Kazakhstan’s Business Ombudsperson Office to Revise Outdated Regulatory Policies Until 2024

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs Rustem Zhursunov said his office will revise outdated regulatory approaches in the next two years during his meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Dec. 22, reports the Akorda press service. He also spoke about the institute’s work to support entrepreneurs amid the pandemic

During the meeting. Photo credit: Akorda

Zhursunov said that this year the office has received 3,912 appeals, 15 percent less than during the same period last year. Entrepreneurs are largely concerned with issues related to procurement, land, taxes and construction.

In comparison, in 2020 when the pandemic began forcing the country’s government to impose lockdown and suspend the work of non-essential businesses, every third request was related to work during the state of emergency and quarantine.

The ombudsperson’s office also surveyed businesses to understand the most acute issues they face. Out of 50,400 respondents, 60 percent benefited from the state support measures noting tax breaks and loan deferrals as the most needed measures – part of an anti-crisis package that Kazakhstan adopted in 2020 to support businesses.

In August, the office also surveyed 10,200 businesses working in trade and services that have been hit hard by the pandemic. 17 percent of employees in these sectors lost jobs, while 20 percent of businesses have either closed or are on the verge of closure. Another 57 percent of respondents noted that they did not receive state support measures. 

“Many entrepreneurs who received state support faced difficulties in obtaining it. For businesses working in agriculture and industry, state support measures are important to further improve competitiveness. This is the opinion of 78 percent of respondents,” said Zhursunov. 

After meeting with entrepreneurs and business associations in 2020 and 2021, the commissioner’s office formed a list of 346 systemic problems, and 115 of them were solved.

Zhursunov also said that in the next two years, Kazakhstan plans to revise its approaches to regulatory policies. The draft law is currently in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, and is designed to make regulatory policies understandable, practically feasible, and concrete, leaving no room for ambiguous interpretation, and also digitized and user-friendly.

Tokayev commended the work and emphasized the need for measures to identify the causes of increased administrative violations against businesses and ways to eliminate them.

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