WEEKLY REVIEW. New housing program to be launched in Kazakhstan


Muratbek Makulbekov

WEEKLY REVIEW. New housing program to be launched in KazakhstanThe results  of the 7th Asian Winter Games, which took place in Kazakhstan, was not only a lot of medals won by our athletes, but also the creation of a modern sports infrastructure suitable even for the Winter Olympic Games.

As Vice Minister of Tourism and Sport Talgat Yermegiyaev informed at a press conference on February 7 in Almaty, in case if Kazakhstan decides to host 2022 Winter Olympics, it will be necessary to construct only two more facilities – a bobsleigh track and a speed skating rink.

At the Government’s sitting as of February 8 the issues of housing construction development were considered. As Chairman of the Agency on Construction and Housing Infrastructure Serik Nokin announced at the end of January, Kazakhstan will launch a new scheme of housing with the use of housing savings system. KZT 20.8 billion will be allocated for implementation of pilot projects with the participation of “Zhilstroysberbank” JSC and local executive bodies in 2011. About 6 million square meters of housing are planned to be built this year, including 494,000 sq m of public housing at the expense of the national budget.

On February 11, at the congress of Nur Otan People’s Democratic Party President N.Nazarbayev has urged the Government to elaborate a special package of measures on housing construction support. First Vice Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev told journalists in an interview how the Government plans to implement this instruction. He informed that it is provided to allocate KZT 75 bln for realization of a new housing construction program which was developed on instruction of the Head of State. Within the new program the Government will stimulate housing construction financed through akimats (administrations) and second-tier banks. Akimats will build housing and provide it with utilities. “Zhilstroysberbank” JSC will form a pool of apartment buyers from its depositors. The depositors who saved 50 percent of funds necessary for purchase of an apartment will join the pool. At present there are 17,000 investors. Besides, the Government will grant funds to SamrukKazyna National Welfare Fund which, in its turn, will place deposits in second-tier banks.

“Second-tier banks will also form a pool: any citizen who wants to buy an apartment should open a deposit account in banks, confirm their ability to service this loan. He should save 20 percent of the necessary amount”, U.Shukeyev said.

As the President noted in his Message to the Nation, over the last decade the country’s  housing fund has increased by 30 million of square meters. The Message pays special attention to the issues of modernization of the housing and utilities.

On February 8 the Ministry of Healthcare held a conference of the Working Group established on the Premier’s instruction. The Working Group has considered the claims from individuals and legal entities published on the Ministry’s web-portal and received on a hotline. The Working Group consists of the representatives of the Ministry’s structural divisions, chairpersons of NGOs, trade unions of the workers of healthcare and professional associations of medical workers. In addition, Minister Salidat Kairbekova issued an order to establish a Public Council in the Ministry on protection of the patients’ rights. The Council is called to implement the tasks on protection of the patients’ rights and prevention of corruption in healthcare sphere. The public councils will be also functioning in regional healthcare departments, and in the cities of Almaty and Astana.

The Ministry of Information and Communications continues working with the cellular operators in order to cheapen the cost of their services. On February 9 the Ministry informed of cancelling connection fee, transition to per second tariffs and launch of new tariff programs.  These measures were launched by the order of the Information and Communications Ministry No364 as of December 29, 2010 and are aimed at optimization of the account for the traffic and reduction of the citizens’ expenses for mobile phone services. 

The Ministry of Information and Communications has also said that Kazakhstani TV and radio channels will broadcast their programs via the satellite broadcasting system free of charge. The National satellite broadcast network of digital standard was launched on January 18, 2011. The project was implemented on the Presidential instruction and is one of the key directions of Kazakhstan’s 2020 Strategic Development Plan. The project aims at lowering the level of information inequality of the citizens of the country’s remote regions. 

At the session of the Majilis on Thursday Kazakh Minister of Environmental Protection Nurgali Ashimov stated that the proposed amendments to the environmental legislation of Kazakhstan contain economic incentives for waste reduction and recycling.

“Due to it, rates of charge for accumulated volume of wastes are suggested to be introduced to the Tax Code. Enterprises will be obliged to develop and approve waste management programs”, N.Ashimov said.

According to the Minister, enterprises will not be imposed  the payments on during the period of programs development and approval. This provision enters into force on January 1, 2013, thus manufacturers have time to prepare and approve their programs.