National news in brief

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed the government to increase pensions 7 percent and social allowances for persons with disabilities and loss of a breadwinner 5 percent from Jan. 1, reported Akorda Press. The average size of social benefits will increase by up to 30 percent from 2020. This year, 2.6 trillion tenge (US$6 billion) was allocated for the social sphere, which is 21.3 percent more than in the last year. The head of state instructed to develop a new national plan to ensure the rights and improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. “It is necessary to adopt a law providing the increase of the size of the minimum salary by up to 1.5 times. The ministries and regional akimats (administrations) need to take measures to control the provision of minimum salary increases and conduct explanatory work. A real salary increase should cover 1.3 million citizens,” said Nazarbayev.

A one mega-watt solar power station and the five mega-watt wind power station were launched Nov. 30 in the Almaty region, reported the press service of Samruk Energy company. Chinese company Powerchina Zhongnan Engineering built the facilities and donated them to the ownership of Kazakhstan. The solar station consists of 3,608 photovoltaic modules installed on metal structures of two types – fixed and adjustable tilt angles. The wind station includes two wind power plants with a capacity of 2.5 mega-watts each. “According to the results of 72-hour comprehensive tests and testing, the stations are fully operational. The green bridge established between the countries is aimed at further sharing experience in the field of renewable energy sources,” reads the release.

The construction of a new junction from Nazarbayev Avenue to Zhansugurov Street with a ramp through railway tracks was completed in late November in Almaty, according to the city administration. This will reduce traffic on Seifullin Avenue along north-south directions. The technically complex project worth 7.4 billion tenge (US$19 million) was implemented within the last two years. Approximately 30 traffic interchanges were built in the city in the last 10 years.  “The throughput capacity of junction is 48,000 cars per day. The sidewalks are provided and lighting poles with energy-saving lamps are installed. Work continues on the arrangement of staircases and the improvement of the adjacent area,” said representative of the city administration.

The Almaty specialised inter-district economic court ruled to liquidate the Bank of Astana, the press service of the city court reported. “The claims of the National Bank of Kazakhstan on the compulsory cessation of activities, liquidation of Bank of Astana were completely satisfied,” said the report. The decision has not entered into force. The bank was deprived of a license to conduct banking and other operations from Sept. 19 by the resolution of the Board of the National Bank. Earlier, the court made a decision on the liquidation of Qazaq Banki.

Kazinform reports that 71 applicants recently received a Bolashak scholarship. They will pursue Master’s and PhD courses and take part in internships in the leading scientific and industrial centres. “Overall, 555 scholarships will be provided in 2019 and the list of 155 priority specialties was approved,” according to the release.

A $100 million high-quality cement plant was recently launched in Rudnyi in the Kostanai region. The plant will export about 200,000-300,000 tonnes of products or 50 percent of design capacity to Ufa in Russia. The plant plans to produce 17,200 tonnes of cement by the end of the year. The plant has already created 190 jobs. With a maximum plant load, the number of workers will be 304 people. “The interest rate to the bank was subsidised to 1.3 billion tenge (US$3 million) as part of the Business Road Map 2020. Some 750 million tenge (US$2 million) for utilities, 730 million tenge (US$1 million) are guarantees, and almost 600 million tenge (US$1 million) for railway lines were allocated. The most important thing is that cement should be of good quality,” said Kostanai Region Akim (Governor) Arkhimed Mukhambetov.

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