President’s state-of-the-nation address: Tokayev talks about post-crisis economic development of the country

President’s state-of-the-nation address: Tokayev talks about post-crisis economic development of the country

Today, on September 1, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address to the people of Kazakhstan during a joint session of chambers of Kazakh Parliament. President Tokayev focused on the main tasks for the country’s development in the post-crisis period. He stressed that, first of all, it is necessary to urgently revise the work of the public administration system.  The new policy is to attract young people to civil service as they have creative ideas and high stamina. In addition, the work of civil servants will henceforth be assessed on a factor-point scale. Those who fail to keep up will be relieved of their position. President Tokayev said that the number of employees in state and quasi-state sectors must be reduced. This year the number of employees will decrease by 10 percent, and next year - by another 15 percent.

“Thus, by already 2021, we will achieve the goal of reducing the number of civil servants by 25 percent. Depending on the result and taking into account digital transformation, we will make a decision on further reduction,” Tokayev said.

Another change is that the institution of executive secretaries in Kazakhstan will be abolished. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also instructed to establish an agency for strategic planning and reforms. Such a body already existed before and performed its tasks successfully. The Statistics Committee will become part of the agency for greater objectivity of assessment. On the instructions of the Head of State, the Ministry of Emergency Situations will be formed again in Kazakhstan. 

“It is necessary to release the Ministry of Internal Affairs from non-core functions, which will enhance the efficiency of this important ministry. Given that we have entered the era of natural and man-made disasters, I believe it is necessary to re-establish the Committee for Emergency Situations,” the president said.

The big part of the 2020 state-of-the-nation address by President Tokayev was devoted to economic issues. For example, entrepreneurs who are in a difficult situation due to the current pandemic will receive additional assistance from the state. Previously, more than 700,000 entrepreneurs received tax benefits. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will now be provided with state subsidies of interest rates of up to 6 percent per annum on all existing loans of the enterprises in the affected sectors of the economy. It will cover a period of 12 months from the moment the nationwide state of emergency was announced. 

“The National Bank of Kazakhstan has been implementing a special program to replenish working capital for SMEs in the most affected sectors. Previously it was planned that the program will end this year. In the current crisis conditions, I instruct to extend this program until the end of 2021,” President Tokayev said.

He added that the land will no longer be sold to foreigners, but the government should make full use of agricultural land in economic turnover. This means attracting investment into the agricultural sector, which are now very much needed, Tokayev said.