NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev chaired the Oct. 22 first meeting of the Сouncil on Reforms, the Akorda press service reported.
The Сouncil was created in September and is meant to serve as a supreme body for finalizing and adopting the nation’s reform plans. The goal of the new body, announced by Tokayev in his Sept. 1 state-of-the-nation address, is to “ensure the strategic planning of the country’s sustainable development and the deepening of economic, social and political reforms.”
Chaired by Tokayev, the council is co-chaired by Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Chakrabarti and the Сouncil members, including the Kazakh Prime Minister and Council’s Deputy Chair Askar Mamin, Chair of the newly created Agency on Strategic Planning and Reforms Kairat Kelimbetov, as well as reputable foreign experts such as Andrés Velasco, Lord Francis Maude and Lord Philip Hammond all spoke at the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Tokayev noted that Kazakh citizens expect innovative approaches and new solutions and the Сouncil plays a key role in making decisions designed to boost the competitiveness of the national economy and the welfare of the people.
The Сouncil’s work should be fundamentally different from other consultative and advisory bodies, said Tokayev, stressing the importance of addressing these challenging issues. “We should not limit ourselves to simply stating the facts or describing the situation. The main goal is to make timely decisions. This means that the Сouncil should not simply approve pre-prepared proposals, which often fail to work,” the Kazakh president said.
In outlining the agenda for the Сouncil’s work, Tokayev emphasized the need to develop new approaches to the state planning system in an effort to build a “more flexible program documents defining the goals and stages of state development in each sphere.”
Tokayev also focused on the nation’s 2025 Strategic Development Plan that should shape Kazakhstan’s medium-term development. The plan will need to be finalized by the Agency on Strategic Planning and Reforms and also discussed by the Сouncil members.
“Reforms should be developed to ensure the accuracy of factual data and its interpretation. The tools for processing large data should be used to correctly model economic, and demographic processes and ensure reliable forecasts to make accurate decisions,” he said.
Tokayev also stressed the importance of taking into account the opinions of non-government organizations and the public.
Creation of separate groups within the Сouncil
During the meeting, Tokayev proposed to form six working groups within the Сouncil.
The first group chaired by Suma Chakrabarti will work on developing effective macroeconomic policy tasked to ensure an efficient monetary and fiscal policy, tax system, and the stability of the financial sector.
The second group headed by Chief of the Presidential Administration Yerlan Koshanov will work on reforms in judicial and law enforcement systems.
The social sphere will be the focus of the third group led by Askar Mamin. Currently, the Social Code is being developed in Kazakhstan.
“This document is intended to systematize relations between a citizen and the state, clearly outline their mutual obligations, as well as define minimum social guarantees provided to Kazakh citizens from preschool education to pensions,” said Tokayev.
The fourth group, also headed by Askar Mamin, will explore ways to diversify the economy, which, according to Tokayev, is “the right way for the country.”
In the fifth group, representatives of the government and the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs will focus on business regulation issues, while the work of the sixth group led by Deputy Head of Presidential Administration and former Economy Minister Timur Suleimenov will be devoted to modern public administration and effective public services.
“We have the task before us to enhance the quality of the state apparatus. It must be more flexible and have the authority to make decisions and take responsibility in order to achieve the desired results. A lot depends on modern digital technologies and being slow in their adoption is unacceptable,” said Tokayev.
As Kazakhstan plans to mark the 30th anniversary of its independence next year, Tokayevs stressed that these tasks are of national importance.
“We should commemorate this date not with festive events, but with concrete actions. The 30th year of our independence should be marked by strikingly productive work,” he added.