Tokayev announces democratic reforms in Kazakhstan

Tokayev announces democratic reforms in Kazakhstan

Political transformations in Kazakhstan will take into account the state's interests, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told parliament in an annual address on Monday.

The president criticised the central bank’s monetary policy ahead of its interest rate review, urging the bank to ensure affordable long-term credit is available to local businesses.

"The insufficient efficiency of monetary policy is becoming one of the impediments to the country’s economic development," he said, adding that businesses struggled to get loans from the banking sector.

The Kazakh president also ordered the oil-exporting Central Asian nation’s government to delay until 2023 the introduction of additional 5% pension contributions, effectively an extra payroll tax that was set to be implemented next year.

Tokayev said that the planned additional payroll tax would have hindered job creation and wage growth. "We will then get back to this matter," he said, leaving the door open for further changes to the plan.

He also ordered to work out the law on exemption of micro and small businesses in Kazakhstan from tax for 3 years. "My decision on a 3-year ban on raids of micro and small businesses enters into force from January 2020," Tokaev said.

The president also offered to launch the population’s evaluation system of effectiveness of local authorities’ works as a pilot project.

During his address to the nation, he said if more than 30% of residents as a result of a survey believe that the head of a city or a village is not working, than this will be a reason for creation of a special commission.

According to the president, if peaceful campaigns are not aimed at violation of the law and the peace of citizens, the state should give them permission and allocate special places for them. "Moreover, not at the outskirts of the cities," Tokayev added.

At the same time, the Kazakh head of state called for toughening of punishment for some crimes.