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Has the $10 billion out of the National Fund truly gone to nowhere?

25 january 2013, 06:13
0
©REUTERS
©REUTERS
Kazakhstan’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev believes the $10 billion allocated out of the National Oil Fund to combat the financial crisis will be returned into the Fund over time, Interfax-Kazakhstan Newswire reports.

“The money hasn’t gone to nowhere. As Head of State reminded the other day the money had been allocated on a repayable basis (…) The point is that the money should be returned to the Fund”, the Minister told journalists January 24 in Astana.

According to him, the task is to track where the money has gone to and whether it will be recouped. “First of all, some of the amount went to bail out banks (…) I am sure as soon as the government’s stakes in the bailed out banks are sold, the money will be returned to the Fund. The stakes haven’t been sold yet”, the Minister said.

January 23 at a sitting in his Astana-based Residence, President Nazarbayev stated the money had gone to nowhere. “It’s easy to ask for money out of the National Oil Fund. The $ 10 billion allocated to combat the financial crisis is gone. There is no pay-off”, President said. According to President, “country’s banks are begging for the National Oil Fund’s money rather than working properly to earn money”. “Everybody was saying at that time that the allocated amount would be recouped (…) The Fund’s money is for a rainy day, for a tough period when it is important to secure social wellbeing and to prevent the economy from collapsing (…) This money can only be used for development purposes”, Nazarbayev elaborated.

Late November 2008 the country’s Government adopted an anti-crisis plan worth $10 billion. The money [allocated out of the National Oil Fund that accumulates windfall oil revenues] was a complement to the expenses planned within the 2009-2011 budget.

About $4 billion out of the extra amount was supposed to bolster stability of the national financial sector. Another $3 billion was to stabilize the real estate market and the adjacent mortgages market, including measures to have construction of pre-paid apartment blocks completed [that had been suspended against the backdrop of the global financial crisis due to the lending crunch].

$1 billion was supposed to support S&MBs. Another $1 billion was to modernize the country’s agriculture and boost agricultural produce. And $1 billion was to finance break-through infrastructure and industrial projects.

As of May 1, 2012, the National Fund’s assets made up $51.4.

The National Fund of Kazakhstan was created in 2000 as a stabilization fund that accumulates windfall revenues from oil sales and ensures the economy of Kazakhstan will be stable against the price swings of oil. The assets of the National Fund assets are monitored by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In his State of the Nation Address [January 27, 2012], President Nazarbayev suggested the National Oil Fund money be used in the form of loans to the national economy rather than kept with foreign banks.

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