Kazakhstan In Brief

ALMATY, March 20


Kazakhstanis' Health is Worsening due to Reduced Immunity

During recent years the health of the population in Kazakhstan has being worsening due to a background of unfavourable social-economic conditions and general ecological deterioration. One of the main reasons for many diseases of both adults and children is reduced immunity and resistance to various antibiotics.

Representatives of the Food Institute of the Republic of Kazakhstan say that a correct diet, that includes a number of vitamins, plays a decisive role in preventing and curing diseases.

Kazakhstani scientists have invented biological additives for different foods. Bio-additives are biologically active substances enriched with vitamin and mineral complexes.

Researchers demonstrated that the most effective and useful supplement is a combination of bio-additives and juice, which results in a complete assimilation of vitamins and microelements without irritating the stomach, unlike vitamin tablets .

Scientists emphasise that bio-additives are one of the most efficient ways to avoid avitaminosis - vitamin deficiency disorders.

Copper Corporation Kazakhmys to Invest US$60 Million in Fixed Capital In 2000

March 20 (THE GLOBE)

In this year. The Kazakhmys President, Vladimir Kim, announced on Monday at a meeting with mazhilismen (the Lower House of the Kazakhstani Parliament) that the copper corporation JSC Kazakhmys is to invest US$60 million in fixed capital this year.

According to him, they plan to invest in the development of: the Zhamanaibat (Karagandy oblast, central Kazakhstan) and Zhetyrkul (Zhambyl oblast, southern Kazakhstan) mines, in the Balkhash metal mining plant (BMMP), in the Zhezkensky concentrating mill (Eastern Kazakhstan), in the construction of a zinc plant in the territory of the BMMP, and in the installation of telephones in villages adjacent to the copper complex in the Karagandy oblast.

In total, the corporation invested US$317 million in the company's fixed capital (US$57 million in 1995, US$53 million in 1999) between 1995 to 1999, all from its own assets, V. Kim said.

Over this period Kazakhmys contributed a total of 44 to 45 billion tenge to the national budget as tax.

V. Kim went on to point out that, during the above-mentioned period, of the US$207 million of debts accumulated since the beginning of the privatisation of the complex, they had repaid US$188 million.

Today the corporation's total market capitalisation is US$700 to 800 million.

From 1998 to 1999 Kazakhmys paid out US$7 million in dividends to all share holders, including the state.

V. Kim also said that the corporation planned to register its copper on the London metal exchange within the next 12 to 15 months.

Speaking of the import-substitution program, V. Kim said that in this year alone the corporation had concluded contracts with Kazakhstani producers for supplies of tangible resources to the amount of 7.5 billion tenge, or 28% of the corporation's total resource requirements.

V. Kim stated that before 2002 the corporation planned to �purify� 91% of exhaust waste products which are returned to the environment. At present in Zhezkazgan (centre) the waste products utilisation level is 75%. The corporation needs about US$30 million to increase this to 95-98% within the next 5 years.

V. Kim drew attention to the fact that, in 1999, Kazakhmys had produced 32.6 million tons of copper ore, that production of copper concentrate had been 348,000 tons, concentrated zinc � 95,900 tons, black copper � 376,000 tons, refined copper � 361,000 tons, cathodic copper � 133,000 tons, gold bullion � over 2 tons, granulated silver � 412 tons, and produced about 6 million tons of coal.

In this year Kazakhmys expects to produce 33.9 million tons of copper ore, 388,000 tons of copper concentrate, 396,000 tons of black copper, 402,000 thousand of refined copper, and 158,000 tons of cathodic copper.

The Civil Service Agency to Create an Informational System


ALMATY, March 18


�We are planning to monitor the functions of the national service and to create an informational system to support the staff, including an Intranet containing information for and by civil servants,� the deputy chairman of the Civil Service Agency announced on Saturday in Almaty.

According to Adilkhan Umerbaev, at present there are about 70,000 civil servants in the country; the new system will help to monitor the accurate number of civil servants, the amount of money spent on their maintenance as well as other data.

Umerbaev said that to create this system the Agency was co-operating with the National Centre on Radio Electronics and Communication.

�This Centre will provide and install all the technical equipment. We have already concluded 3 contracts to purchase 140 computers, for which 25 million tenge will be allotted from the national budget and US$ 300,000 by the World Bank,� he noted.

Abdel Kipshakbaev, the Centre's General Director, said that the company, 100% owned by the State, was being supervised by the Ministries of Energy, Industry and Trade. The main activity of the centre is the provision of defence efficiency however other fields such as computer manufacturing constitue 20% of the Centre's work.

�We have only been manufacturing computers since 1999. In the last year we assembled and sold 960 computers worth 84 million tenge. In future, we aim to assemble up to 10,000 computers annually,�. Kipshakbaev stated.

A particular advantage of computers assembled by the Centre, according to the Centre's director, was efficient data protection. Hence, their computers are being supplied to the KNB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Defence Ministry and other force bodies.

In Kipshakbaev's opinion, concluding contracts with the Civil Service Agency gives real support to the local producer and should be encouraged.

Aral Catastrophe Possible at Lake Balkhash

Sor-Bulak Damage Threatens Lives of 50,000 People


ALMATY, March 20


With such a gigantic country, Kazakhstan faces a number of ecological problems whose effects stretch far further than our national borders of these the Aral Sea, the Semipalatinsk polygon, the pollution of the Caspian shelf and desertification (66% of the country's area is now desert) are of most concern. The problem at Balkhash Lake is on a similar scale.

A spokesmen for the Ecological Union of Tabigat announced on March 20 that, due to continuous draining of all of its tributary rivers, the lake's level has reached a critical point, 340 m above the sea level, and that its surface area has shrunk by 2,000 square kilometres. .

About 73% of the water coming into Balkhash Lake is from the Ili River, meaning that 70% flows in from China. Intensive development of agriculture in western China and a shift of 1 million of Chinese people from central regions of China to the new Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region may lead to a further decrease in water coming into the Lake. �If this happens, the tragedy of the Aral Sea will repeat in Balkhash,� a Tabigat spokesman stated.

According to the Ecological Union of Tabigat, the dam at Sor-Bulak represents a serious regional ecological threat. For many years, despite various preventative measures, the dam may possibly break. If this happens, 50,000 people living in the Balkhash and Kurtinsk regions (Aktyubinsk oblast) could die.

The volume of the Sor-Bulak is 1 cubic kilometre. The thickness of silt behind the dam, including many harmful substances, is over 1 metre. According to experts, the height of the mud flow from the dam would exceed 20 metres.

However, the oblast's Environment Preservation Department considers the Sor-Bulak problem to be exaggerated by the union's activists. According to an official department representative, provided the water in the dam is kept below a specific water level, any mudflow is impossible.

According to the Department, Tabigat itself represents a great opportunity to improve irrigation systems and drainage from Almaty and its suburbs.

Radio Liberty

Who is dealing with the problems surrounding Tractebel's departure?

Very different opinions are being expressed regarding the Belgian company, Tractebel, and its exit from the Kazakh market. It is known for sure that this company will leave the Almaty energy complex, but the situation in the gas-supply sector remains vague. For the time being, the official authorities are not giving any concrete information concerning this matter. For example, at the last press conference the head of the presidential administration, Sarybai Kalmurzaev, supposed that the company's intention to leave the local market was connected with the changes in its top management. According to him, Tractebel has been completely transferred to French managers: �There are some problems. Last year the company's administration changed, for the most part now being run by Frenchmen. The new administration has specified new tasks, new requirements and, hence, there are definite contradictions concerning the realisation of the project.�

Various prognoses are being made regarding who will replace Tractebel, if the company leaves the gas-supply system. There are suppositions that, possibly, it will be either Russian Gazprom or Mashkevich's Eurasian Bank. Spokesmen for the Kazakh government neither confirm nor deny these prognoses. For example, the deputy Prime Minister, Daniyal Akhmetov, considered as the coordinatior of industry and agriculture, escaped answering questions regarding Tractebel, but said that his colleague has dealt with the situation: �This problem is not quite clear to me, as I am dealing with absolutely different issues. I think one of my colleagues can say more deeply about it.� However, he did not care to mention any names.

However it must be taken into consideration that it is not the Kazakhstani government that deals with Tractebel's departure from the energy market and gas-supply system nor with proposals that Gazprom or the Eurasian Bank Group replace the company, but the higher managers � people from the presidential administration who have higher authority.


THE GLOBE based on materials from the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty (Radio Azattyk)

(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, full text)

The U.S.A. is Interested in Kazakhstan's Uranium

In 2005 Kazakhstan will become the third largest uranium producer in the world. At present the country has no problems with uranium sales, but in 5 years they may emerge. To avoid difficulties with uranium sales, our country needs a strategic partner. The NNC (National Nuclear Company) Kazatomprom President, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, announced that: �Today it is sufficient to say that in 2005 we will be the world's third largest uranium producer. What is the problem? At present we do not experience any problems in selling the volume of uranium that we produce. But in 2005 we will undergo serious problems selling this uranium. Without strategic partners we will not penetrate the world's markets.�

Today Kazatomprom is seeking new markets in which to sell its products. Now the company has significantly reduced its expenses and doubled both production and sales. The company also plans to produce tablets for reactors with tetrafluoride, hexafluoride and conductite. The increased uranium production is expected to earn additional profits for the company. At present the company is negotiating with South Korea regarding sales of uranium tablets. A specimen has been sent there for examination. Kazatomprom will also participate in the tender for sale of 800 tons of uranium tablets to Canada.

According to Mukhtar Dzhakishev, another important direction of the company's activities is signing contracts with the US company, General Electric Company. Potential profit that the Ulbinsky plant will gain from this contract is equal to the profit that the Russian Nuclear Ministry gains from the production of uranium tablets. Another direction that Kazatomprom is following is the great US demand for concentrated uranium.

Mukhtar Dzhakishev stated in his speech that Kazakhstan is one of the few countries permitted to enter this particular market: �Kazakhstan's victory in this process allowed it to gain free access to the US natural uranium market. This is a very serious victory, as we are the only CIS country granted uranium quotes. Neither Russia nor Uzbekistan can sell freely in the US market. Kazakhstan is the only country.�


THE GLOBE based on materials from the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty (Radio Azattyk)

(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, full text)

Kasymzhomart Tokaev's Public Approval in Almaty as Prime Minister

Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaP

ALMATY, March 20

780 people took part in the survey

In October 1999 the former Foreign Minister, Kasymzhomart Tokaev, became the leader of a new government. The fourth Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, he and his �new� Cabinet have now been in office for 4 months.

What innovations has K. Tokaev introduced, compared to his predecessors? (% shown)

  Total  Men  Women
The new government hasn't introduced anything new,
everything is still the same  30.4  24.6  33.4
The government has become estranged
from the people  15.0  11.4  16.9
Discipline and order has increased, and inspection
civil service branches toughened  7.9  6.1  8.8
The government has become more attentive
to public opinion  5.2  11.0  2.2
The style of government has become
more democratic  4.4  8.3  2.4
The government is meeting the social
requirements of the community  4.1  3.8  4.3
The government decisions have become less
underhand and more transparent  2.2  2.7  2.0
Don't know  30.8  32.2  30.1

Which member of the Cabinet Has the Most Negative Effect on the Overall Perception of the Government and the Prime Minister?

(% shown)

Don't know  39.2
K. Kusherbaev  12.2
S. Sarsenbaev  11.2
N. Radostovets  8.0
V. Shkolnik  7.6
A. Musaev  6.6
K.. Suleimenov  5.9
S. Daukeev  4.0
S. Mynbaev  3.9
Z. Kakimzhanov  3.6
Zh. Kulekeev  3.2
S. Tokpakbaev  3.1
M. Yesenbaev  2.7
A. Samakova  1.9
Ye. Idrisov  1.8
B. Mukhamedzhanov  1.3
All of the above  22.5

Would the Cabinet Be More Efficient if Some of its Members Were Replaced? (% shown)

  Total  Men  Women
An ordinary change of Cabinet members would not
have any effect on efficiency  43.8  38  46.8
Changes could be effective, if some opposition leaders
were included in the government  26.9  29.8  25.4
Don't know  29.3  32.2  27.8

Where are Kazakh Fish Swimming Away To?

Land and Water Disputes by Radio Azattyk

Last week disputes concerning the land were sidelined by disputes over water: a tender for the right to fish had been held in Atyrau. People seemed to have forgotten that Kazakhstan is a country by a sea; ordinary people have not become rich from oil and water resources have all but disappeared. Fish from the Caspian, the Aral, the Sasykkol and the Zaisan have been falling into corrupted functionaries and poachers' nets and are swimming away from Kazakhstan through illegal ways. The simple truth: today fish in Kazakhstan is more expensive than meat.

The fact that the Atyrau oblast Akim, Tasmagambetov, did not reveal the decision that only specialised enterprises could fish sturgeons, has created an uproar. What did this native of the Atyrau oblast do, when he was sitting in he Prime Minister's arm-chair?! The cost of black caviar is 20 times higher than that of oil. The Caspian is not rich in oil, but in fish. This sea provides 90% of world's caviar and this colossal wealth was opened up exclusively to the shadow sector to plunder. In the coastal areas of Kazakhstan, poachers from Russia, Dagestan and Turkmenistan enjoy a relatively easy living.

The Friday tender returned to JSC Atyraubalyk, fishing priviledges in the Uralo-Caspian basin. The two competitors � the Atyrau oblast Akim and the Minister of Ecology, Serikbek Daukeev, had worked together in the tender commission. The outcome of this season will show if the tender commission was just and far-sighted. In fact, people in western Kazakhstan have no particular sympathies towards Daukeev. Independent Atyrau ecologists also think that the Minister ignores foreign oil companies' crimes against nature.

On Wednesday the People's Congress of Kazakhstan Party(PCK) again lobbied for the proposal to transfer Kazakh land to the community,for the time being referred to as �the Kazakhstani people�. Usually the PCK headed by Olzhas Suleimenov becomes noticable during election campaigns. Representatives of about 40 public unions signed the appeal to the Parliament initiated by the PCK. Such national-patriotic organisations as Alash, Zher-Ana, and most public figures are against Olzhas' idea. Symbolically, "the land" discussions of the week were held exclusively in Russian. This time public figures, who usually discuss Kazakh problems in Kazakh as a matter of principle, did not breathe a word of their mother tongue. Even the main supporter of Kazak lands, Chairman of the Union of Writers �Land and Fate of the People� - Sapabek Asipkuly, having understood that it was impossible to save Kazakh lands speaking in Kazakh, fell to using his Russian:

- Think of Kazakhs! At present Kazakhs are in a bad condition, they are poor. Three million Kazakh people are starving. What shall we do now? Gulzhan is hurrying me. First, we should issue the law on reservations. We should call it �On Kazakh reservations�. There are corresponding reservations in civilised countries� (noise in the hall, the speaker was prevented from completion of his speech).

Spokesmen for Otan and Alash, who usually fail to get on with each other, also did not use a single Kazakh word. They are categorically against the PCK's initiative. We do not want to reproach Kazakh public figures for their lack of knowledge of Kazakh, as the list would be endless. However our concern is that the Kazakh language is losing its social role. In the early period called "sovereignty", public speeches in Kazakh were fashionable, a peculiar phenomenon in political culture. Yet, now that we are talking of fate of Kazakh land, the Kazakh language is being put aside.

Olzhas Suleimenov's proposal to transfer land ownership to the Kazakh people and the corresponding changes to the Constitution will be discussed by the community. Olzhas' name, once forgotten, is now on many people's lips. Perhaps this is his main objective. The independent analyst, Abai Izbasarov, said in his interview to Radio Azattyk: �Olzhas has passed the Prophet's age; both his literary and political achievements have left behind. At the beginning of the election he withdrew his name from the party's list and remained the ambassador to Italy for another two to three years. The present act by Olzhas Suleimenov and his comrade Gulzhan Yergalieva is cheap populism.� Other analysts suppose though that behind Olzhas' initiative, there are such oligarchs as Alexander Mashkevich.


THE GLOBE based on materials from the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty (Radio Azattyk)

(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, abbreviated)

Trial for the Murder Case of Asem-Ai Vice-President Postponed until End of the Month


ALMATY, March 20


On Friday, the Almaty city court postponed the trial for the ordered murder of the Vice-President of Asem-Ai company Nurlan Syzdykov. An advocate of one of the accused did not appear before the court, causing the judge to postpone the trial until March 30.

Four accessories are blamed for murder of Nurlan Syzdykov and for attempted murder of Asem-Ai President, Mukhtar Kochkarov.

The official version of the murder suggests that Mukhtar Kasymov, considered the ringleader, learnt that the company, Asem-Ai, was operating successfully in Almaty, producing and selling mineral water with the trade mark Sary-Agash. Kasymov was going to create his own firm in the Saryagash region (southern Kazakhstan) to produce the same product. To annihilate his potential competitors he decided to organise and execute the murders of Mukhtar Kochkarov and Nurlan Syzdykov.

To this aim, Kasymov established an organised criminal gang, offering US$ 10,000 to all accessories as reward for the crime. On February 16 1999, the killer shot Kochkarov's in the heart in the Asem-Ai office. However, the bullet hit the business-notebook held by Kochkarov, as he managed to cover his chest with it. To cover their crime, Nurlan Syzdykov, was killed with two shots.

Three independent criminal cases have been launched for this murder however during the investigation, they were merged into one suit.

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