WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan’s development in 2013 was stable. In 2014, pensions and social allowances will grow

December 28. KAZINFORM. Astana

WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan's development in 2013 was stable. In 2014, pensions and social allowances will growKazakhstan is expanding its military-technical cooperation with Russia. The Kazakh Cabinet is set to tackle the water shortage problem in the years to come. Entrepreneurs will have to meet modern standards in creating productions. Kazakhstan’s socioeconomic development in 2013 has been stable, according to the regional development minister.

Bolat Zhamishev was on a working visit to Almaty. There he visited Kazakh Research Institute for earthquake-resistant construction and architecture, JSC Kazvodokanalproject and the city’s department of control and licensing of architecture and construction. The minister was also shown several construction sites of Almaty and was reported on progress of the state program for housing and utilities upgrade. He instructed the Almaty governorate to complete the construction of apartment blocks and create infrastructure of residential micro-districts in south-western part of Taldykorgan.

On Monday, the defense minister, Adilbek Zhaksybekov met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu in Moscow. The parties talked over topical issues of bilateral military-technical cooperation and interaction of the two states’ defense military industries. It was noted that the trade turnover in the military area was record high 140 million US dollars. This year, the two countries signed a Treaty on military-technical cooperation, adopted decisions on further development of Single regional air defense system of Kazakhstan and Russia, on the lease and use of Kazakhstan’s test grounds by the Russian Federation, on Kazakhstan’s purchase of Russian military equipment.

On Tuesday, 24 December, a government meeting approved the state program for water resources management. The environment and water resources minister, Nurlan Kapparov said that by 2040 the water deficit in the country might be 12.2 billion cubic meters a year due to expected shortage of annual trans-border inflows and growing water consumption by agricultural sector. The problem can be settled through implementation of a series of events in agricultural, industrial and housing and utilities sectors. The program envisages a set of steps to reduce the expected deficit through modernization of infrastructure, water saving and more rational use of water. After performance of the above measures, the water deficit will make about 2.7 billion cubic meters or 22 %, which will be closed by the inter-basin transfer of water resources and cultivation of fewer water-capacious crops. A solid water resource is underground water. In addition, the program provides for the revision of water tariffs aimed at more effective use of it. The program’s total budget is 8.2 trillion tenge.

On Wednesday, 25 December, at a meeting at the reference center of the industry and new technologies ministry’s Committee for technical regulation and metrology, PM Serik Akhmetov criticized the Committee’s performance with regard to observation of legal norms in the area of metrology.

The PM noted that meat-processing complexes under construction in Kazakhstan did not meet modern requirements. He said that entrepreneurs had to be strongly advised to build their enterprises by required standards, otherwise their produce wouldn’t be competitive even in the Customs Union’s states.

S.Akhmetov gave instructions not to save money on improving the system of technical regulation and metrology and said it was necessary to set up domestic labs issuing quality certificates.

On Thursday, 26 December, a press conference was held in Astana to tally up the 2013 economic development of the country. Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the first deputy PM noted that the government had managed to ensure the 6% economic growth in the departing year. Inflation was down by 1.2% on November 2012 to make 4.7%. Unemployment decreased from 5.8% as of the end of 2012 to 5.2% as of this December. Investment growth in basic capital was 8.7 %. The commissioned housing by the yearend will make 6.8 million square meters. The economy and budget planning minister, Yerbolat Dossayev said that the GDP growth was expected to be the slated 6 %.

On Friday, 27 December, at a governmental meeting, the Cabinet approved a comprehensive plan for the development of Zhezkazgan, Karaganda region.

PM Akhmetov noted that the plan was aimed at not only economy diversification but also at robust upgrade of the existing enterprises, first of all, Kazakhmys, which is diverging from traditional copper smelting technologies to new ones allowing for more efficient use of the existing raw stock.

On its last working day this week, the government announced the increase of pensions and social allowances in 2014.