Reporting on the progress of the execution of the President’s instructions on his block of questions, Minister of Finance B. Sultanov said that on February 28 this year, the Ministry is to launch the Astana-1 information system in the test mode. Full-scale launch is planned for April.
For the introduction of the Single Window principle, during the passage of customs procedures and the continuation of the implementation of electronic interaction, nine permitting documents (in the field of conformity, agriculture, sanitary and epidemiological well-being) on the ASYCER platform were automated. This is also implemented on the UNCTAD system platform.
"The commissioning of the relevant modules under these permits is planned before October 1, 2018. For this we are launching the system in a test mode in May", Bakhyt Sultanov noted.
For the remaining 42 permits, which are necessary for the customs clearance, the Astana-1 system will be integrated with the E-licensing state database.
The Minister of Finance said that on the basis of the current information system Electronic Invoices, the Virtual Storage module is implemented as part of the World Bank project. Since 1 January 2019, it is planned to launch the module for all products.
"The work is also underway to introduce new methods of VAT administration with the use of blockchain technology in cooperation with PIT ACF, IBM and PWC. In August this year, it is planned to launch a prototype of a new information system", Bakhyt Sultanov said.
According to Minister Bakhyt Sultanov, in 2017 the number of tax and customs inspections has been reduced by 45%.
Regarding the national debt of the country, the head of the Ministry of Finance noted that it is planned to issue Eurobonds in tenge through the Euroclear system at the AIFC exchange. In order to diversify sources of borrowing, it is also planned to issue Islamic sukuk bonds.
Minister of Finance of Kazakhstan Bakhyt Sultanov promised to return to the policy of accumulating funds for future generations in 2019. Speaking at the government session today, the Minister reminded that the Head of State has instructed the Government to ensure the stability of the budget and the National Fund. According to him, the first pre-requisite for the stability of the country's budget in the implementation of the revenue plans, taking into account the adjustment of macro-forecasts and sustainable national debt.
"Financial support of the implementation of the Head of State's Address New Development Opportunities Amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be provided during the adjustment of the republican budget in the spring of this year. National Fund's return to the break-even point is forecasted a year earlier, that is, already in 2019, we will return to the policy of accumulating funds for future generations. This will be achieved through a phased reduction of the guaranteed transfer (up to 2 trillion tenge in 2020) and refusal to attract targeted transfers from 2018", Bakhyt Sultanov said.
Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan Timur Suleimenov stated that the state debt will be taken under special control.
"The state debt, which is the total of the debt of the Government, the National Bank and local budgets, is 26% of GDP at the moment, which is quite a safe level, and as per the forecast of socio-economic development it should reduce to 23.7%", Timur Suleimenov said in the Government meeting with participation of Kazakhstan President.
According to Timur Suleimenov, the Government has a covenant within the framework of the concept of application of the National Fund currency resources.
"At the moment the covenant is 97.5%, therefore the issue is under our control. We have developed an inter-agency commission which will be defining the maximum limit of the foreign debt of the quasi-public sector. During the year we are going to work with all entities of quasi-public sector in respect of foreign debt volumes", Timur Suleimenov said in the Government meeting addressing Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.
Also, within the framework of the ongoing structural reforms, there will be constant overall control over the implementation of the third direction "Industrialization and Economic Growth" of the National Plan "100 Concrete Steps".
The Ministry will continue the implementation of the Comprehensive Privatization Plan. To assess the work in this direction, this year, an analysis will be carried out with the calculation of the effect of privatization on the economy as a whole, on the state budget and on business.
"Since January 1 of the current year, the budgets of the 4th level have been introduced. For today, taxes already come to the budgets of villages, towns and rural districts with a population of more than 2,000 people", Timur Suleimenov summed up.
Kazakhstan is looking into the options of the fourth oil refinery construction, Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev said at the session of the Government. Minister Bozumbayev revealed an extended working group involving international experts had analyzed the situation on the construction of the fourth refinery.
"The working group came to a conclusion that in case the existing refineries step up fuel production they will meet the domestic demand in the mid-term. But Kazakhstan, according to the working group, will suffer fuel deficit between 2018 and 2023 and after 2026. As for the options for construction of the fourth oil refinery, a new working group has been created. It is expected to craft the Roadmap that will be submitted for approval of the inter-agency commission on Thursday", K. Bozumbayev announced.
It is to be recalled that President Nursultan Nazarbayev urged Minister Bozumbayev to decide on the construction of the fourth oil refinery as soon as possible.
The Ministry for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan is working on the option of cheapening mortgage loans, Minister Zhenis Kassymbek said at the Government meeting.
"This year we will study the mechanisms of further implementation of the program. In fulfillment of the instructions given by the President we have started work on enhancement of state standards in architecture, urban and civil construction. To make housing more affordable for Kazakhstan citizens we are working on the ways to make housing loans cheaper and the plan is ensuring 30 sq.m. per one citizen by 2030", the Minister said.
According to the Minister, commercial banks will provide 125 billion tenge of subsidized loans to developers and 105 billion tenge of mortgage.
"Once banks are revived, annual loans provided will reach 350 billion tenge and Zhilstroysberbank deposits of population will be 12%", he informed.
Such measures will allow to increase housing supply. As earlier reported, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that constriction of public housing should be financed by second level banks.
"Bank will finance construction. The Government, the National Bank and local governors will create conditions to make housing cheaper", the President said.
After the consideration of the plans of the Ministries for the execution of the instructions of the Head of State given at the extended meeting of the Government, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev instructed to submit the draft of the updated Action Plan to the Government.
Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev has charged the Ministries to update the work plan for 2018 in line with the priorities set by President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
"The issues which have been raised are under special control of the President. This ought to be qualitative, timely and complete work", Bakytzhan Sagintayev said addressing the members of the Government.
In this connection the Prime Minister told the Ministries to prepare updated work plans within by the deadline which is February 16th.
"Before Friday the draft plan for 2018 must be updated as per the priorities raised in today's discussion and presented. At the next session we will reapprove the plan", Prime Minister Sagintayev said.
Photo by Chingiz Kapparov