Kazakh finance minister pledges to cut red tape for business

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Finance is planning to reduce inspections and ease the bureaucratic pressure related to doing business in the country.

Photo credit: altaynews.kz

Photo credit: altaynews.kz

The information came from Finance Minister Bakhyt Sultanov. At a government meeting in February, he spoke about the measures aimed at reducing red tape for business owners.

“The following measures will be taken to reduce pressure on business. Small businesses using cash machines with online status notifications will not be subject to checks. That means 13,000 less inspections. Return of VAT for exporters, who use electronic invoicing, will be done twice quicker, in just 30 working days. To improve the administration of VAT, we are discussing with business circles the possibility of introducing special VAT accounts. On the one hand, this will reduce to zero VAT refund fraud; on the other hand, it will ensure an automated return, especially for small and medium-sized businesses,” Sultanov said.

To encourage good business practices and strengthen priority sectors, the principle of a “green corridor” has been introduced by the customs service for major taxpayers, large producers, investors, authorised economic operators and other players who have complied with the legislation.

In order to shift from tax inspections to in-house control, the ministry is planning to introduce a horizontal monitoring system, abolishing the old practice of pre-planned unsolicited inspections.

The minister also reported that the year-end savings of the national budget was 110 billion tenge (US$345.7 million). Another 36 billion tenge (US$113 million) allocated for the government’s target activities has not been used. Sultanov named changing of contract terms and conditions and backlogs as the main reasons why some of the target funds remain unused.

In 2016, 147 assets at 31 billion tenge (US$97 million) were privatised, Sultanov informed. Overall, as part of a four-year privatisation programme, the government has sold 394 assets worth 106 billion tenge (US$332 million).

“The work on reduction of state ownership will be completed in 2018. Pre-sale of strategic assets initially planned for 2019-2020 will also be carried out in 2018. The list of remaining enterprises to be privatised includes 105 companies,” Sultanov said.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed the government to redistribute the unused funds. He then highlighted the need for a comprehensive systematic approach to taking privatisation decisions.



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