ASTANA – Approximately 86,000 Kazakh citizens have introduced nearly 1.2 trillion tenge (US$3.7 billion) worth of previously off-the-books property into the official Kazakh economy as a result of a programme allowing citizens to register such property without penalty, Finance Minister Bakhyt Sultanov told a regular session of the Kazakh government on May 3.
Of that 1.2 trillion tenge, 794 billion tenge (US$2.4 billion) has been legalised under the programme over the last five months. Citizens have also opened 910 bank accounts under the programme and 83 percent of all money legalised under the programme was registered over the first four months of this year, Chair of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Daniyar Akishev told the government meeting, adding that 30 banks and Kazpost took part in the programme.
Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov also briefed the gathering on the prevention of forest and steppe fires. He said 4,000 forest and steppe fires occur annually in Kazakhstan, impacting an average 180 hectares and causing 230 million tenge (US$705,341) in damage
“Sixteen fires over a total area of 285 hectares with the amount of loss of 1.7 million tenge (US$5,213) appeared since the beginning of the year. Four-hundred-ten fires in an area of 2,180 hectares were registered in the steppe area. There were no victims or damage [to facilities],” he informed.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has developed a plan to prevent forest and steppe fires in the fire season. Currently, 4,779 units of vehicles, 11 helicopters with water drainers, 47 fire trains and more than 34,000 people are ready around the country to fight forest and steppe fires.
He also noted problems with the country’s fire-fighting capabilities, including the failure of some regions to budget for fire suppression efforts, construct reservoirs and build fire barriers and fire-fighting service roads. Kassymov also said agencies and local government bodies do not have sufficient fire-fighting technology and that fire stations and fire-fighting units are not operating efficiently. He also noted that 90 percent of fires are the fault of the public and urged greater education of fire prevention and safety rules.
Prime Minister Karim Massimov chaired the meeting.