Government Weekly review: Kazakhstani agrarians feel state support

Government Weekly review: Kazakhstani agrarians feel state supportASTANA. March 11. KAZINFORM /Meiram Baigarin/ Kazakhstan is getting ready for the spring sowing campaign. Therefore, the Government’s session held March 10 focused on the issues of supplying fuel and lubricants to the agricultural producers.

As Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev informed, the agrarians would receive 354 thousand tons of cheapened diesel fuel for the upcoming sowing campaign. The final cost of diesel oil including delivery expenses will make KZT 68 per liter.  In fact, the agrarians will buy it at 11% discount.

According to Minister of Agriculture Akhylbek Kurishbayev, the total area of croplands this year would make 21.3 mln ha. 16.5 mln ha of lands will be sowed with cereals and legumes and 1.7 mln ha will be used for oil seeds sowing. The cropland for cereals and legumes was increased by 42 thousand ha in 2011.  Alongside, as the Minister noted the volume of forage crops would be increased by 95 thousand ha, fruits and vegetables – by 2.5 thousand ha and sugar beet – by 1.7 thousand ha.

As the Minister added, Aktobe and West Kazakhstan regions feel shortage in cereal seeds. 50, 000 tons of seeds are needed for them. “These regions will be provided with the seeds from the state reserves”, Kurishbayev said.

In whole, availability of cereal seeds in the republic makes  98%.

KZT 78 bln will be spent for the spring sowing campaign this year. According to the Minister, the funds are allocated through KazAgro Holding. The interest rate for agricultural producers will be fixed at 8% against 12% in 2010. Besides, the small farms will also be able to get loans through micro-credit organizations for financing their sowing campaigns.

Summing up the results of the sitting, Prime Minister Karim Massimov noted the country had all conditions for gathering good harvest this year. He positively assessed the preparation for the sowing campaign. K. Massimov charged A. Kurishbayev to develop such mechanism of financing agricultural production which will lead to reduction of food prices.

A conference on “Modernization of industry in the republic of Kazakhstan” was organized today in Astana within implementation of 2020 Kazakhstan’s Development Strategy and the State Program of Forced Industrial Innovative Development. At the conference Vice Prime Minister-Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev proposed the foreign investors to put forward their ideas on increasing labor productivity in domestic industry. He reminded that at the last session of the Foreign Investors Council the Head of State had given several instructions, namely, to modernize  the functioning enterprises and to raise labor productivity in industry. The next, 24th session of the Foreign Investors Council under the Kazakh President is scheduled for May 18, 2011.

“We would like to study recommendations of our colleagues, foreign investors and industrial enterprises and offer a consolidated opinion on increase of labor productivity at the Council of Foreign Investors,” the Minister said.

Since 2004 the Government of Kazakhstan together with the UNDP and Global Environment Fund has been implementing a project “Kazakhstan – wind energy market development initiative”. This work is conducted on the basis of the governmental resolution “On development of wind energy” adopted earlier, in August 2003.

At a seminar on assessment of electric energy infrastructure of Kazakhstan National Manager of UNDP/GEF project “Kazakhstan – wind energy market development initiative” Ainur Sospanova stated that Kazakhstan was planning to build about five wind power plants by 2015.

“Experts forecast that by 2015 Kazakhstan will generate 250 mW per year. By 2030 this figure will reach 2000 mW. Further development of regulatory-legal framework can underlie implementation of such projects,” A. Sospanova considers.

Introduction of Islamic financing in Kazakhstan faces some difficulties. This issue was considered at a seminar on Islamic financing development in the Majilis of the Kazakhstan Parliament on March 10. The Kazakh Agency for Regulation and Control over Financial Markets and Financial Organizations rejected the idea of opening ‘Islamic windows’ in ordinary commercial banks.

According to Chairman of the Agency for Regulation of Activity of the Regional Financial Center of Almaty city Arken Arystanov , the Financial Supervision Agency opposed the idea since it does not trust Kazakh banks, which can use Islamic financing for their speculative operations. He considers that the Agency for Financial Supervision should find a way to monitor the work of ‘Islamic windows’, as such windows are successfully operating in the US and British banks.

Financial director, member of the board of Al Hilal Bank Aidyn Tairov noted that a year ago the bank planned to have a USD 250 million portfolio by the end of the year. However, a number of objective and subjective circumstances prevented the implementation of the bank’s business plan. According to A. Tairov, objective reasons are recovery in Kazakhstan’s banking sector thanks to the governmental support and improving conditions for the main export items. It is known that Islamic finance was planned to become an alternative backup source of funding for the economy of Kazakhstan in the midst of crisis. Among the subjective reasons he mentioned the need for further improvement of legislation, particularly taxation and banking, in order to harmonize the environment for conventional and Islamic banks.