Domestic News in Brief

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has received Agriculture Minister Assylzhan Mamytbekov who reported on the agricultural sector results for 2012 and main approaches to its further development until 2020. “The state provides comprehensive support to agriculture. Every year, the funding is growing. The main goal of the country’s agro-industrial complex is to provide up to 80 percent of the domestic market with domestic food products. We have a lot to do under the programme of agro-industrial sector development,” the President said. Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed the importance of the effective use of 7.8 million acres of agricultural land returned as a result of the inventory, as well as the development of processing industries and the increase in domestic meat production in order to increase exports.

On January 29, a Challenger-200 passenger jet crashed just a few kilometres outside of Kazakhstan’s largest city. The plane, belonging to SCAT Airlines, was performing a regular flight on route DV 760 Kokshetau–Almaty when it went down. According to airline officials, 21 people were on board. The pilots were trying to land but while making their second circle around the area the plane hit the ground and went to pieces. President Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed his condolences for the victims and their families.“On behalf of the people of Kazakhstan and myself, I express deep condolences to the bereaved families. I have given instructions to relevant government authorities to investigate the causes of the crash, as well as to assist the families of the victims,” the statement said. Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov signed a resolution “On the establishment of a government commission to investigate the cause of the CRJ 200 LR crash near Almaty airport.” The commission is headed by the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development Bakhytzhan Sagintayev. The prosecutor general’s office has opened a criminal investigation into the airline.

Kazakhstan will launch a special state-run company to manage the EXPO 2017. According to the country’s Minister for Economy and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev, the major goal of the new company among other things would be the regulation of the actual design and construction processes. According to a Foreign Ministry official Gaukhar Beisseyeva, Kazakhstan plans to earmark $1.5 billion to construct facilities accommodating the EXPO 2017.

Science financing has increased 2.5 times over the past two years in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Kazakhstan government’s press-service. The figures were given by Minister of Education and Science Bakytzhan Zhumagulov at the meeting of the Supreme Scientific and Technical Commission attended by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov. “The total financing of science grew almost 2.5 times over the last two years: from 20 billion tenge ($133 million) in 2010 to 48 billion tenge ($320 million) in 2012. We have never had such a growth,” Zhumagulov said.

KZT 200 million a year are needed to provide Internet access in all libraries of Kazakhstan, executive secretary of the country’s Culture and Information Ministry Zhanna Kurmangaliyeva said January 31. According to Kurmangaliyeva, only 27 percent of libraries offer access to the Internet. Addressing Dariga Nazarbayeva, Chair of the Mazhilis Social and Cultural Development Committee, she suggested setting the task to the local executive bodies to allocate funds to provide public access to the Internet in local libraries. At present, 4,136 public libraries work in Kazakhstan.

Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov chaired the meeting of the National Trilateral Commission for the Regulation of Social and Labour Relations. “The main reason for almost all conflicts is the absence of a dialogue of employers with representatives of employees on the issues of forming of a salary. There has not been planned systematic work on the cooperation with trade unions in issues of prospects of socio-economic development of enterprises and improvement of labour conditions,” Minister of Labour and Social Protection Serik Abdenov said.