Communists in Kazakhstan slam decision to abandon construction of oil refinery07 november 2014, 17:18
The People's Communists faction of the Kazakhstan Parliament has called the decision to abandon the construction of the fourth oil refinery in Kazakhstan a poor judgment at a plenary session in the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Parliament, Tengrinews reports.
"It has been decided to abandon the construction of the fourth oil refinery. We believe this to be a poor judgment, because the new refinery is necessary not only to increase production of fuel, but also to stimulate competition. The (fuel) market (of Kazakhstan) is monopolized and-non transparent, production is kept in check to create artificial deficit," MP Aikyn Konurov said.
Konurov addressed the Prime Minister with four questions: what are the reasons for the decision to abandon the construction of the fourth oil refinery that was among the goals announced by President Nazarbayev in his State-of-the-Nation Address to the people of Kazakhstan on January 17, 2014? What are the long-term targets for the cost of petroleum products at the domestic market? What measures are being taken to promote competition at the fuel market? Is there a government plan for an effective mechanism to reduce domestic fuel prices amid the sliding oil prices?
"Due to numerous appeals of car owners citing a deterioration of the quality of fuel during the fuel shortages, we are asking to be provided with information on the outcome of the work of competent authorities to protect the rights of our citizens in this area,” he said.
The MP inquired whether those responsible for the recent fuel crisis in Kazakhstan were identified and whether they were punished.
Konurov suggested that the true cause of the fuel crisis in Kazakhstan was not in the gasoline prices lower than those in Russia, but in a failure of Kazakhstan oil and gas policies.
"This is evidenced by the current necessity to hastily conclude contracts to import petroleum products. Unfortunately, the country lacks a clear vision of the long-term development of the domestic refining industry. It is falsely replaced by plans for modernization of the existing refineries, with the modernization deadlines being regularly postponed. The current program for the development of oil refining in Kazakhstan has also been reduced to reconstruction of 3 plants but does not contain a vision of efficient functioning of the market as a whole," Konurov declared.
He said that the People's Communist Party considered it unacceptable to transfer the problems arising from mismanagement in the oil refining industry onto the citizens. The problem of fuel deficit and higher prices should be solved not by introducing a policy of price leveling but by developing the country's own production, which, the People's Communists claim, would guarantee the availability of affordable and high-quality domestic fuel.
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina