Changes in Kazakhstan life for 2018

ASTANA – Pensions have increased, prices for foreign passport registration and railway tickets have risen and police will be warning before fining. The coming year will bring many innovations, both pleasant and not, and Kazpravda.kz correspondents have prepared a special survey on the ways Kazakh life will change in 2018.

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New base rates for minimum wage, monthly calculation index and subsistence level

According to the national law, “From Jan. 1 the minimum wage (MW) is 28,284 tenge (US$88.20) compared to 24,459 tenge (US$76.30) in 2017. The indicator is used to calculate unemployment benefits, temporary incapacity for work and pregnancy.

The monthly calculation index (MCI) has grown 6 percent to 2,405 tenge (US$7.50). In 2017, it was 2,269 tenge (US$7).

The subsistence level is now 28,284 tenge (US$88.20) compared to 24,459 tenge (US$76.30) in 2017.

Pensions significantly increased

Starting Jan.1, pensions have been raised by 8 percent. In accordance with the same law “On the National Budget for 2018-2020,” the basic pension payment is 15,274 tenge (US$47.60) and the minimum pension is 33,745 tenge (US$105.20). Thus, the minimum pension, taking into account the basic pension, will be 49,019 tenge (US$152.90). These changes affect more than two million pensioners.

In addition, beginning July 1 pensions will be appointed according to a new method –depending on the length of participation in the pension system. For example, if the length of service is 10 years or less, or no experience, the pension will be 54 percent of the subsistence minimum. With 33 or more years of experience, it will be 100 percent of the subsistence minimum.

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Procedure simplified to liquidate legal entities, for notaries and lawyers

One of the main changes this year involves Kazakh tax legislation, which now provides a simplified procedure to liquidate legal entities and individual entrepreneurs that cease activity if a conclusion is drawn up by the audit organisation.

“Taxpayers having a turnover of less than 150,000 MCI for the past five years who did not carry out certain types of activities (selling gasoline, petroleum products, alcohol products, etc.), in order to liquidate, have the right to file a petition for termination, liquidation tax reporting, removal from the register of the cash register machine and the conclusion of an audit,” reported the State Revenue Department in Almaty.

It added the tax audit report should be drawn up no more than two days before submitting the application to terminate activities. Beginning Jan. 1, however, notaries, lawyers, private judicial executors and professional mediators can be liquidated without a tax audit.

In the event of the decision to terminate an activity, a person engaged in private practice must submit a tax application for the termination of activities to the local tax authority, a notification to terminate “certain types of activities” (sale of gasoline, fuel and lubricants, alcohol products), liquidation tax reporting and tax statement to de-register  the cash register.
Within three working days from the date of receipt, the tax authorities of the tax application must send inquiries to the authorised state bodies and second-tier banks and within 10 working days carry out desk control and draw up a conclusion.

New format of targeted social assistance

In November, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Tamara Duisenova reported a new order of targeted social assistance would be introduced starting Jan. 1. Three types of benefits provided to families with many children and low-income families will be provided as a single allowance (special state allowance, child allowance and targeted social assistance).
The “one window principle” will also be introduced, allowing citizens to apply to one body with one package of documents. In addition to providing targeted social assistance to every able-bodied citizen, the state will provide support in training and obtaining a profession with subsequent employment or opening one’s own business with the provision of microcredit for these purposes.

Chemical castration of paedophiles

Beginning Jan. 1, paedophiles will be subjected to compulsory treatment in the form of chemical castration. The rule can be applied to people over 18 years of age.

The drug androgen will be injected, which for a certain period of time will reduce libido and thus prevent the commission of crimes against minors, said Ministry of Internal Affairs Administrative Police juvenile police department head Asset Ospanov. He noted paedophiles have a 70-percent relapse rate.

The procedure will be applied in prisons or in health care organisations to those sentenced to other types of punishment.

Electronic Health Passport

All medical records from birth will be stored in an electronic health passport. Access to the information will be provided by medical personnel who directly provide medical care to a particular patient.

This will allow all clinics to integrate their corporate systems and patients will have the opportunity to more conveniently conduct diagnostics of their own health status. The Ministry of Healthcare claims this service will lead to a reduction in the number of medical errors, as well as improve the quality and effectiveness of medical care.

Train ticket prices increased

Train ticket prices will increase due to growing carrier costs, with the main goal of preserving routes.

“The increase is expected to be 7 percent for 38 routes and 3 percent for three routes, while 16 routes are not planned to change. These figures were formed in connection with applications for competition among several carriers; the carrier will bear the risks for incomplete revenues on these routes,” reported the press service of the Ministry for Investment and Development.

Tickets for suburban trains will hike 37 percent due to the increase in base rates to transport passengers in commuter trains, noted the ministry.

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Price increases to issue passports

Due to amendments in the tax code, the state fee for a passport will be 8 MCI (19,240 tenge (US$60)). In 2017, the document cost 4 MCI (9,076 tenge (US$28.30)).

Gas and cigarettes prices grow

From Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, the maximum price for gas is set at 38,701.67 tenge (US$120.70) per tonne, excluding value-added tax, according to an order issued by the Ministry of Energy.

Unpleasant news for smokers – the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes will hike to 340 tenge (US$1). In six months, the bad habit is expected to cost an additional 20 tenge (US$0.06).