President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address, September 2, 2019

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address

CONSTRUCTIVE PUBLIC DIALOGUE - THE BASIS OF STABILITY AND PROSPERITY OF KAZAKHSTAN

Dear compatriots!

Dear members of parliament and government!

Congratulations on the beginning of the new parliamentary season!

We are approaching the important part in the newest history of our country.

Approximately thirty years ago, we proclaimed our independence thus fulfilling the dream that our ancestors had for centuries.

Since that time, under the leadership of the First President of Kazakhstan – the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, our country has become a stable and reputable state in the world.

Thanks to the solid unity of our nation, we have strengthened our independence and created opportunities for improving the wellbeing of our people.

It was a time of creation and progress, peace and harmony.

The whole world recognized the way of development of the country and called it the Kazakhstan model or the Nazarbayev model.

Today, we are able to double the achievements of our independence and to bring our country to a qualitatively new stage of development.

We can achieve this by maintaining the continuity of the policy of the Leader of the Nation and through systemic reforms.

As you know, this was the basis of my pre-election programme.

At the moment state bodies are doing the necessary work to implement it.

I will definitely fulfil my promises to the people.

Our work should proceed from the need for the full implementation of the Five Institutional Reforms and the Plan of the Nation developed by Elbasy. The work of the National Modernisation Commission that he created should be resumed.

Furthermore, I would like to express my thoughts on the implementation of our common tasks, in particular, my pre-election platform.

І. MODERN EFFECTIVE STATE.

The political transformation I promised will be gradually and steadily carried out taking into account the interests of our state and people.

World experience shows that explosive, unsystematic political liberalisation leads to the destabilisation of the domestic political situation and even to the loss of statehood.

Therefore, we will carry out political reforms without "running ahead of ourselves”, but consistently, persistently and thoughtfully. Our fundamental principle: successful economic reforms are no longer possible without the modernisation of the country’s socio-political life.

"A strong President – an influential Parliament – an accountable Government.” This is not a fait accompli, but a goal towards which we must move at an accelerated pace.

This formula of the political system is the basis of state stability.

Our common task is to implement the concept of the "Listening State”, which quickly and efficiently responds to all constructive citizen requests. Only through a constant dialogue between the Government and society can a harmonious state be built in the context of modern geopolitics.

Therefore, it is necessary to maintain and strengthen civil society, to involve it in the discussion of the most urgent national tasks in order to solve them.

It is for this purpose that the National Council of Public Trust, representative in composition, was created, which will work on a rotational principle.

In the near future, we all have to implement the following measures.

First. Continue the process of party building.

The Nur Otan party, thanks to our Leader and its Chairman, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, is consistently carrying out the difficult and responsible mission of the country’s leading political force.

We must cooperate with other political parties and movements that pursue a constructive policy for the benefit of society.

The main problems that concern our society should be discussed and their solutions should be found in Parliament and in the framework of civil dialogue, but not on the streets.

Deputies can and should use their legal rights, including by sending inquiries to the Government on pressing issues and requiring it to take specific measures.

At the same time, relations between the legislative and executive powers should be mutually respectful, business-like, without artificial confrontation.

As Head of State, I see my task as contributing to the development of a multi-party system, political competition and pluralism of opinions in the country.

This is important for the stability of the political system in the long run.

The upcoming elections to the Mazhilis of Parliament and maslikhats should contribute to the further development of the multi-party system in the country.

Second. Effective citizen feedback.

Public dialogue, openness, quick response to the needs of people are the main priorities for the activities of state bodies.

A department has been created in the Presidential Administration that will monitor the quality of reviewing citizens’ requests by state bodies and take prompt measures on them.

Often people are forced to turn to the President because of the "deafness” and closed-off national and local officials.

Repeated complaints about the unfairness of decisions in a particular area mean systemic problems in a particular Government agency or region. Now this should be viewed in this way, and appropriate actions should be taken.

In order to increase the efficiency of the work of civil servants, it is necessary to attract trained young personnel into their ranks.

At the same time, starting in 2020, we will begin to gradually reduce the number of civil servants, and we will use the released funds to provide material incentives for the most useful staff.

By 2024, the number of civil servants and employees of national companies should be reduced by 25 percent.

Third. Improving the legislation on rallies.

According to the Constitution, our citizens have the right to freedom of expression.

If peaceful protests do not pursue the goal of violating the law and the peace of citizens, then they should be embraced and given approval for them to be carried out in the manner prescribed by law, to allocate special places for this. And not in the outskirts of cities.

But any calls for unconstitutional and hooligan actions will be dealt with within the framework of the law.

Fourth. Strengthening the public consensus.

The harmony between social and ethnic groups is the result of the joint work of the whole society.

In this regard, it is necessary to analyse political tendencies and take concrete measures to strengthen our unity.

We need, taking into account the role of the Kazakh people as a nation-building people, to continue building inter-ethnic concord and inter-religious understanding

Our position: the unity of the nation is in its diversity!

We will continue to provide conditions for the development of languages and cultures of all ethnic groups in our country.

I believe that the role of the Kazakh language as a state language will grow and the time will come when it becomes a language of interethnic communication.

But, to reach this level, what is needed is not loud statements, but our common work.

In addition, it must be remembered that language is an instrument of big politics.

I believe it is necessary to enhance the image of non-governmental organisations in the creation of an active civil society.

Therefore, in the near future, we need to elaborate and adopt the Concept of Civil Society Development until 2025.

Preparations for important jubilees and significant events that will be celebrated next year have begun.

Next year, all of us will celebrate Al-Farabi’s 1150th anniversary and the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayuly.

During the anniversary celebrations, we should glorify the works of these genial personalities for our people, without allowing squandering of resources.

We also need to implement the most important celebration – the 30th anniversary of our Independence.

I am convinced that such significant events will contribute to the education of the young generation in the spirit of genuine patriotism.

II. ENSURING RIGHTS AND SECURITY OF CITIZENS.

A key factor in enhancing the protection of citizens’ rights and their security is the substantial reform of the judicial and law enforcement systems.

A number of serious measures must be taken to improve the quality of court decisions.

The right of a judge to make a decision based on law and internal convictions remains unshakable. However, a thorough analysis of court decisions should be carried out and the uniformity of judicial practice should be ensured.

In public law disputes, when appealing against decisions and actions of authorities, citizens are not on equal footing. Their capabilities are incommensurable with the resources of the state apparatus.

Therefore, it is necessary to introduce administrative justice, as a special dispute resolution mechanism, levelling this difference.

Henceforth, when resolving disputes, the court will have the right to initiate the collection of additional evidence, the responsibility for the collection of which lies with the state body, and not with the citizen or business.

All contradictions and ambiguities of the legislation should be interpreted in favour of citizens.

I would also like to dwell on the following important issue.

We have moved away from excessive repressive measures and harsh punitive justice practices. However, numerous serious crimes still occur in the country.

We got carried away with the humanisation of legislation, while losing sight of the fundamental rights of citizens.

We urgently need to tighten the penalties for sexual violence, paedophilia, drug trafficking, human trafficking, domestic violence against women and other grave crimes against the individual, especially against children. This is my task to Parliament and the Government.

Recent tragic events have also revealed the problem of poaching, as a most dangerous form of organised crime.

Poachers are equipped, armed and feel their impunity. This year alone, two wildlife inspectors died at their hands.

Recently, the criminal activity of a gang of poachers on Lake Markakol in the East Kazakhstan region was stopped.

These are only isolated cases, but poaching has taken deep roots, including with the connivance of law enforcement agencies. Poachers ruthlessly destroy nature – our national wealth.

I instruct the Government to take urgent measures to tighten the relevant legislation within two months.

The issue of a systemic fight against corruption is also on the agenda.

It is necessary to restore anti-corruption expertise of draft regulatory legal acts of national and local authorities with the participation of experts and the public.

It is necessary to use legislative and normative means to regulate the responsibility of the first head of the department where the corruption related crime takes place.

It is also necessary to ensure strict liability of employees of the anti-corruption bodies for any illegal methods of work and provocative actions. They should not have a place in investigative practice.

The principle of the presumption of innocence must be fully respected.

One of the most pressing tasks remains a full-fledged reform of the law enforcement system.

The image of the police, as a power tool of the state, will gradually become a thing of the past; it will become a body providing services to citizens to ensure their safety.

At the first stage, it is necessary to reorganise the work of the Committee of Administrative Police by the end of 2020. This must be done qualitatively and without a gung-ho approach.

The effectiveness of the work of the police depends on the reputation of the police service itself.

Over the next three years, 173 billion tenge will be allocated to reform the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

These funds will be used to increase wages, provide accommodation, and the creation of modern front-line police offices on the principle of public service centres.

Particular attention will be paid to issues of protecting citizens from natural disasters and technological accidents, which, unfortunately, have become a frequent occurrence not only in our country, but throughout the world.

Professional staff should work in this area.

I instruct the Government to increase the salaries of civil protection employees within the framework of the funds allocated to reform the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and to allocate around 40 billion tenge for these purposes.

We are also faced with the task of establishing a combat-ready army based on a new concept.

The events in Arys showed that serious problems have accumulated in the armed forces.

Finally, it is necessary to streamline all military expenditures and strengthen financial and general discipline in the army. At the same time, it is necessary to increase the prestige of the military service and the material support of the armed forces.

Equipped by professionally trained, loyal officers and military personnel, our army should be prepared to repel threats to the country’s security in new geopolitical realities.



President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address, September 2, 2019. Part 2

III. DEVELOPED AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY.

Kazakhstan’s economy is moving forward despite the global challenges.

From the start of the year its growth has been higher than the world average.

If necessary structural adjustments can be implemented, by 2025, annual sustainable growth of gross domestic product can reach 5% or higher.

In order to give a new impetus to the development of the economy, the Presidential Administration and the Government should carefully analyse the work of domestic and foreign experts.

We need to implement a number of structural tasks in line with the Long-term Development Strategy 2050 and the Plan of the Nation proposed by Elbasy.

First. Abandonment of the raw material-based mentality and diversification of the economy.

The "knowledge economy”, increased labour productivity, innovation development and the introduction of artificial intelligence have become major factors in global progress.

In the course of the third five-year plan of industrialisation, we should take into account the mistakes and shortcomings that have been made earlier.

The Government should take into account all my comments and fully implement the relevant instructions in these matters.

We need to increase real labour productivity by at least 1.7 times.

Raising our reputation in Central Asia as a leader in the region is a strategic task.

This is our political course determined by Elbasy.

Second. Increased returns from the quasi-public sector.

Our state-owned companies have become bulky conglomerates whose international competitiveness is in doubt.

In order to reduce the unjustified presence of the state in the economy, I decided to introduce a moratorium on the creation of quasi-state-owned companies.

We need to understand the genuine contribution of the Sovereign Wealth Fund to the growth of the welfare of the people over the past 14 years since its creation.

The Government, together with the Accounts Committee, must conduct an analysis of the effectiveness of state holdings and national companies within three months.

Quasi-state companies often compete with each other on the same field. In the field of housing policy, for example, seven state operators are operating simultaneously, and this is only at the national level!

The number of state-owned companies can and should be reduced.

At the same time, one should carefully approach the activities of state-owned companies operating in strategic sectors.

State control over them should be maintained. Otherwise, instead of state monopolists, we will get private monopolists with all the ensuing consequences.

The Government needs to systematically and substantively deal with pricing and tariff issues. This also applies to the goods and services of natural monopolists. It is no secret that prices in our country are high – from food and clothing to the cost of various services.

For example, there are questions as to why the flights of the main air carrier on the most popular routes are much more expensive, sometimes by up to 30%, than in Europe?! What is the reason for the relatively high cost of services at our airports?

Why is the cost of jet fuel for foreign carriers at Kazakhstan airports higher than for domestic?

As a result, the aviation industry of Kazakhstan is losing its international competitiveness, and the country’s transit potential is decreasing.

With the connivance of the relevant ministry and departments, an artificial shortage of rail tickets has been created.

Order should be restored in these areas urgently.

Our goal is to ensure the full development of market institutions and mechanisms with the stabilising role of the state.

At the same time, one should not forget about the "economy of simple things”. This is a priority area of ​​our work.

Third. Effective small and medium sized businesses are a solid foundation for the development of cities and villages.

Small enterprises, especially micro-businesses, play an important role in the socio-economic and political life of the country.

Particularly, first of all, they provide rural residents with stable jobs, thus reducing unemployment. In addition, the tax base is created while the local budget is strengthened.

Furthermore, the development of mass entrepreneurship helps overcome paternalistic attitudes and dependence.

Therefore, the state will continue to support businesses.

Around 100 billion tenge has been allocated from the National Fund for this purpose.

However, according to experts, financial support is only received by the businesses affiliated with local authorities.

In fact, new companies and jobs should have been created within the new projects.

This is directly related to "the economy of simple things.”

However, local akims have not fulfilled the organisational work.

As a consequence, conditions were not created to increase the tax base, pension contributions, and strengthen the local budget.

In this regard, I instruct the Accounts Committee and the Ministry of Finance to take strict control over the expenditure of funds.

There are plenty of examples of entrepreneurship development in our country. Our whole society needs to support small businesses.

I instruct the Government to develop a legislative framework to exempt micro and small business companies from paying income tax for a period of three years.

Corresponding amendments to the legislation should enter into force from 2020.

My decision for a three-year ban on inspections of micro and small business entities will come into force from January 2020.

We believe in the integrity and law-abiding nature of our businesses, which should have responsibility towards consumers and citizens. During the moratorium, it is necessary to activate the tools of self-regulation and public control.

In cases of violation by business entities of the prescribed norms and rules, especially in the sanitation and contagious diseases sphere, such companies will be closed, their owners will be held accountable.

We are thus reducing the burden on businesses.

At the same time, there are still numerous problems associated with the actions of law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

Cases of raiding against SMEs have become more frequent.

My position on this issue is well known: any attempts to hinder the development of business, especially small and medium-sized ones, should be considered crimes against the state.

In this regard, additional legislative measures are needed. Parliament and the Government should propose a solution to this problem.

At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen opposition to the shadow economy, to tighten the fight against the capital flight and tax evasion.

Furthermore, the system of state financial support for SMEs needs to be "rebooted”, giving priority to new projects.

I instruct the Government to allocate an additional 250 billion tenge for the next three years under the new "Business Roadmap”.

It is necessary to actively introduce new forms of business support with an emphasis on social aspects – the creation of family businesses, primarily for large and low-income families.

Particular attention should be paid to the development of tourism, especially eco- and ethno-tourism, as an important area of ​​the economy.

The 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde should be commemorated in terms of attracting the attention of tourists to our history, culture and nature.

For the development of tourism, it is important to ensure the construction of the necessary infrastructure, primarily roads, as well as the training of qualified specialists.

Fourth. Support for national businesses in international markets.

It is necessary to drastically increase the effectiveness of state support for exporting companies.

I speak, first of all, about medium-sized business.

Meanwhile, we do not have effective state support measures for this particular segment of entrepreneurs, especially regarding the sale of products. We need to support our SMEs.

I instruct the Government, within the framework of the State Programme for Industrial and Innovative Development, to develop a set of measures to support high-performance medium-sized businesses, including through tax, financial, and administrative incentives.

It is necessary to seriously intensify efforts to attract foreign direct investment, without which the potential for further economic growth will be limited. This is one of the priority tasks of the executive branch.

Within the framework of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Kazakhstan until 2025, appropriate targets are set for each industry and region.

Their achievement is the direct responsibility of the heads of state bodies, especially regional akims.

Kazakhstan has embarked on developing a digital economy.

There is a lot of work to do. Our task is to strengthen our leadership in the region in terms of the development of info-communication infrastructure.

The Government will have to adapt the legislation to new technological innovations: 5G, Smart Cities, Big Data, blockchain, digital assets, and new digital financial instruments.

Kazakhstan should have the reputation as an open jurisdiction for technological partnership, construction and placement of data centres, development of data transit, participation in the global digital services market.

The Government should continue to support the activities of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which, in essence, has acquired constitutional status. The AIFC could become a platform for the development of the latest digital technologies together with the Nazarbayev University.

Fifth. Developed agricultural industry.

Agriculture is our main resource, but it is far from being fully utilised.

We have significant potential for the production of organic and environmentally friendly products that are in demand not only in the country, but also abroad.

We must gradually increase the amount of irrigated land to 3 million hectares by 2030.

This will ensure growth in agricultural production by 4.5 times.

The Ministry of Trade and Integration and the Ministry of Agriculture should strongly support farmers with the marketing of their products in foreign markets.

The Government has already been tasked in this regard. This is a priority.

Furthermore, we need to move away from only exporting raw materials, which reached 70%, while the load of processing enterprises is only 40%.

An urgent task is to attract foreign investors to the agricultural sector. Discussions are already underway; the Government needs to achieve concrete results.

I would like to specifically address an issue that is of public concern.

As Head of State I repeat: our land is not for sale to foreigners. This is not allowed.

All insinuations on this issue must end. At the same time, our task is to ensure the effective use of land.

The issue of inefficient use of land resources is becoming increasingly relevant.

The situation is compounded by the low level of direct taxes on land.

Many of those who received land leases for free from the state keep the land for future use without working on it. A whole layer of so-called "latifundistas” has developed in the country. They behave like a "dog in a manger.”

It is time to begin the seizure of unused agricultural land.

Land is our common wealth and must belong to those who work on it.

The Government and Parliament should propose appropriate mechanisms.

This is all the more important because without a solution to this issue, it is already impossible to have a qualitative development of domestic agribusiness.

Today, the increase in meat production rests not so much on the problem of breeding stock but on the problem of the lack of land for farmers to grow fodder crops. Feed availability is less than 60%.

Improving agricultural productivity is impossible without ensuring appropriate conditions for a quality rural life.

We will continue to implement Elbasy’s special project "Auyl – El Besіgі”.

We have to solve the extremely difficult problem of maintaining small villages. Regional standards have been developed, which should now be implemented in more than 3,000 rural settlements.

I instruct the Government to allocate 90 billion tenge in the next three years in addition to the 30 billion tenge allocated this year for the implementation of Auyl – El Besіgі.

These funds will be used both for solving infrastructure issues – transport, water supply, gasification, – and for the repair and construction of schools, hospitals and sports facilities.

The expenditure of these funds should be under the strict control of all Government agencies.

Sixth. Fair taxation and sound financial regulation.

Despite the growth of GDP and incomes of the population, inequality within Kazakhstan society still remains and is even increasing.

This is an alarming factor that requires special attention.

I believe it is necessary to modernize the tax system with a focus on a more equitable distribution of the national income.

The Government should also pay attention to the growing volume of social contributions.

On the one hand, they ensure the stability of social and pension systems.

However, there are risks that employers will lose incentives to creating jobs and increasing wages. Businesses will go into the shadow.

Therefore, I instruct the Government to postpone the introduction of additional pension contributions in the amount of 5% until 2023. We will then return to this question.

During this time, the Government, business representatives and experts should calculate the options and come to an agreed decision taking into account the interests of both future pensioners and employers.

The Government must impose a ban on all payments and fees that are not provided for by the Tax Code. These are, in fact, additional taxes.

A separate problem is improving the quality of the current tax system.

It should stimulate companies to invest in human capital, in raising labour productivity, technical re-equipment and exports.

Non-cash payments should be introduced everywhere, eliminating the constraining factor – a high banking commission. To achieve this, it is necessary to actively develop non-banking payment systems with relevant regulatory rules. With the obvious simplicity and attractiveness of this segment, it should not become a channel for money laundering and capital flight from the country. The National Bank should establish effective control in this area.

The next issue is the support for the export of non-oil products. The issue of applying simpler and faster VAT refund procedures needs to be considered.

One of the most problematic issues in our economy is the insufficient volume of lending. Over the past five years, the total volume of lending to legal entities, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, has decreased by more than 13%.

Second-tier banks cite a shortage of good borrowers and make provisions for excessive risks in the cost of credit.

The problem of quality borrowers, of course, exists. But you can’t just pass on your responsibility and take only the easy route.

I expect the well-coordinated and effective work of the Government and the National Bank on this issue.

Another problem – debt load, especially of socially vulnerable segments of the population, – has led to the need for emergency measures. You are aware of this.

This problem has gained social and political urgency.

Therefore, I entrust the Government and the National Bank to prepare within two months for the implementation of mechanisms that are guaranteed to prevent the repetition of this situation.

The lack of effectiveness of monetary policy is becoming one of the obstacles to the country’s economic development.

Lending to businesses should be ensured by second-tier banks on acceptable and long-term terms. By the end of the year, the National Bank needs to complete an independent assessment of the quality of assets of second-tier banks.

Seventh. Effective use of the National Fund.

It is necessary to reduce expenditures from the National Fund on solving current issues.

These are the resources of future generations.

The use of the National Fund should be allocated only for the implementation of programmes and projects aimed at the formation of a competitive economy.

The amount of guaranteed transfers used should gradually decrease to 2 trillion tenge from 2022.

It is necessary to significantly increase the effectiveness of the Fund’s investment.

I task the Government, together with the National Bank, to elaborate concrete proposals to improve the mechanism of the use of the National Fund by the end of the year.

Eighth. Increase of salaries.

As the success of large mining companies increases, we see that the wages of our citizens have not significantly grown.

As this concerns the social welfare of the population, the Government must remain persistent in this regard.

I instruct the Government to consider the issue of incentives for employers to increase wages.



President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address, September 2, 2019. Part 3

IV. NEW STAGE OF SOCIAL MODERNISATION

The country’s budget should be focused on two main objectives – the development of the economy and solving social problems.

The social sphere should focus on the following areas.

First. Improving the quality of education.

The effective methodology of accounting for the balance of labour resources has not yet been developed in our country.

In fact, the domestic training system is out of touch with the real labour market.

Around 21,000 school graduates annually do not have access to vocational and higher education.

This group of young people is the basis of the unemployed and marginalised. Many of them are exposed to criminal and extremist movements’ influence.

We need to identify the pupils’ abilities and move towards a career guidance policy.

This policy should be the basis of the national standard of secondary education.

Demand for technicians in our economy is very high, but capabilities of the national education system are low. Enterprises have to invite relevant professionals from abroad. We need to correct this situation quickly.

The difference in quality of secondary education is growing between urban and rural schools.

The main problem is the deficit of qualified teachers in rural areas.

Therefore, we need to expand the scope of the program "With diploma to the village” and continue the work on a new level. I task the Government to finance the programme with up to $20 billion tenge next year.

It is necessary to select talented rural youth and prepare them for domestic and foreign higher education institutions.

I task the Government to develop a roadmap to support gifted children from less well off and large families.

Governments and akims should have the opportunity to make such children attend youth clubs and centres and summer camps.

Now I want to focus on the quality of the higher education.

Only half of the country’s higher education institutions ensure a 60 per cent employment rate for their graduates.

Therefore, it is necessary to consider the reduction of their number.

It is no secret that there are universities that are engaged in selling diplomas instead of quality education.

By banning them, we should strive to improve the quality of the teaching in educational institutions.

Another problem with education is the uneven financing and the inefficiency of the modern regional governance system.

It is necessary to transfer the functions of managing the education departments and administration of budgetary funds from the district level to the regional level.

It is necessary to introduce a special financing order at all levels of education.

The poor quality of textbooks is another urgent problem.

Providing students with quality textbooks is a direct responsibility of the relevant ministry.

These measures are not going to have an effect if we do not improve the social standing of teachers.

That’s why I have instructed, at the August conference, the doubling of teachers’ salaries over the next four years. This means that next year salaries of teachers will grow by 25%.

The situation in science requires special attention. Without it, we cannot ensure the progress of the nation. Another question is to what extent is our science high quality and effective?

The Government should consider this problem from the point of view of increasing the level of scientific research and its practical application.

Second. Support for the institution of family and childhood, the creation of an inclusive society.

Protecting the rights of children and combating domestic violence should be our priority.

It is necessary to deliberately address the problem of high suicide rates among adolescents.

We have to create a holistic programme to protect children affected by violence, as well as their families.

Particular attention should be given to families with children with disabilities. According to official statistics, over 80,000 children are registered as having a disability.

The Government should develop measures to improve the medical and social support of children with cerebral palsy.

It is necessary to expand the network of small and medium-sized rehabilitation centres for children within walking distance.

We must create equal opportunities for people with special needs.

I talked about this during my election campaign. Now I instruct the Government to allocate at least 58 billion tenge for these purposes over three years.

Particular attention is required to strengthen the health of the nation. It is important to develop and promote sport among all age groups.

It is necessary to ensure the maximum availability of sports infrastructure for children.

The development of a mass sporting culture needs a pyramid structure. On top there will be new champions, and at its base a healthy and active youth and, ultimately, a strong nation.

Legislative support for this course is required, as well as the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Mass Sports.

2020 is declared the Year of the Volunteer. The urgent task is to expand the participation of citizens, especially youth and students in volunteer activities, to instil in them the skills for an active life. This is an important part of our work to strengthen civil society.

Third. Ensuring the quality and accessibility of medical services.

We are still seeing regional imbalances in the health of our population, especially in maternal and infant mortality.

Yes, these gaps are decreasing, but they remain large and significantly exceed those in developed countries.

The Government must create a list of health priorities for each region and introduce a budget based on such a list.

On January 1, 2020, Kazakhstan will launch a system of compulsory social health insurance.

I want to re-assure everyone: the state will maintain a guaranteed amount of free medical care. More than 2.8 trillion tenge will be allocated for its financing over the next three years.

The implementation of the compulsory social medical insurance is designed to improve the quality and accessibility of medical services.

Under the three-year budget, an additional $2.3 trillion tenge will be allocated for the development of our healthcare system.

The Government needs to be extremely responsive in implementing the social health insurance scheme to prevent its further discrediting.

We no longer have room for mistake.

Fourth. Support for those who work in culture and the arts.

We have not paid sufficient attention to those working in the field of culture including library, museum and theatre staff.

Their salaries have not increased in recent years.

As a consequence, workers in this field, especially young professionals, cannot participate in affordable housing programmes.

Such a situation is undermining the reputation of the profession, the lack of relevant staff has become obvious.

Next year, the Government should increase the salary of those working in the cultural sector.

Besides, social benefits that apply in the fields of education and health should also be provided to the workers of the cultural sector.

Fifth. Further development of the social support system.

The state is taking measures to support citizens in need.

But a number of decisions were not fully thought through.

As a result, we face a serious increase in dependency attitudes. Over the past 5 years, the number of recipients of targeted social assistance in Kazakhstan has grown from 77,000 to more than 1.4 million.

The amount of funds allocated from the budget for social support since 2017 has increased more than 17 times.

In other words, more and more people choose not to work or, even worse, hide their income to receive social assistance. Cases of wealthy families receiving social assistance have been covered in the media.

Once again, I note. As set out in our Constitution, the state is focused on social welfare and must fulfil its obligations to citizens.

The Government is obliged to proceed from this principle in its work, and additional funds must be found by eradicating wasteful expenditure and by increasing revenues.

Reserves for this, of course, are available. The Ministry of Finance is working to increase revenue. But more effort is needed including in areas such as customs.

Elbasy at a meeting of the Nur Otan political council drew special attention to streamlining the public procurement process. The Ministry of Finance has begun improving procurement, but legislative measures are also needed.

Public procurement is a field where money is wasted – according to some estimates, up to 400 billion tenge per year – which could go towards finding the solution of acute social issues.

In 2018, 4.4 trillion tenge was spent on public procurement, of which 3.3 trillion tenge or 75% took place in a non-competitive way with only one supplier.

It is time to end this "feeding trough” for officials and "clingers-on” of various kinds.

Returning to targeted social assistance, the Government should adjust the way it is allocated so that it becomes transparent, fair and encourages people to seek work rather than pursue an idle lifestyle.

Assistance should mainly be given to those who work.

At the same time, we need to take care of children from low-income families.

They require the introduction of a guaranteed social package. This should include help for preschool children, free hot meals for all schoolchildren, the provision of school supplies and uniforms, payment of medical, including dental care and reimbursement of public transport travel expenses.

All these measures should come into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Government, together with the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, is required within a month to develop a special programme for the participation of mothers of large families in micro and small businesses, including through home working.

Sixth. I would also like to draw attention to the development of our domestic pension system where serious problems have accumulated.

At the moment, the funding of pensions is sufficient. But in 10 years, this situation may change.

The number of working citizens making pension savings will decrease significantly while the number of pensioners will increase.

At the same time, the amount of investment income received from pension assets remains low.

Therefore, the Government, together with the National Bank, should carry out substantial work to increase the effectiveness of the pension system.

Currently, a working person can only access his pension savings on retirement. But the desire of people to use these funds during their working lives is understandable.

I instruct the Government by the end of the year to consider how the targeted use by working citizens of part of their pension savings, for example, for buying a house or getting an education might be achieved.

In order to reduce costs and improve the quality of investment asset management, I instruct the Government to look at consolidating the extra-budgetary social security system by creating a unified social fund and introducing one social payment.



President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address, September 2, 2019. Part 4

V. STRONG REGIONS – STRONG COUNTRY.

In this area, we need to focus on the following tasks.

First. Improving the efficiency of local authorities.

People should always have access to local authorities. This is an axiom but not a reality.

I consider it possible to introduce, as a pilot project, a system for assessing the effectiveness of local authorities.

For example, if, as a result of a survey or online voting, more than 30% of residents believe that the akim of a city or a village is ineffective, this could be the basis for the creation of a special commission by the Presidential Administration to study the problem and make relevant recommendations.

Second. Reform of the system of interbudgetary relations.

The current system of interbudgetary relations clearly is not stimulating akimats of all levels to create their own development base of small and medium-sized businesses. The regions are poorly motivated to search for additional sources of income.

Starting next year, additional tax revenues from SMEs will be transferred to the regions.

But this is not enough. The time has come to review the organisation of the budget process at all levels. A major role should be played by the genuine involvement of the population in the formation of local budgets.

District, city and rural levels of Government should become economically more independent in solving problems of local importance. Their rights, duties and responsibilities should be clearly regulated in legislative acts.

Third. Managed urbanisation and a unified housing policy.

The previously adopted laws "On the status of the capital” and "On the special status of the city of Almaty” played a positive role, but today they need improvement.

It is necessary to expand the competencies of the akimats of the three largest cities, including in the field of urban development policy, transport infrastructure, and the formation of an architectural vision.

The large population of a number of cities is no longer a matter of pride, but a reason for concern in terms of meeting fully the socio-economic needs of residents.

We can see the pressures of overpopulation on our largest cities and at the same time a lack of human and labour resources in cities such as, for example, Pavlodar and Petropavlovsk, where proper conditions are created to welcome new residents.

The Government must take effective measures to manage migration processes.

In my election programme, I noted the need to develop a unified housing policy.

The basic principle is to increase housing affordability, especially for socially vulnerable segments of the population.

The Government needs to develop a unified model of housing development in the country to move away from the practice of adopting disparate programmes.

For example, within the framework of the "7-20-25” programme which was originally supposed to be based on social security, the average level of the borrower’s family income is expected to be around 320,000 tenge per month. People with low incomes could not afford to participate in it.

Therefore, this year, on the initiative of Elbasy, a new programme "Baqytty Otbasy” was launched with a preferential rate of 2% and an initial payment of 10%. These are very favourable conditions.

By the end of the year, at least 6,000 families will purchase housing under this programme, primarily large families and those raising children with disabilities. As of 2020, 10,000 such families will be provided with housing annually.

The Government should define clear criteria for participating in the programme and ensure its strict administration. Support should be provided exclusively to those who need it.

My instruction to the Government is to resolve within three years the backlog of low-income large families that are currently waiting for housing. Their number is around 30,000.

Citizens who do not have an income for the purchase of housing must be given the opportunity to live on a social benefit lease.

For these purposes, by 2022, the state will allocate more than 240 billion tenge.

New measures should be developed to involve the private sector in this work and to use the mechanisms of the public-private partnership.

People are dissatisfied with the opaque way akimats decide priority for social housing.

By the end of the year, the Government should create a unified national accounting system for waiting lists for rental housing, as well as for obtaining preferential housing loans under the "Baqytty Otbasy” programme.

Despite the reduced wear on utility mains from 65% to 57%, this indicator remains high.

In addition, out of 78,000 apartment buildings, more than 18,000 require repairs.

It is necessary to allocate at least 30 billion tenge to the regions over two years in the form of budget loans for the modernisation and repair of housing.

I instruct the Government to provide for this mechanism and tightly control the effectiveness of the development of these funds.

Regional development budgets by 2022 will exceed 800 billion tenge.

I instruct the akims, together with local maslikhats, to provide half of these funds for co-financing the modernisation of housing and communal services and solving urgent social problems of residents from the regions.

Fourth. Infrastructure development.

Obviously, residents of different regions of the country have different levels of access to clean drinking water, natural gas and transport infrastructure.

It is necessary to intensify the work on levelling this inequality.

At the instruction of Elbasy, the construction of the first phase of the Saryarka gas trunk pipeline network is nearing completion.

From next year, work will begin on the construction of distribution networks in the cities of Nur-Sultan and Karaganda, and later in the Akmola and North Kazakhstan, regions.

For these purposes, the state will allocate 56 billion tenge. As a result, more than 2.7 million people will have access to natural gas.

Over the next three years, around 250 billion tenge will be allocated to provide our citizens with clean drinking water and sanitation.

The full and high-quality implementation of the Nurly Zhol programme should be monitored closely by the executive branch.

This is a strategic project whose effective modernisation will improve the entire transport infrastructure.

For these purposes, until 2022, the state will invest more than 1.2 trillion tenge.

The Government had allocated huge amounts of money before. But these funds overwhelmingly disappeared into the air, or rather, into the pockets of officials, which is why there is still not enough clean water or modern roads and other infrastructure.

This time, the Government and Parliament, together with the Accounts Committee, must ensure the absolute efficient use of budget funds.

The Government needs to intensify efforts to improve the environment, expand the use of renewable energy sources, and cultivate a respect for nature. In this regard, the campaign "Birge – Taza Kazakhstan!” deserves approval and must be continued.

Parliament is to discuss and adopt a new version of the Environmental Code.

In general, the Government in the coming period should increase the efficiency of its activities. The people of Kazakhstan are waiting for concrete results.

Dear compatriots!

We have entered a new stage in reforming the country. We must fulfil these important tasks to a high standard.

Every citizen of the country should feel positive changes.

I demand Government agencies work rapidly and achieve real results.

It is unacceptable to carry out reforms for the sake of reforms.

Each minister and akim should have a list of key performance indicators.

It determines the level of their achievement.

Government ministers, heads of state bodies and regions, state-owned companies and institutions are personally responsible for the relevant reforms.

To ensure accountability for progress, I have recently signed a decree to gauge the situation in the country, including in each region through regular surveys.

Government agencies responsible for social and economic policy should work to meet the needs of society now and in the future. For this purpose, it is necessary to strengthen the system of monitoring, analysis and forecasting.

Therefore, I ask Parliament to establish the Institute of Legislative Research and Expertise at the request of our deputies.

This new institute should help improve the quality of our laws.

Dear people of Kazakhstan!

We know well the issues that worry our people.

We are developing an action plan to tackle each of these areas. 

We have a great responsibility.

I have great confidence in every citizen of the country and know they are concerned about the destiny of our country.

Kazakhstan is our common home!

I invite all of you to contribute to our national prosperity.

A constructive public dialogue is the basis of peace and stability.

In the words of the great Abai, "Unity must be in minds.”

Elbasy’s message "The unity of the people is our most valuable treasure” remains our guiding principle.

Harmony and unity, wisdom and mutual understanding help our nation move forward.

Our destination is clear, and our way is open.

I hope that together, the country will achieve even greater success!

I wish all of you wellbeing and success.



Address of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the nation


Dear compatriots!

I appeal to each of you.

In accordance with the Constitution, I have decided to hold early elections of the President of Kazakhstan on June 9, 2019.

I consulted with Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, as well as with Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, and the Prime Minister.

The decision was agreed upon by the Constitutional Council.

I met with the leaders of the parliamentary parties.

The decision on early elections is important and necessary.

Thanks to Elbasy, we have built a successful and widely respected nation. Kazakhstan has gained a worthy place in the international community. Our country plays an increasing role in global affairs.

This is a fateful moment for all of us.

The power in Kazakhstan has been transferred in a calm atmosphere in full accordance with the Constitution. This caused respect for Kazakhstan from the world community.

Since taking office, I made a trip across regions, so I am aware of the mood of people. I meet with the intelligentsia, labour communities, business people, investors and representatives of international organizations.

My conclusion is that we are on the right track. Our wise nation is united. Our state, as the supreme value of our independence, is indispensable.

Therefore, I firmly believe that early elections of the Head of State are a vital necessity.

In order to ensure political and social consent, confidently move forward, solve the tasks of socio-economic development, it is of vital importance to remove any uncertainty.

Moreover, the situation in the world is changing rapidly and unfortunately, we are facing new challenges ahead. We must confirm the continuity, predictability and stability of our domestic and foreign policy. We shall continue working on the effective, successful implementation of social programs and strategic course of Elbasy.

This can be fulfilled only through direct expression of the will of the people in the elections.

Kazakhstan is a democratic state. And its President will be elected as per people’s will.

In the capacity of Acting Head of State, I guarantee that it will be free, transparent and fair elections!

This is my firm position!

We are facing great challenges. I believe in the wisdom of our people.

Dear compatriots!

The folk wisdom says, "Where there is unity, there is creation" (Birlik Bar Zherde, Tirlik Bar!).

I am calling you to be fully responsible about the future elections.

The future of our country and the destiny of each family depend on your decision!



State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES UNDER THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Dear people of Kazakhstan,

Today the world is entering the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era of profound and rapid changes: technological, economic and social.

The new technological order significantly changes the way we work, exercise our civil rights, and raise children.

The need to be prepared for global changes and challenges has prompted us to adopt the Kazakhstan-2050 Development Strategy.

We have set the goal of entering the top thirty most developed countries in the world.

The Plan of the Nation – 100 Concrete Steps – is being implemented. Sixty steps have already been executed. The rest are mostly long-term and are being systematically implemented.

The Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan was launched last year.

The Industrialisation Programme is being successfully implemented.

The Digital Kazakhstan comprehensive programme has been adopted.

A comprehensive Strategic Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025 was developed.

Our long-term goals remain unchanged. We have all the necessary programmes.

This Address determines what we have to do for the successful navigation and adaptation in a new world – the world of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 Dear compatriots,

 We created an independent Kazakhstan, which became a brand that inspires trust and respect in the world.

In 2017, our country became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

In January 2018 we preside over it.

We became the first state among the countries of the CIS and Eastern Europe to be chosen by the world community to host the International Specialised Exhibition, EXPO 2017.

A successfully functioning model of a market economy has been built in Kazakhstan.

In 2017, the country, having overcome the negative consequences of the global crisis, returned to the trajectory of strong growth.

At the end of the year, the GDP growth was 4%, and industrial production grew by more than 7%.

In addition, the processing sector exceeded 40% in the total volume of industry.

Kazakhstan’s successful development has allowed the formation of the middle class.

Poverty declined 13-fold, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%.

The country’s social and economic successes are based on civil peace, interethnic and interfaith accord, which continue to be our main values.

Nevertheless, we should clearly realise that Kazakhstan’s achievements are a reliable foundation, but not a guarantee of tomorrow’s success.

The era of "oil abundance” is almost coming to an end. The country needs a new quality of development.

Global trends show that it should be based primarily on the broad implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution elements.

This brings both challenges and opportunities.

I am confident that Kazakhstan has all the necessary attributes to join the ranks of leaders of the new world.

Thus, it is essential to concentrate on the following objectives.

FIRST. Industrialisation should become the flagship of the introduction of new technologies.

Its results became one of the main stabilizing factors in the crisis years of 2014-2015, when oil prices fell sharply.

Therefore, the focus on the processing sector with high labour productivity remains unchanged.

At the same time, industrialisation should become more innovative, taking advantage of the new Technological Order 4.0.

It is necessary to develop and test new instruments aimed at modernising and digitising our enterprises with a focus on exporting products.

They should primarily stimulate the transfer of technology.

A pilot project on the digitisation of several of Kazakhstan’s industrial enterprises should be implemented, and then this experience should be widely expanded.

The most important issue is the development of our own ecosystem of developers of digital and other innovative solutions.

It should take shape around innovation centres, such as the Nazarbayev University, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and the International Technology Park of IT Startups.

A serious revision is required of the organization of the activities of the Alatau Park of Innovative Technologies.

The main factors for the success of the innovative ecosystem are stimulation of the demand for new technologies by the real sector and the functioning of the private venture financing market.

This requires appropriate legislation.

In addition, the development of IT and engineering services is of particular importance.

Digitisation of the economy brings dividends, but there are also risks of a large-scale release of workforce.

It is necessary to work out in advance an agreed policy on the employment of the released workforce.

It is necessary to adapt education, communication and standardisation systems to the needs of the new industrialisation.

In 2018, it is necessary to begin the development of the third five-year industrialisation period devoted to the emergence of the "digital age” industry.

SECOND. Further development of the resource potential.

The world of the 21st century still needs natural resources, which will have a special place in the development of the global economy and the economy of our country in the future.

It is necessary, however, to critically rethink the organisation of commodity industries, approaches to the management of natural resources.

It is necessary to actively implement integrated information and technology platforms.

It is important to increase the requirements for energy efficiency and energy saving of enterprises, as well as the environmental friendliness and efficiency of the energy producers themselves.

The EXPO 2017 Exhibition held in Astana showed rapid progress in the sphere of alternative and clean energy.

Today, renewable energy sources (RES) account for a quarter of the world’s electricity production.

According to forecasts, by 2050 this figure will reach 80%.

We have set the goal to increase the share of alternative energy in Kazakhstan to 30% by 2030.

Today, we already have 55 renewable energy facilities with a total capacity of 336 MW, which generated about 1.1 billion kWh of green energy in 2017.

It is important to stimulate business, to invest in green technologies.

Akims (governors) of the regions should take measures on the modern disposal and recycling of solid domestic waste with a broad involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises.

These and other measures will require the updating of legislation, including the Environmental Code.



State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. Part 2

THIRD. Smart technologies are a chance for a breakthrough in the development of the agricultural industry.

The agrarian policy should be aimed at a radical increase in labour productivity and growth in exports of processed agricultural products.

We have learned how to grow various crops and produce grain.

We are proud of this.

But this is not enough.

It is necessary to ensure the processing of raw materials and enter the world markets with high-quality end products.

It is important to radically reorient the entire agricultural industry to solving this task.

The development of agrarian science is a priority and requires significant attention.

It should focus primarily on the transfer of new technologies and their adaptation to domestic conditions.

In this regard, we must modify the role of agrarian universities.

They should not just issue diplomas, but prepare specialists who will work in the agro-industrial sector or engage in scientific activities.

These universities need to update training programmes and become centres for the distribution of the most advanced knowledge and best practices in the agro-industrial sector.

For example, a significant increase in productivity can be achieved through the adoption of technologies which predict the optimum time for sowing and harvesting, along with those that provide "smart irrigation”, intelligent mineral fertilisation systems, and targeted pest and weed control.

Unmanned technology can significantly reduce the cost of farming, minimising human elements.

The introduction of new technologies and business models and an increase in the scientific content of the agro-industrial sector reinforces the need for cooperative farms.

It is necessary to provide comprehensive support to agricultural cooperatives.

The State, together with the private sector, should find strategic niches in international markets and promote domestic production in these areas.

Intensification of agriculture should take place in line with the preservation of quality and mindful of the ecological compatibility of products.

This will create and promote a brand of natural food products "Made in Kazakhstan”, which should become recognisable across the world.

In addition, it is necessary to encourage those who use the land with the best returns, and take measures to address inefficient users.

It is necessary to overhaul ineffective subsidies to reduce the cost of bank loans for agribusiness entities.

I hereby give the order to ensure the increase of labour productivity in the agro-industrial sector and the increase of the export of processed agricultural products by at least 2.5 times within the next 5 years.

FOURTH. Increasing the efficiency of transport and logistics infrastructure.

Today several transcontinental corridors pass through Kazakhstan.

Much has been said about this.

In general, the transit of goods through Kazakhstan in 2017 increased by 17% and amounted to almost 17 million tonnes.

The task is to bring annual revenues from transit in 2020 to US$5 billion.

This will make it possible to return the funds spent by the State on infrastructure within the shortest possible timeframe.

It is necessary to ensure the large-scale introduction of digital technologies, such as blockchain, to track the movement of goods online and to ensure their unhindered transit, as well as to simplify customs operations.

Modern solutions allow us to organise the interactions of all links of the logistics.

The use of "big data” will help provide high-quality analytics, identify areas of growth and reduce excess costs.

To achieve this, it is necessary to introduce an Intelligent Transport System.

This will allow us to effectively manage transport flows and determine the requirement for further infrastructure development.

To improve intra-regional mobility, it is important to increase funding for the repair and reconstruction of the local road networks.

The total budget allocated annually for this should be increased to 150 billion tenge in the medium term.

It is necessary to ensure active participation of all regional akimats (governments) in this work.

FIFTH. The introduction of modern technologies in the construction and communal sectors.

Thanks to the programmes being implemented, the volume of housing construction in Kazakhstan exceeded 10 million square metres commissioned per year.

The financial system for house savings is effective and has made housing affordable for the general public.

The provision of housing per capita has increased by 30% in the last 10 years and now stands at 21.6 square metres.

It is necessary to bring this figure to 30 square metres by 2030.

To achieve this goal, it is important to apply new construction methods, utilise modern materials, and adopt fundamentally different approaches to the design of buildings and urban planning.

It is necessary to establish increased requirements for the quality, environmental friendliness and energy efficiency of buildings.

New buildings, existing houses and infrastructure should be equipped with intelligent management systems.

This will increase comfort for the citizens, reduce the consumption of electricity, heat and water, and will encourage natural monopolists to increase their efficiency.

It is important to introduce appropriate changes in legislation, including regulating natural monopolies.

Akims (mayors and governors) need to more actively address issues of modernisation in housing and communal infrastructure on the basis of public-private partnerships.

To solve the issue of providing rural settlements with high-quality drinking water, the Government needs to provide at least 100 billion tenge annually from all funding sources.

SIXTH. "Reloading” the financial sector.

It is necessary to clean out "bad” loans from the bank portfolios.

At the same time, the owners of banks should bear economic responsibility, accepting losses.

The withdrawal of funds from banks by shareholders for the benefit of affiliated companies and individuals should be considered a serious crime.

The National Bank should not be an observer of such practices.

Otherwise, why do you need such a government agency?

Supervision of the activities of financial institutions by the National Bank should be tough, timely and effective.

The State will continue to guarantee the interests of ordinary citizens are observed.

It is necessary to expedite the adoption of the law on bankruptcy of individuals.

In addition, I instruct the National Bank to finally resolve the issue of mortgage currency loans that were provided to Kazakhstan citizens before January 1, 2016, when the law to prohibit their issuance to individuals was introduced.

The National Bank and the Government should jointly address the issue of providing long-term business lending at rates that take into account the real profitability in the sectors of the economy.

It is important to further improve the investment climate and the development of the stock market.

This is one of the main tasks of the Astana International Financial Centre, which began its work this year.

Using best international practices, it should become a regional hub, applying English law and adopting modern financial technologies.

The successful listing of the "Samruk-Kazyna” Sovereign Welfare Fund companies in IPO will also contribute to the development of the stock market.



State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. Part 3

SEVENTH. Human capital is the basis of modernisation.

A new quality of education.

It is necessary to accelerate the creation of our own advanced education system, covering citizens of all ages.

The key priority of educational programmes should be the development of the skills which allow students to constantly adapt to changes and assimilate new knowledge.

Preschool education should, by September 1, 2019, have uniform standards for early childhood development and provide enhanced social and self-learning skills.

In secondary education, we have launched a transition to updated content and will complete it in 2021.

It includes completely new curricula, textbooks, standards and human resources.

It is necessary to further examine approaches to training and raising the qualifications of teachers.

At the higher education institutions across the country, it is necessary to develop pedagogical departments and schools.

It is necessary to strengthen the quality of teaching mathematical and natural sciences at all levels of education.

This is an important condition for preparing young people for a new technological order.

To increase competition between educational institutions and attract private capital, per capita financing in urban schools will be introduced.

It is necessary to reduce our students’ academic load taking into account that it is the highest among the CIS countries and on average by more than a third higher than in the OECD countries.

In all regions, it is necessary to set up a network of children’s tech parks and business incubators on the premises of schoolchildren’s centres, with all the necessary infrastructure, including computers, laboratories, and 3D printers.

This will help successfully integrate the younger generation into the research and industrial and technological environment.

The future of the people of Kazakhstan lies in the fluent use of Kazakh, Russian and English languages.

A new methodology for studying the Kazakh language at Russian-language schools has been developed and is being implemented.

If we want the Kazakh language to live in the centuries, it is necessary to modernise it, without loading it with excessive terminology.

In recent years, however, 7,000 well-established and globally accepted terms have been translated into the Kazakh language.

Such "innovations” sometimes go to ridiculous lengths.

Among them are "ғаламтор” ("Internet”), "қолтырауын” ("crocodile”), "күй сандық” ("piano”) and there are many other examples.

It is necessary to revise the approaches to the validity of such translations and to bring our language terminologically closer to the international level.

The transition to the Latin alphabet will help to resolve this issue.

A clear timetable for the transition to the Latin alphabet up to 2025 should be established at all levels of education.

Knowledge of the Russian language remains important.

Since 2016, in updated curricula, Russian is taught in Kazakh-language schools already from the first grade.

The transition to teaching certain natural science disciplines in English in the tenth and eleventh grades will start in 2019.

As a result, all our graduates will master three languages ​​at the level necessary for life and work in the country and in the global world.

Then a genuine civil society will emerge.

A person of any ethnic group will be able to choose any kind of work, up to the extent of getting elected as the President of the country.

The people of Kazakhstan will become one nation.

The content of training should be harmoniously complemented by modern technical support.

It is important to continue work on developing digital educational resources, connecting to broadband Internet and equipping our schools with video facilities.

It is necessary to update the training programmes in technical and vocational education with the involvement of employers and taking into account international requirements and digital skills.

It is necessary to continue the implementation of the "Free Vocational Education for All” project.

The State gives the young person the first profession.

The government must fulfil this task.

Video lessons and video lectures from best teachers of secondary schools, colleges and universities should be posted online.

This will allow all people of Kazakhstan, including those living in remote areas, to gain access to the best knowledge and competencies.

In higher education, it is necessary to increase the number of graduates trained in information technology, artificial intelligence and "big data”.

In addition, it is necessary to develop university science with a priority placed on research in metallurgy, oil and gas chemistry, agro-industrial complex, bio- and IT technologies.

It is necessary to implement a phased transition of applied scientific research in English.

Higher education institutions need to actively implement joint projects with leading foreign universities and research centres, large enterprises and multinational corporations.

Co-financing from the private sector should become a mandatory requirement for all applied research projects.

We need to marshal a consistent policy to support our young scientists by allocating quotas within the framework of scientific grants.

It is time to treat education as a separate branch of the economy with its investment projects and export potential.

It is necessary to legislatively consolidate academic freedom of universities by giving them more rights to develop educational programmes.

It is necessary to strengthen the retraining of teachers, to attract foreign managers to universities, and to open campuses of world universities.

The building up of the nation’s potential requires further development of our culture and ideology.

This is precisely the purpose of the Rukhani Zhanghyru programme.

Our society’s role model should be a citizen of Kazakhstan who knows his or her history, language, culture but who is also modern, fluent in foreign languages and has progressive and global worldview.

First class healthcare and a healthy nation.

With an increase in the life expectancy of our people and the development of medical technologies, the volume of consumption of medical services will grow.

Modern health care should focus more on disease prevention rather than on expensive hospital treatment.

It is necessary to strengthen public health management by promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Particular attention should be paid to protection and strengthening of the reproductive health of young people.

It is necessary to transition from an ineffective and costly for the state medical examination to managing major chronic diseases with the application of remote diagnostics, as well as outpatient treatment.

This approach has long been practiced in the world.

It is necessary to implement it boldly and actively.

It is necessary to adopt a comprehensive plan to combat cancer, to establish a scientific oncological centre.

Highly effective early diagnosis and treatment of cancer should be provided on the basis of international best practices.

It is necessary to carry out the same work that we conducted in cardiology, tuberculosis control and obstetrics.

Public health will gradually transition to the system of compulsory social health insurance based on the joint responsibility of the population, the State and employers.

The need for its implementation is beyond doubt.

However, a more thorough preparatory work is required, which has not been carried out by the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

It is necessary to develop a new model of the guaranteed scope of free medical care by defining clear boundaries of state obligations.

People will be able to receive services not guaranteed by the state by becoming a member of the system of compulsory social health insurance or through voluntary medical insurance as well as co-payment.

It is necessary to increase the availability and effectiveness of healthcare services through the integration of information systems, the use of mobile digital applications, the introduction of electronic health passports, and the transition to "paperless” hospitals.

It is necessary to introduce genetic testing and artificial intelligence in medicine which will significantly improve the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment.

An important issue is the availability and quality of healthcare personnel training.

An integrated university medical centre is now operating at the unique Nazarbayev University School of Medicine.

This approach should be emulated across all medical schools.

To implement these and other measures, a new edition of the Code on Public Health and Health Care System should be developed.



State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. Part 4

Qualitative employment and an equitable welfare system.

It is critical to ensure the efficiency of the labour market by creating conditions that enable everyone to fulfil their potential.

It is necessary to develop modern standards for all major occupations.

In these standards, employers and the business community will clearly stipulate the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of employees.

It is necessary to develop new or update existing educational programmes in line with professional standards.

The self-employed and unemployed represent the reserves of economic growth.

I have repeatedly asked for a solution on the issue of the self-employed.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population has shown irresponsibility and superficiality in this matter.

It is necessary to provide greater opportunities for productive employment – whether through starting a business, obtaining new qualifications, or entering the workforce.

The work of the "Atameken” National Economic Chamber on business training deserves support.

It is important to extend coverage of these demographics through the Programme for the Development of Productive Employment and Mass Entrepreneurship by strengthening its instruments.

The process for registering the self-employed should be simplified as much as practically possible. Conditions which will encourage faithful fulfilment of obligations to the state must be created.

The people of Kazakhstan should have the opportunity to find new employment relatively quickly, including in other localities of the country.

The full-scale implementation of an online labour exchange database is required, where all information on vacancies and job-seekers will be collated and presented.

Citizens will be able to take vocational guidance tests, learn about training courses and state support measures, and find interesting work without leaving their homes.

Employment record books should also be converted into an electronic format.

The Law on Electronic Labour Exchange must be adopted before April 1, 2018.

Social policy will be implemented by involving citizens in a fully-fledged economic life.

The pension system is now fully dependent on the length of service.

Those who have worked longer will receive larger pensions.

In this regard, all Kazakhstan citizens should seriously consider legalising their labour activities.

In terms of social insurance, there will also be a strengthened relationship between the length of service and payment.

Starting in 2018, we have shifted to a new method of providing targeted social assistance to low-income population groups.

The threshold has risen from 40% to 50% of the living wage.

Able bodied low-income citizens will receive financial aid provided they participate in employment promotion measures.

State support measures for disabled citizens will be strengthened.

 Dear people of Kazakhstan!

 All social obligations of the state will be fully realised.

I would like to remind the people of Kazakhstan that in 2016-2017, pensions and allowances were increased three times.

The basic pension rose in total by 29%, the solidary pension rose by 32%, the childbirth allowance rose by 37%, and allowances in the case of loss or disablement both rose by 43%.

The salary of healthcare workers increased by up to 28%, the salary of education workers increased by up to 29%, the salary of social protection workers rose by up to 40%, the salary of Corps B civil servants rose by 30%, and scholarships increased by 25%.

Few other countries around the world have managed to increase their social spending, during what is a crisis.

National budget expenditure on the social sector in 2018 were increased by 12%, exceeding 4.1 trillion tenge.

An increase in social benefits, including pensions, will raise the income of more than three million Kazakhstan citizens.

From January 1, 2018, solidary pensions have risen by 8%.

A 16% increase in allowances for disabled people, families who have lost their primary income, and families raising disabled children has been realised.

From July 1, 2018, the basic pension will increase by an average of 1.8 times, depending on the length of service.

In addition, I order the introduction of state allowances for parents taking care of Category 1 disabled adults from childhood as of July 1, 2018.

Approximately 14,000 families will receive these monthly benefits, which will exceed one subsistence wage.

Up to three billion tenge will be required to fund these benefits in 2018.

To raise the prestige of the teaching profession, I order a raise in the salary of teachers who are versed in the updated contents of teaching materials by 30%.

The updated contents are modern curricula which meet international standards and have been approbated in the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.

They give our children the necessary functional literacy and skills for critical thinking.

I also order the introduction of a new structure for teachers in 2018, which will take into account levels of qualifications and the increase in gaps between levels.

Qualifications should be awarded through a national qualifications test, as is the model all over the world.

This will encourage teachers to continue to improve their teaching abilities.

As a result, teacher’s salaries will grow in total from 30% to 50%, depending on the qualification obtained.

In 2018, the state will allocate an additional 67 billion tenge for this purpose.

EIGHTH. Effective public administration.

It is necessary to continue work to reduce the expenses of the business community and the wider population, when providing public administration.

It is therefore important to expedite the adoption of a law aimed at further deregulation of the business sector.

It is necessary to ensure the digitalisation of public services for businesses, and their rendering on a "one-stop-shop” principle.

Integration of state information systems will help to move from the provision of an individual public service to the provision of a set of services on the "one application” principle.

Further work should be carried out to improve the quality of services of natural monopolies.

It is important to establish reasonable tariffs for these and for energy producers, taking into account investment programmes.

Decisive actions are needed to improve the business climate, especially at the regional level.

The Government should prepare a new package of systemic measures to support business and to bring it out from the shadow and into the light.

It is important to accelerate the implementation of the privatisation plan, expanding it by reducing the number of subordinate organisations of state agencies.

Those subordinate organisations, which are genuinely necessary, should be consolidated as much as possible to reduce administrative costs.

The funds which this releases should be directed towards the introduction of a new system of remuneration for civil servants based on a factor-point scale.

This will reduce the imbalance in civil servants’ salaries in the regions and the centre and take into account the nature and effectiveness of their work.

I instruct the Government, together with the Agency for Civil Service Affairs, to implement pilot projects in central and local state bodies to introduce this system in 2018.

It is necessary to unlock the full potential of the effectiveness of the public service in the regions through increasing their economic independence and responsibility.

In general, the focus of regional policy should be shifted away from equalising expenditures and towards stimulating the growth of the regions’ own revenues.

In particular, one of the most promising sources for any region is the development of inbound and domestic tourism, which today creates every tenth job in the world.

The government, in turn, must take a package of measures, including simplifying visa procedures, developing infrastructure and removing other barriers in the tourism industry.

Within the framework of fiscal decentralisation, it is necessary to solve the issue of transferring corporate income tax from small and medium-sized businesses to regional budgets.

Starting from January 1, 2018, in cities of district significance, as well as villages and rural districts with a population of more than two thousand people, the legislation provides for the introduction of an independent budget and municipal ownership of local government.

From 2020, these norms will operate in all settlements across the country.

Seven types of tax and other non-tax revenues, as well as 19 directions of expenditures, have been transferred to village budgets.

This will involve the population in solving local issues.

In addition, state bodies should use modern digital technologies to listen to citizens’ criticism and suggestions in real time and provide prompt responses.

Through the implementation of new technologies, the state and companies should ensure reliable protection of their information systems and devices.

Today, the notion of cyber security includes protecting not only information but also access to the management of production and infrastructure facilities.

These and other measures should be reflected in the National Security Strategy of Kazakhstan.

NINTH. The fight against corruption and the rule of law.

A preventative fight against corruption will continue.

Much work is already being done.

Over the past three years alone, more than 2,500 people, including top officials and state-owned company executives, have been convicted of corruption.

During this period, damage caused by them to a value of around 17 billion tenge was reimbursed.

The digitisation of processes in government bodies, including their interaction with the public and business, is important.

In particular, citizens should see how their appeals are reviewed, and receive timely and qualitative answers.

Institutional reforms of judicial and law enforcement systems are being carried out.

Norms providing for strengthening the protection of the rights of citizens in criminal proceedings, reducing their repressiveness have been introduced to legislation.

The rights of lawyers have been expanded, as well as judicial control at the pre-trial stage.

The powers and areas of responsibility of law enforcement bodies have been delineated.

The work on strengthening the guarantees of the constitutional rights of citizens, ensuring the rule of law, and humanising law enforcement must continue.

In the field of protection of public order and security, it is necessary to actively implement intelligent video surveillance and recognition systems on the streets and in places of mass gatherings, as well as providing control over traffic.

TENTH. Smart cities for a smart nation.

2018 is the 20th anniversary of our capital – Astana.

Its formation as one of the most important centres of Eurasia’s development is a source of our common pride.

Modern technologies provide effective solutions to the problems of a fast-growing metropolis.

It is necessary to introduce comprehensive management of the urban environment based on the Smart City concept and the development of competences of those people moving to the city.

The world has come to an understanding that it is cities that compete for investors.

They choose not a country, but a city in which it is comfortable to live and work.

Therefore, based on the experience of Astana, it is necessary to form a "benchmark” standard for a Smart City and start expanding best practices and an exchange of experiences between the cities of Kazakhstan.

Smart Cities will be the engines of regional development, spreading innovations and improvement to quality of life throughout the country.

These are the 10 objectives. They are clear and understandable.

 Dear people of Kazakhstan,

 Thanks to our political stability and public consensus, we began to modernise our economy, our policy and national consciousness.

The impetus for a new stage of technological and infrastructural development has now been provided.

The constitutional reform has established a more precise balance of power between the different branches.

We have launched the process of modernising our national identity.

In fact, these three basic aspects are a comprehensive triad of Kazakhstan’s modernisation.

To fit with the new times, we must unite as a single nation – a nation on the verge of a historic ascent under the conditions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Аlmaty c., Kerey-Zhanibek xandar 259 str.
Phone: +7 (727) 271-81-45
Е-mail: airbar@list.ru

Яндекс.Метрика

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