financial and social stability, as well as the forecast for the near future in the light of the external economic situation on the world market, reports.

According to the minister, yesterday, on behalf of the Head of State, a rapid response headquarters was created to develop an anti-crisis action plan due to the deterioration of the economic situation in the world.

“The main economic instrument is the country's budget. Obviously, the budget will be specified. It is necessary to wait for the results of the first quarter. The direction of the budget is the prioritization of social spending and expenditures, which are aimed at supporting SMEs and employment. All social obligations of the state is a priority, all social obligations to our citizens will be fully implemented. Saving and creating jobs is a very important area. Today, it was entrusted to develop an Employment Roadmap, which will provide rural settlements with jobs and working infrastructure. These measures will help maintain macroeconomic stability,” said Dalenov.

As the minister noted, back in October 2019, the Head of State instructed to develop a set of measures to ensure macroeconomic, financial and social stability. In December 2019, the plan was adopted, approved by the Economic Policy Council, it envisaged scenarios for the development of the economy, the trigger of which was oil quotation.

“Today we are seeing a decline in oil quotes, today all actions of the Government are coordinated in accordance with this plan. Different oil producing countries have different methodologies, planned values, etc. In our country, from the middle of 2000, the methodology was changed, all revenues from the oil and gas sector are directly transferred to the National Fund, bypassing the budget, regardless of the price that has developed. From the National Fund annually 2.7 trillion tenge in a guaranteed manner go to the budget. Thus, the budget is protected from price changes. Today there is already an order to optimize costs. One of the sources of budget refinement is the transfer of a part of investment projects beyond the horizon of this year, many of the projects that have been started may not be started this year, as well as a number of other systemic measures,” explained Dalenov.

At the same time, the minister of national economy emphasized that prices for food and non-food products of domestic production will not be changed.

“Most of the food products are domestic — produced here, tied to local resources. Therefore, as a result of changes in the dollar to tenge, there should not be any changes. Other factors, of course, can affect food prices: seasonality, product barriers, lack of competition, collusion. But for those resources, for those products that are produced from internal resources, the influence of the external and dollar rates is limited,” the minister said.

As for non-food products, the rate may affect such products.

“Non-food products, including equipment, electronic equipment, pharmacy, where domestic production is absent or not up to standard, of course, the course will have an effect. But here we went through it in 2009 and 2016. First, there is a contracting institution in the field of pharmacy. A single distributor has already contracted the main products. As for electronics, global brands take into account the local component in advance that the price should correspond to the internal capabilities of demand. Therefore, for non-food products in the field of electronics, as a rule, prices for electronics remain in the same ranges,” the minister explained.

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