Kazakhstan In Brief

The UK Embassy has granted equipment worth US$ 8,000 to four organisations in Taldykorgan and Almaty.

Recipients of the aid are the non-governmental organisations Soprychastnost, who provide assistance for old people in Almaty, the sanatorium in Chimbulak for children with tuberculosis, the Tekeli association, a centre for social protection and rehabilitation of families in Tekeli and neighbouring regions and the Taldykorgan children's house for retarded children. The aid consists of nightclothes, pots and pans, books, toys, etc.

Almaty, March 15


The Dutch Ambassador, Speekenbrink, announced the winners of the graphics competition to find a �Logo of the Small Grants Foundation of the Dutch Embassy in Kazakhstan� organised by the Embassy and the Kazakh National Architectural-Constructional Academy.

The object of creating the logotype is to make the program of the Embassy's Small Grants famous in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Almaty, March 15


The Program for the Struggle Against Poverty and Unemployment to be Submitted to the Nation's Leader for Approval Before April 1st

The national program for the struggle against poverty and unemployment in 2000-2002 will be submitted to the country's leader for approval before April 1st, the deputy Prime Minister Yerzhan Utembaev announced at a press conference in Astana on Thursday.

At the press conference the Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Nikolai Radostovets, said that the program aimed to reduce the level of unemployment to 9% by the end of 2002, and to reduce the number of those unemployed to 638,000.

According to the program, 400,000 new jobs are to be created by 2002: 100,000 in 2000; 150,000 in 2001; and 150,000 in 2002.

Mr. Radostovets stated that, at present, the number of those officially registered as unemployed in Kazakhstan is 955,000, or 13.5% of the economically active population.

Astana, March 16


List of Professions Where the Import of Specialist Labour is Forbidden is Set Out

Daniel FERRO

ASTANA, March 16


Following the government decree on urgent measures to provide employment for Kazakhstan's population, a list of professions for whom the import of specialist labour will be prohibited, is to be compiled, according to the Minister of Labour and Social Protection for the Population, Nikolai Radostovets..

Government quotas for the number of foreign specialists working in Kazakhstan will also be introduced in the near future, he said.

Furthermore, a program is set to be introduced for the gradual substitution of foreign specialists by local labour in the country, according to Radostovets.

The Minister pointed out that, today, although around 10,000 foreign citizens are officially registered in Kazakhstan, the actual number is likely to be significantly higher.

Part of the Decree empowers certain Ministries, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to investigate the illegal use of foreign labour in Kazakhstani companies.

The government-approved document also sets out changes to the contents of unemployment statistics. According to the Decree, 6,000 �housekeeping� jobs are to investigated, in an effort to clarify the true unemployment situation in various regions of the country.

At present the government is considering the implementation of public works projects for the unemployed, which could be negotiated with foreign investors and national companies, the Minister said.

Mr. Radostovets also stated that according to the planned program for micro-credits, about 115,000 people would be allotted micro-credits in the next year.

Local Market Share of Kazakhstani Food and Light-Industry Producers to Rise to 85% and 55% Respectively By 2003

Daniel FERRO


The share of Kazakhstani producers in the domestic market is predicted to increase to 85% in the food market, and to 55% in the light industry market by 2003, according to the director of the Industrial Processing Department at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Trade (MEIT), Olga Marzylovich.

The share local producers in the light industry market is set to be increased by 20% this year, thanks to an import-substitute program.

Ms. Marzylovich said that this year the production volume of local light industry companies is set to increase by 5 billion tenge, and that of food enterprises to increase by 12 billion tenge. The above-mentioned program should lead to a production surplus in the light industry market of 25 billion tenge, and a surplus of 46 billion tenge.

According to Olga Marzylovich, the capacity of the Kazakhstan's domestic food and light industry market is valued at between 284 and 300 billion tenge, with the share of the food market comprising 82 to 84% of this.

On the whole the share of local food products in the domestic market was now about 70%, and that of light industry products around 10%.

According to MEIT data, in 1990 the number of people employed in the country's food and light industry markets was 300,000, whilst over the last few years the number has fallen to 87,000.

Value of State Nuclear Company �Kazatomprom� Set To Significantly Increase Over Next Two Years, Company Director Claims

Daniel FERRO

ASTANA, March 15


Over the next two years the value of the State Nuclear Company (NNC), Kazatomprom, is set to increase �significantly�, according to the NNC Kazatomprom President, Mukhtar Dzhakishev.

The company's director said that privatisation is now strategically necessary and he claims that the company has already developed a transition plan to this end.

According to Mr. Dzhakishev, Kazatomprom will be the world's third largest producer of uranium in 2005.

He added that although the company does not have any problems in producing uranium at present, problems may have emerged by 2005.

As a result, Mr. Dzhakishev believes that the company needs to find a strategic partner in the world market.

Summarising the outcome of the meeting, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Kasymzhomart Tokaev, said it was necessary to strengthen company's ties with Russian companies, stating that �Integration with Russia will be further strengthened this year�.



ALMATY, March 16

(Specially for THE GLOBE)

On February 22, 2000 according to a government decree (or GD) the implementation schedule for the agreements reached at the first meeting of the Republic of Kazakhstan / European Union Co-operation Committee has been approved.

A further GD, signed on the 22nd February, sets out the licensing procedures for acceptance, storage and processing of grain and grain products at elevators.

Also on February 22nd a GD was signed that paves the way for the an agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the Government of the United States on the establishment of a protected communications line between the Centre for Arms Control, Reduction and Inspection, at the Ministry of Defence and the US Centre for the Reduction of Nuclear Weapons.

On February 23rd the President of Kazakhstan issued a decree on the appointment and dismissal of judges and chairmen of Court Boards in certain regions and associated courts, and on the dismissal of judges, senior judges and chairmen from some regional town courts in the country.

In accordance with the Law on Labour in the Republic of Kazakhstan, a GD relating to labour remuneration was issued on February 23rd.

A GD dated February 24th the National State Television and Radio Broadcasting and radio communications company �Kazteleradio� and the State company �ARTPS� were been reorganised into �Kazteleradio�.

A second GD signed on the 24th February set out measures for the regulation of special transport for state institutions, financed by the national budget.

On February 24th, a GD for certain temporary protecting measures on some products was issued.

On February 25th a GD on guaranteed state standards in educational organisations was issued.

On February 28th a GD setting out urgent measures to increase the seismic resistance of buildings and constructions in vulnerable areas of the Republic of Kazakhstan was issued.

For further information on any legal issues or legal services, please contact the Almaty office of LEX ANALITIC. Tel./fax: 631-711, tel.: 637-226.

E-mail: [email protected]

K. Berikzhanova LEX ANALITIC

�Land � to People!�

Part II

ALMATY, March 14


The Kazak parliament has started discussing the governmental variant of the �Land� bill.

In October 1999 Olzhas Suleimenov, the leader of the People's Congress of Kazakhstan party, offered the political program �Land � to People!� in which he suggested that the Kazak population should be the exclusive owner of the land, its underground reserves, water, etc.

Last Tuesday, 45 political parties, public movements and organisations supported the program �Land � to People!� and signed an appeal to the Parliament of Kazakhstan to consider the �Land� bill. Only three parties did not participate in this political event � the Civil Party of Kazakhstan, the Agricultural Party and Otan.

�When all land belongs to the people, the problem of separatism and other social divides will be settled,� Olzhas Suleimenov said.

Initiators of the appeal think that to settle the �land� issue it is necessary firstly to change article 6 of Kazakhstan's Constitution: �Land, its underground reserves, waters, flora and fauna and other natural resources are under the exclusive ownership of the Kazak population�. The entire structure of the Constitution and statute-book on land, preservation of the environment, etc. should be based on this fundamental article.

According to the opinion of most political parties and movements, the current land provisions will result in a further sharpening of political and social tension in the country and heighten existing trends towards a feeling of estrangement from the land, already felt by a significant majority of the population.

Authors of the aforementioned-mentioned appeal propose to hold up discussions of the �land� bill by parliament and to create a joint working group �Land � to People� with a wide participation of the community to draw up a new statute-book on land issues, based on changes to the legal foundation of the Kazak Constitution.

Almaty Population does not support Private Ownership of Land,but supports the �Land� Bill

Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaP


March 16

950 people were surveyed

Today's society is in a panic. The government is making a second attempt to get the �land� bill through parliament. The first attempt ended with the women's hunger-strike. Now this second stage has reanimated the potential of a joining together by parties, movements and public organisations, having mobilised themselves to protect people's land from encroachment by those in power.

Should Kazakhstan's land be transferred to private ownership?

(% of the column)

Options of the answers  Total  Men  Women
Yes  25.4  25.7  25.2
No  56.5  58.7  55.4
Don't know  12  11.6  12.2
Difficult to answer  6.1  4.0  7.2

The new �land� bill allows for both national and private property to be considered.

Should parliament approve the bill with this current wording?

(% of the column)

Options of the answers  Total  Men  Women
Yes  39.6  33.6  42.7
No  35.5  48.3  28.8
Difficult to answer  24.7  6.2  18.5

With a narrow majority (by + 4.1%), we received the affirmative answer from respondents. What a carry on! Of those polled from Almaty, at least one-third conceeded that private ownership of land should be supplemented by a small holding of national property. The comment from an American film springs to mind: �I thought that rocky mountains were a bit more rocky.�

A Criminal Suit Instituted against Akezhan Kazhegeldin


ALMATY, March 15


On 29 February of this year, a criminal suit was instituted against Akezhan Kazhegeldin according to the article 251 (part 1) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan � illegal purchase, storage and transfer of fire arms and cartridges to others. This was announced by a RPPK (Republican Peoples' Part of Kazakhstan) official spokesman on March 15.

The case was instituted by an investigator of the Almaty Internal Affairs Department. RPPK spokesmen think that the case was instituted illegally with serious infringements of the criminal procedural legislation by the direct order of certain people who are eager to discredit the opposition leader on purpose.

A copy of the resolution states that "from March 11, 1995 to October 10, 1997 Akezhan Kazhegeldin working as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan illegally purchased different fire arms and cartridges from unidentified people". RPPK representatives disagree with the wording of the accusation, as they state that each particular firearm was presented to Kazhegeldin by top officials of both the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign countries.

According to the RPPK spokesman, the serious infringement of the criminal-procedural legislation consists of the fact that the investigation neither notified Akezhan Kazhegeldin of the proceedings of the case nor gave him a chance to appeal against it in a legal way. The RPPK executive committee has appealed to the Almaty prosecutor requesting that the criminal case be abandoned as �illegal and premature.�

The case of Kazhegeldin's former guards has been transferred to the Office of Public Prosecutor (THE GLOBE #12, February 18, 2000). The RPPK executive committee said that higher sources had warned them that the trial over Satzhan Ibraev and Pyotr Afanasenko would be closed so as to avoid "a political show."

Public Opinion in Almaty

ALMATY, March 16


What do you think of the �Land to the people� program?

Muhit Marat, Student:

- I don't believe that, today, land can really belong to people. It's impossible to transfer the wealth from agricultural holdings or underground and natural resources to private ownership.

Most supporters of the private ownership on land highlight the fact that foreigners earn huge profits from Kazakhstan's natural resources. But if the state were to legalise the complete transfer of land to the country's population, then, given the present social and economic conditions, people would most likely sell their shares to the same foreigners. The idea has to be thought through and all the pros and cons considered in depth.

Anastasia Zhumabekova, Lawyer:

- It doesn't matter who land and its resources belong to. There are just some levels of society who will always get rich on them.

That's why I think all attempts to change the land ownership system are pointless.

Ruslan Gabdrakhmanov, Soldier:

- I am absolutely against of the transfer the land the people exclusively.

Just think, who will be able to by all of the land? Only fertile plots will be in high demand, but there are also a lot of deserts and semi-deserts in Kazakhstan which should be considered.

At present we have no real middle class for the state to lean on.

,Land law reform is undoubtedly necessary, but not now.

Alexei Andreev, Geologist:

- I don't think that we should sell our land to the private sector, or rather to foreigners.

Theoretically, the idea of �Land to people!� is a good one, but it's not new. I don't think that our state would agree to it, or at least not right now. Land should of course belong to the people, but the whole issue needs careful consideration, along with any new laws that would enforce a future decision.

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