Parliament Addresses Financial Sector, Citizens’ Issues

ASTANA – A joint meeting of the two chambers of Parliament took place June 30 under the chairmanship of Mazhilis speaker Nurlan Nigmatulin.

Summing up the outcomes of the sixth convocation of deputies, Nigmatulin noted the main priorities for their legislative work were defined by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his state-of-the-nation address “Kazakhstan in the New Global Reality: Growth, Reform, Development” delivered Nov. 30, 2015

The first meeting included three joint sessions of the chambers, 12 full sessions of the Mazhilis and six of the Senate. Forty-two draft bills were reviewed, 18 of which remained from the last convocation. Seven of the bills were initiated by the deputies.

By the end of the session, the Mazhilis approved 13 bills and forwarded them to the Senate. Parliament approved 12 bills and four have been already signed by the President and entered into force.

Nigmatulin mentioned the Law On payments and payment systems, as well as ratification of several international treaties that support the priorities of Kazakh foreign policy and are aimed at strengthening cooperation with foreign countries and international organisations in the financial sector, as well as regulating certain aspects in the framework of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and Eurasian space. Certain realisation issues concerning the Nurly Zhol state programme, along with developing the health care system, agrarian sector, local police and instituting private judicial enforcement, appeared to be the focus of the parliamentarians’ attention.

During the first session, the deputies devoted considerable time to addressing specific issues raised by the country’s population. Both chambers reviewed 115 deputy requests addressed to the government and other central government bodies. The appeals concerned a wide range of topics: the industrial-innovative development of the economy and finance; banking system; implementing state educational programmes; health and social protection and regional development and defence, law enforcement and information security, said Nigmatulin.

He also centred on the deputies’ work to strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation, develop parliamentary diplomacy and promote the nation’s international initiatives.

“The fact that Kazakhstan was elected a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council proves the increasing authority and the role of our country in international relations. This event is a truly historic occasion. During the past 25 years, the country has evolved from the new member of this influential international organisation to the country that can participate in the work of its highest governing body. This decision was a sign of recognition of President Nazarbayev and his contribution to nuclear disarmament, dialogue between civilisations and cultures and support of trust between the countries and peoples of the world,” said Nigmatulin.

During the meeting, he added the head of state ordered the government to develop a package of legislative initiatives in the next two months in the fields of combating terrorism and extremism, trafficking, sale and storage of weapons, control of ​​migration and religious associations.

“We look forward to introducing these bills to the Parliament by the beginning of the next session. The members of both houses of Parliament are ready for coordinated work with the government in order to ensure the legal framework for the maintenance of national security, defence of peace and secure existence of our citizens,” said Nigmatulin.

The coming session will focus on effective legal support for the 100 Concrete Steps programme. Specific Mazhilis deputies will be appointed for all the adopted bills concerning implementation of the five institutional reforms. They will monitor the enactment process and, if necessary, proactively propose measures for further improvement. The general monitoring will be executed by the chairmen of the relevant Mazhilis committees.

The active participation of Mazhilis and Senate deputies to raise awareness among the population concerning the need for laws aimed at the country’s sustainable development will be the most important part of the work, said Nigmatulin. He added they will provide a rigid, systematic and effective monitoring of compliance with the law to implement the President’s orders.

Speaking about cooperation with the government, the chairman said representatives of the executive branch are expected to take responsibility to beneficially cooperate with deputies and ensure the introduction of high-quality legislation.

In order to improve Parliament’s informational transparency, direct online broadcasting of Senate and Mazhilis sessions will resume in fall when the chambers return to work. They will be available on the Parliament website.

“The deputies of both chambers are ready for the dialogue, interested in contact with representatives of civil society and the media and are ready to discuss any topic, any issues of concern of our citizens today,” added Nigmatulin.

Changes aimed at strengthening the role of deputies and deputy groups in the legislative process will be also introduced to the Parliament’s order.

Talking about the current economic environment in the world, Nigmatulin emphasised the fact that the feature of Kazakhstan’s way means that even in the most difficult situations there is always a promise for new opportunities. By following a concrete plan of action, the nation can be led to success.

“During the previous 25 years, Kazakhstan was moving towards a better future in accordance with the strategic plan of the Kazakh President and the current period is no exception. Today, we have a comprehensive anti-crisis programme and a set of structural reforms which provide an adequate response to the challenges of the new global reality and will ensure sustainable growth of the national economy in the difficult geopolitical situation. As a result, we will not only overcome new challenges, but also become strong and more competitive after the crisis is over,” said Nigmatulin.

The parliamentary recess will last from July 1-Aug. 31.

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