WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan to continue combating corruption with participation of civil society


Meiram Baigarin

WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan to continue combating corruption with participation of civil societyOver the past three years, Kazakhstan’s rating in the global anticorruption index has improved by 45 points, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his state-of-the-nation address “Build the Future Together”. The anticorruption program developed on the instruction of the President was presented at the government’s sitting on Thursday, March 24.

Chairman of the Economic and Corruption-related Crime Control Agency Kairat Kozhamzharov, speaking at the sitting, said that the priority task arising from the presidential decree on increasing the effectiveness of the law enforcement activity, was the formation of anti-corruption outlook, increasing legal literacy and the level of public confidence in state bodies.

“To implement this task we will use advanced technologies, Internet, mobile communications, various types of public polls, trainings involving media and public institutions”, Kozhamzharov noted.

Another priority is to reduce the shadow economy, which is a breeding ground for corruption. It is planned to consistently take measures for the transition to the universal declaration of income and reduction of cash flow. Improvement of the anticorruption legal base and reduction of administrative barriers are still of paramount importance as well. A significant part of public services is planned to be transferred to electronic format, including the issuance of licenses, permits. The program also provides for the decriminalization of some common types of economic crime – with a simultaneous increase in fines and the establishment of administrative responsibility.

Much attention is also paid to the strengthening of international cooperation in the field of struggle against corruption. Kazakhstan will continue procedures on ratification of European conventions on criminal and civil liability for corruption.

“I consider this program very importance since it takes into account the country’s opportunities to combat corruption and develop civil society”, Prime Minister Karim Massimov said.

He noted that without the involvement of the civil society it is very difficult to fight corruption. In addition, it is important to develop freedom of expression, involvement of the media. After the discussion, the program was approved.

The draft Actions Plan on implementation of the Law “On state property” was also introduced at the session. Minister of Economic Development and Trade Zhanar Aitzhanova reported on this issue. The Plan includes a complex of measures on development of the system of public management in the sphere of state property, state acquisition of freehold interest in the property, ownership, using, accounting, monitoring, assessing effectiveness of management and control over its use.

As Z.Aitzhanova noted, in the nearest two years Kazakhstan will carry out inventory and revaluation of all assets which the state has. In accordance with the Law, the state enterprises will not be entitled to create affiliated state undertakings.

The Minister informed that the issues of nationalization of property of citizens were regulated for the first time. Z.Aitzhanova reminded that Kazakhstan concluded treaties with foreign states on promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, which give guarantees to investors that their investments may be nationalized exclusively for government purposes on the non-discriminatory basis.

The Minister outlined that these obligations of Kazakhstan which follow from the international agreements are fully reflected in the Law. Nationalization will be held in exceptional circumstances, if there appears a threat to the national security.

The Government plans to modernize three oil refineries of Kazakhstan. Vice Minister of Oil and Gas Asset Magauov said it at the VI annual symposium on oil processing, petrochemistry and oil products “KazRefinEx-2011” in Almaty on Thursday.

According to him, three projects totaling USD 2.6 billion are realized at Atyrau oil processing plant. USD 1.2 billion of investments will be pumped into modernization of Pavlodar oil processing plant. Shymkent oil refinery will also receive more than USD 1 billion of investments.