WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan to provide citizens with affordable housing


WEEKLY REVIEW. Kazakhstan to provide citizens with affordable housingKazakhstan increases production volumes and labor productivity in manufacturing sector. The Government tightens controls over the quality of construction and preparing to implement a new housing program. From 2002 to 2011 the share of population with incomes below the subsistence level reduced 8 times in Kazakhstan.

On Monday Kazakh Industry and Trade Minister Aset Issekeshev told the Government Hour that last year increase in manufacturing sector production reached 6.2%. “Output growth is observed practically in all manufacturing industries. The share of manufacturing sector in the structure of GDP grows correspondingly. It made 11.4% in 2011 against 10.5% in 2009 and 11.3% in 2010,” he said.

On Tuesday the 9th session of the SCO Culture Ministers was held in Beijing. In his speech of welcome Chinese Minister of Culture Cai Wu underlined it was necessary to define the role of culture and create a cultural platform on the SCO territory. “The influence of culture is enormous. Culture is the power that gives guidelines for the future,” the Chinese Minister noted.

Taking the floor Kazakh Culture and Information Minister Darkhan Mynbay pointed out the main purposes of his Ministry, namely self-identification of the nation, infrastructure and institutional reform of the Ministry, including the automation and computerization of its activities, development and support of the creative potential of the regions. In addition, the Ministry promotes Astana as a cultural and spiritual center of Eurasia.

At the Government’s session on Tuesday Chairman of the Kazakh Agency for Construction and Housing and Public Utilities Serik Nokin said that from this year on unfair and unqualified construction companies will be put out of the construction market.

“Over the last years the quality of construction has attracted a great deal of criticism. We constantly tighten the norms of acting legislation in this respect,” S. Nokin said. According to him, a new system of licensing consisting of three categories has been introduced this year. “Only the companies with a specific license, at least 5-year working experience and positive recommendations will be granted a permission to build multi-storied houses,” he added.

At the sitting the Government of Kazakhstan adopted “Affordable Housing-2020” Program. Serik Nokin noted that the main objective of the program was to create conditions to provide citizens with affordable housing. In addition, he stressed that within the implementation of the program further industrialization of construction would be carried out. “The planned growth of construction volume seems to be impossible without proper industrialization,” he emphasized.

“Taking into account the international experience, the country needs to take measures for industrial building construction as an important factor of enhancing the affordability of housing,” S. Nokin said.

In his turn, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov, who chaired the session of the Government, stressed that the agency had four months to discuss the program with all stakeholders.

“I believe the program has been well prepared,” Prime Minister Massimov added. He charged his first deputy S. Akhmetov to control the implementation of the program.

On Friday at a roundtable on poverty reduction in Kazakhstan Minister of Labor and Social Protection Gulshara Abdykalikova reported that between 2002 and 2011 the share of population with incomes below the subsistence level in Kazakhstan reduced 8 times. In 2000-2005, two state programs were implemented to combat poverty. The first program was aimed at reducing poverty through social support, employment, the second focused on the rise in wages, minimum pensions and social assistance.

“In the past years we increased pension pays by 25% and 30%. Pension indexation is being held this year, so all will depends on the economic situation,” G. Abdykalikova said answering the questions of journalists during the signing of the Memorandum between Kazakh Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and the Chief Editors’ Club. In addition, the Kazakh Labor Minister noted that the frequent increases in pensions can lead to inflation.

The same day Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov received Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries Ramil Hasanov.

The parties discussed the issues of cooperation within the TurkPA and with other international organizations.

“Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs has always supported the activities of our organization,” Hasanov said after the meeting.

He informed that the next sitting of TurkPA on June 14-15 in Bishkek will discuss the socio-economic development, interparliamentary and cultural cooperation.

The Secretary General also touched upon the theme of education. According to him, in Europe there is a program through which the diplomas of higher educational institutions of the EU member states are recognized worldwide and students can complete the first year in one country and the second in another. A similar program is planned to be accepted by TurkPA member countries.

The issue of a visa-free regime within the TurkPA was also discussed.