Kazakistan has recently got a new President and he in his third address to the nation already said that Kazakhstan needs to work on its defence capabilities and response to the external threats.
“We must prepare for external shocks and worst-case scenarios. Modelling external risks has become highly relevant. Stress tests should be conducted, and scenarios should be worked out that will determine further actions of the state apparatus,” he said, reported eureporter.
The escalating situation in Afghanistan and the country’s takeover by the Taliban has been in global headlines over the past month. Though Kazakhstan and Afghanistan do not have a border, the situation still affects the region.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also raised other topics like developing nuclear energy, boosting the country’s military capacity, extending support for businesses, and five new social initiatives during his one-and-a-half-hour-long state-of-the-nation address delivered on 1 September, wrote Assel Satubaldina in Nation.
The social sector has been a priority for Kazakhstan. Nearly half of the country’s budget for 2022-2025 will be allocated to the social sector.
The minimum wage was increased from the current 42,500 tenges (USD100) to 60,000 tenges (USD140) starting 1 January next year which is expected to affect more than one million people, reported eureporter.
He also cautioned the government to rely less on the minimum wage levels when making calculations in tax and social spheres.
Tokayev also spoke about the need to increase the wage fund. The government will develop measures to motivate businesses to increase the salaries of their employees, reported eureporter.
Decreasing the burden on the payroll is another initiative.
“Micro and small businesses are particularly affected by this. I propose to introduce a single payment from the payroll with a reduction of the total burden from 34 per cent to 25 per cent. This will stimulate businesses to bring thousands of employees out of the shadows and make them participants in the pension, social security, and health insurance systems,” said Tokayev.
Kazakhstan will also allow the transfer of part of people’s pension savings above the sufficiency threshold to the Otbasy bank for the subsequent purchase of housing, reported eureporter.
Kazakhstan may face an energy shortage by 2050, according to Tokayev, and the country needs to start thinking of alternative reliable energy sources. Peaceful nuclear energy might be one of them.
“Within a year, the government and the Samruk Kazyna National Wealth Fund should study the possibility of developing a safe and environmentally-friendly nuclear power industry in Kazakhstan. It should also include the development of engineering and creating a new generation of qualified nuclear engineers in our country.
Hydrogen energy as a whole is also a promising sector,” said Tokayev.
Kazakhstan has been making significant progress as it tries to transition to green energy and economy. It has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and bringing the share of renewable energy in the total energy balance to 15 per cent by 2050, among other national targets, reported eureporter.
As Kazakhstan celebrates the 30th anniversary of its independence this year, Tokayev described independence as the highest value of the nation.
All initiatives voiced in the address were aimed at supporting the country in the post-pandemic period, improving the efficiency of health care systems, ensuring quality education, improving regional policy, and creating an effective ecosystem in the labour market, reported eureporter.