Nazarbayev promised social benefits to people and scolded officials
President of Kazakhstan delivered presidential address for the second time over the past year. If previous addresses had technocratic nature, current one had social nature and was addressed primarily to citizens. Experts noticed that leader of the Kazakh nation clearly saw demands society has and its mood.
Current address was the 23rd since Kazakhstan gained independence. Last year, Nazarbayev spoke about further development of the country, but this year he also gave instructions to officials. Director of the Risk Assessment Group, Dosym Satpayev, believes that president’s speech can hardly be called traditional message, since it “resembles working meeting with the government with participation of the head of state, where someone gets traditionally scolded. Some of what has been said has already been voiced more than once over the past years by both president, prime minister and individual ministers, whether it's the need to support business, need to increase funding of the social bloc, or increase the efficiency of state bodies."
In particular, president proposed to reorganize the Economic Investigation Service, transferring its functions to the Financial Monitoring Committee, since its main task should be fight against shadow economy.
Head of state also highlighted salaries increase: “I instruct the government to raise minimum wage by 1.5 times starting from January 1, 2019 - from 28 to 42 thousand tenge. It will affect 1 million 300 thousand people who work in all sectors. Increase will affect 275 thousand workers of budgetary organizations whose salaries will grow by almost 35%... Now the minimum wage won't be tied to living wage."
“I don't know if raising minimum wage is good things, since not so long ago chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan said that inflation may significantly increase in 2019-2020 in connection with sanctions against Russia, weakening of the national currency, lower oil prices, and growth of social spendings and loans. Out of the four points he highlighted, two (anti-Russian sanctions and oil prices) can't be influenced and dealt with by Kazakhstan in any way," Dosym Satpayev said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
Head of the World of Eurasia public foundation, Eduard Poletayev noted that Nazarbayev spoke about a lot of different benifits, including increase of funding in a number of industries, support of domestic producers, educational reforms, response to housing issues, as well as about urgent reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, tax amnesty, minimum wage, and so on. But at the same time, too much money may be spent on all of this, he notes.
“It’s great that he mentioned several problems, you can't ignore them. In other words, ideologists in the ruling elite are directing the country to the path of dialogue. Especially since modernization of the economy consists not only of development of market relations and competition, but also of modernization of humanitarian, social content. Presidential adress was full of this content."