to the people by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Astana, 5 March 2018
FIVE SOCIAL INITIATIVES OF THE PRESIDENT
Dear people of Kazakhstan!
March is a special month in the calendar of our independent nation.
We celebrate the Day of Gratitude on the first day of spring.
In addition, this day also marks the creation of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan.
We also celebrate the sacred Nauryz holiday in the sunny month of March.
In March we congratulate our dear female citizens on International Women's Day.
All these events unite the people of Kazakhstan.
The same is true of the Ruhani Janghyru programme.
Thanks to the unity of the country and the constructive policy of the state we have overcome all challenges with dignity.
This is appreciated by all ethnic groups in Kazakhstan.
Today, there are monuments of gratitude to the Kazakh people in four regions of Kazakhstan: Almaty, Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan and South Kazakhstan.
All these monuments were voluntarily constructed by people from different ethnic groups of Kazakhstan, to express appreciation to the land and the people who supported them through difficult times.
This generates reciprocal appreciation of the Kazakh people for this deep respect of our national history.
This mutual respect and trust create unity among our people.
This is a pivotal moral undertaking, which confirms the largesse of all Kazakhstan citizens.
I am convinced that gratitude elevates all people.
Every Kazakhstan citizen has contributed to the growth of modern Kazakhstan.
I am especially grateful to ethnic and cultural associations.
Together we have all passed through very difficult times.
I am thankful to our people who have always supported me in the crucial moments of Independence.
The people unanimously endorsed and elected me in all past presidential elections.
This is the highest reward for me.
It has been given me strength to work.
I have worked, I work now and I will continue to work to ensure that our people look positively towards the future.
That is why today, in the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I address my people with new social initiatives.
I have been contemplating this step for a long time.
However, Kazakhstan needed to accumulate forces and means.
Now the time has come!
It is time to make specific efforts to strengthen the social unity of our society.
We have to do this through large-scale social projects.
The state is essentially moving forward towards these important measures.
The idea “Kazakhstan is our common home" should be filled with a new tangible meaning.
Given the importance of the new proposals, I have convened this joint session of the chambers of the Parliament and the Government to discuss with you my new social initiatives aimed at the further improvement of the well-being of every citizen of Kazakhstan.
I will say this straight away: everything that is being announced today is a well-thought-out programme.
This is both a rational and optimistic project for the benefit of the people.
I believe that a prosperous Kazakhstan means, first and foremost, self-confident people who feel the protection, support and care of the state, who reciprocate and who are patriotic.
Therefore, today we are opening the door to the new grand-scale social projects.
In recent years my state-of-the-nation addresses have been devoted to the Third Modernisation and new opportunities for development in the conditions of the Fourth industrial revolution.
At the same time, we did not forget about the social obligations of the state and took measures to implement them.
First. In 2018, teachers who switched to the updated teaching curriculum will have their salaries increased by 30 percent. This increase will affect 68 percent of teachers from the total number of teachers. And after passing qualification tests, their official fixed salaries will be increased by an additional 50 percent.
Second. The transition to a new wage system for state employees made it possible to raise salaries in education by 29 percent, in health care by 28 percent, and to increase salaries for social workers by 40 percent and scholarships by 25 percent.
Third. Due to the growth of the basic pension and its indexation from July 2018 the average pension will increase by 37 percent compared to 2017.
In 2017, the salaries of servicemen and officers of the internal affairs bodies increased by 25 percent. We did this, our economy allowed it.
Today we are ready to make a new, big step towards social modernisation.
I present the Five Presidential Social Initiatives.
First initiative: New opportunities to acquire housing for each family.
We have done a lot in recent years in order to increase the opportunities for our citizens to acquire housing.
In 2017, 11.2 million square metres of housing have been delivered.
This is a record figure.
However, this is not enough.
Even now, many families do not have their own homes.
This is a problem of exceptional social significance.
It is necessary to create all conditions for its resolution by increasing the affordability of housing mortgages for large numbers of the population.
We need mechanisms to ensure cheap resources when each worker can buy an apartment through a loan and repay this loan taking into account the possibilities of the family budget.
Therefore, I propose to launch the programme named “7 – 20 – 25".
Each working citizen will have an opportunity to get a mortgage loan in tenge under the following conditions.
The interest rate of the loan shall be no more than 7% per year, and not 14-16% as it is now.
If banks today require a down payment of up to 30%, and sometimes up to 50%, then under this programme the down payment must not exceed 20%.
The repayment period shall not be 10-15 years, but shall be up to 25 years, to reduce the amount of monthly payments for people.
To do this, it is necessary to use the capabilities of the National Bank, second-tier banks and the stock market.
The National Bank needs to create a special company that will raise at least 1 trillion tenge (US$3.12 billion) and allocate it for repayment of new mortgage loans provided by banks on the above terms.
The implementation of the programme will give a powerful impetus to housing construction.
As a result, houses for millions of citizens will become more affordable.
It will also facilitate the growth of the economy, small and medium-sized businesses, and create new jobs.
The dreams of many citizens will come true!
Second initiative: Reducing the tax burden to increase the salaries of low-paid workers.
In order to support working people of Kazakhstan with a relatively low salary, I propose to reduce their tax burden ten-fold to 1% from January 1, 2019.
Reduction of the tax burden through individual income tax should be made for those who receive a salary not exceeding 25 times the monthly calculated index.
At the same time, it is necessary to use the funds released from this reduction to increase the payment for their work.
As a result, at least one third of the country's employees, or more than 2 million people, will have higher salaries without increasing the burden on employers.
In the future, the Government should consider introducing a system of progressive taxation.
Third initiative: Increasing the affordability and quality of higher education and improving the living conditions of students.
Today, more than 530,000 young people study in the country's universities, of which almost 30% have scholarships allocated by the state.
In order to increase affordability and quality of higher education, I propose the following measures.
In the academic year 2018-19, 20,000 scholarships are to be allocated in addition to 54,000 annual ones.
11,000 of them are to be allocated for bachelors in technical areas.
This will enable preparing many thousands of specialists who will be in demand in the new economy under the Fourth industrial revolution.
We are talking, first of all, about engineers, specialists in the field of information technology, robotics, and nanotechnology.
This is also the state's support of our youth.
It is necessary to raise the value of new scholarships in all universities in technical and agricultural majors to the level of scholarships in national universities.
These measures will contribute to increasing the opportunities for graduates of higher education, which is a worldwide trend.
It is investment in human resources.
When creating an education system according to global standards, it is necessary to pay due attention to the studying and living conditions of students.
Today, the issue of providing students of universities and colleges with dormitories is acute.
To solve this problem, it is necessary to deploy construction of dormitories by universities, colleges, development companies on the principles of public-private partnership.
The state, in turn, through the Ministry of Education and Science will guarantee gradual reimbursement of part of the investments for the construction of dormitories.
I am instructing the construction of new student dormitories for at least 75,000 people by the end of 2022.
This will completely solve this issue in view of the growth in demand in the coming years.
Fourth initiative: Expanding microcredit.
As part of the ongoing activities on the development of mass entrepreneurship among the self-employed and unemployed, the most effective mechanism is the provision of preferential microcredit.
In 2017 7,200 microcredits were issued worth 32 billion tenge (US$99.94 million).
At the same time, another 5,000 people trained under the Bastau Business project could not get microcredits to start their own business.
I instruct the allocation of an additional 20 billion tenge (US$62.46 million) in 2018, bringing the total amount of microcredit to 62 billion tenge (US$193.63 million).
As a result, the number of people receiving credits and starting their own business will double up to 14,000 people compared to the last year.
This work should be actively continued in the following years.
The significance of this initiative is that it will allow thousands of people to open their own business.
I would like to emphasise that this is especially important for rural areas, for the development of entrepreneurship in the countryside.
Fifth initiative: Further gasification of the country.
Over the years of independence, gas production in the country has increased from 8 to 52 billion cubic meters per year and will grow further.
To date, the level of gasification of the population in the country is almost 50%.
Nine regions are gasified.
At the same time, the central and northern regions of the country are still without gas.
We need to construct a gas pipeline along the route from Karaozek (Kyzylorda region) – Zhezkazgan – Karaganda – Temirtau – Astana. To do so, we need to raise relevant funds, including from international financial institutions.
This will not only provide gas to 2.7 million people, but also create new industrial opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.
The environmental situation will also improve.
In Astana alone, switching to gas will decrease harmful emissions into the atmosphere six-fold or by 35,000 tonnes per year.
This project will also make it possible to provide gas to other regions.
These are the Five Presidential Initiatives.
Their implementation will create new jobs and contribute to the further growth of the country's economy.
I instruct the Government and the National Bank to consider their implementation mechanisms in detail.
I ask members of the Parliament to make necessary amendments to the legislation in due time.
Given the absolute importance of these initiatives, it is necessary to have a broad discussion of approaches for their effective implementation.
It is also important to raise awareness among the population and businesses.
The Nur Otan party will get the implementation of these important measures for the people under control.
The new national measures will be felt by all Kazakh people, by all citizens of our country.
The society will have a new opportunity to plan its future, by inextricably tying its fate with Kazakhstan.
I think it necessary to give legislative effect to this programme.
The programme will fill the constitutional provision about the “social state" with a new specific content.
In today's global context, national unity is a social unity, and a successful state is a social state.
We look forwards, not backwards.
And I am confident that together we will certainly develop a realistic, pragmatic Kazakh model of a social state and national well-being.
Dear people of Kazakhstan!
Today's initiatives will only succeed if our country has a solid, stable society. The unity of the country is, first of all, the unity of the Kazakh people.
In order to become a respected country in the process of globalisation, unity and solidarity are needed first of all for ourselves, for Kazakhs.There is one truth that has been proven by history – our nation grows stronger in unity and weakens without it.
By uniting his people, Kassym Khan had laid the foundation of what further became the territory of modern Kazakhstan.
This is why we say “the equality of the country is in the equality of the nation"!
The Great Tauke – the Lycurgus of the Kazakh Horde –united the country and led to a period of peace, a time free from trouble.
“It is not riches that is wealth but unity" – this is the principle passed to us from those times.
At the dawn of our nation, only when all Kazakhs united under the white flag of Abylai Khan was it possible to chase away the enemy from our country.
Our ancestors used to say, “A united hundred will overcome a scattered thousand".
These three Kazakh khans are the three giants in the history of our country glorified by the unity of the people.
At the same time, there were many times when our country was devastated by the sword.
This is a bitter lesson of history.
“Build your future learning from the lessons from the past" goes the proverb, for the lessons of the past are the priceless wealth of today.
By keeping this in mind, learning lessons from the past, our people enjoy great prosperity in the Independence era thanks to friendship and unity, peace and stability.
We need a solid indivisible unity if we are to multiply our prosperity and strengthen our independence.
If we cherish our prosperity and unity, there will be no danger to our joyful way of life.
The country and the land belong to the people of Kazakhstan, therefore the people themselves are responsible for everything good and bad that happens to the country.
Thus, realising this great responsibility and uniting as one, we need to be an example of unity to the rest of the world.
Only this way our sacred Kazakhstan will prosper and develop.
The nation will enjoy peace and well-being. Let us bear this in mind and keep working to tackle the new tasks that lie ahead of us!
Created at : 7.03.2018, 12:55,
Updated at : 7.03.2018, 12:55