Anti-crisis measures in Kazakhstan to concern officials

Kazakhstan Materials 10 April 2009 18:40 (UTC +04:00)
Anti-crisis measures in Kazakhstan to concern officials

Zarina Kozibayeva, Deutsche Welle

The Kazakh Government is implementing anti crisis program since early April. The program is mainly concerned state officials. 

The Government hoped to save over 500 million euro and declared new anti crisis measures on April 1. The program envisages a sharp reduction of the so called non-specialized expenditure, which are extending daily... We have to implement tough and exact policy, PM Karim Masimov.

Anti crisis measures will touch national companies

The Government is planning to dramatically reduce filling of authorized capitals in national holdings and companies, which were designed to improve the corporative governance system in the state economy sector. The number of employees in those organizations will be reduced almost twice. Others have to agree with reduced salaries, cancellation of bonuses and premiums, and the prohibition that was impose on charter flights and business-classes.

Two days after the press service of the Kazakhstan temir zholi national company, which enters the Samruk-Kazina holding, made a decision to reduce the number of employees in the central department and its daughter companies by 15%. Emoluments of office of all employees were cut of 30%, excluding engineering staff. The measures taken by Samruk-Kazina were insufficient.

Is the President satisfied?

President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered to "carry out similar measures in all state companies, joint stock companies and banks. 

However, the President said that "banks, their employees and administrations are living like before. But crisis is outside! It should be different. Banks survive, but are functioning on the same way. They fly by crafts and swim in the same yacht," the President said. 

Fight for professionalism

The President demonstrated a hot interest in the question of the professional fitness of state servants.

Nazarbayev said that "some officials are concerned that people are appointed to the key posts not in accordance with the principle of professional fitness and adequate experience. As a result, these posts are held by non-professionals". President Nazarbayev warned that he will strictly make responsible those, who participate in this.

It is understandable that after this, the Prime Minister Masimov must announce the decisions of the anti-crisis staff of government remained on the list. According to the decisions, a moratorium for conducting competitions for vacant administrative state offices will be introduced by the end of 2009. Furthermore, there are plans to reduce the employees of central and local state agencies due to the existing vacancies, which today total 9,000.

Reducing state servants does not strengthen

One of commentators, Marat, explains that working state servants will not be reduced. "There will be reduced vacancies, i.e., free positions. When I worked as state servant, we were paid reward from these vacancies during state holidays, he noted.

In his turn, other commentator also said that indeed the principle - without sanction of government not to employ new state servants - has been practiced in Kazakhstan for long.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to note that the new anti-crisis decisions of the government contradict the orders of the Head of State, called to improve the system of the state administration within the administrative reforms. Thus, since the beginning of realization of administrative reforms, many state agencies, which reduced the number of employees by 10-15 percent, made a rate to the competent, professionally trained specialists. Finally, in form of increase, was paid out wages for those, who fell under reduction.

However, the shrewdest Kazakhstan people even in the gloomiest forecasts teach to see beam of light, noting that "we will always achieve the effect, against the desired", and this means it is possible that future reductions of vacancies will more be wrapped up "by the multiplication of the class of state servants".

Staff changes at Interior Ministry of Kazakhstan

President Nazarbayev provided ione month for the fulfillment of planned works. By all appearances, if the situation does not change, the Cabinet of Ministers will not be able to avoid next cadre changes. For the present, the Head of State was limited only to castling in the power bloc.

Leaving post of interior minister, Baurjan Muhammadjanov worked hard to gain experience of lawmaker in the parliament's senate. His new skills will help him as many events connected with the ministry took place during his term as a police chief of the country according to the local media. Unsolved murder of opposition leader Altinbek Sarsenbayev and Zamanbek Nurkadilov is one of these tragic events. Burjan Muhammadjanov said Nurkadilov had committed a suicide.

Fewer facts are known about his successor Serik Baymaganbetov. He has graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University and took different posts in the Presidential Administration, Security Council and Vice Interior Minister. He was MP for the last time.

New justice minister will have to restore ministry's reputation

Assuming his post in the parliament, former justice minister Zagip Baliyev, obviously fell into 'reference' by time. Besides noisy case around his protégé - responsible secretary, who was detained in the Moscow airport with a large sum of undeclared dollars and his relative wanted by Interpol, there are many scandalous events in Zagip Baliyev's account.

It is also possible that new justice minister Rashid Tusupbekov, who earlier was prosecutor chief, will have to work hard to restore reputation of the 'ministry of justice'. Despite talks on failure of a secret mission in Vienna, connected allegedly with crown-bearing Kazakh hermit, ex prosecutor and other crisis managers have responsibility on shoulders which requires substandard thinking to resolve problems.

Schoolchildren and civil servants will be tested for narcotics

Former Interior Minister Baurjan Muhammadjanov is the only person to have such valuable experience who oriented to new situation quickly and suggested Masimov to test schoolchildren and civil servants for narcotics. He said economic difficulties and unemployment only deepens and hr narcotics situation in the country is already complicated.

Karim Masimov did not comment on why civil servants need narcotics test. He said he will deal with this issue and launch special group. "I will ask permission from the Head of State. We will reveal everything," Prime Minister said. No agency under the Prime Minister's administration objected.  

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