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Kazakh President orders demolition of all unregulated markets

06 august 2014, 22:57
©Roza Yessenkulova
©Roza Yessenkulova

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered all the unregulated flea markets in the country to be closed, Tengrinews correspondent reported from Akorda, where the expanded government meeting was taking place earlier today.

"Shadow economy is a large reserve of money that can be channeled into the state budget. (...) There are hundreds of thousands of unregulated markets in Kazakhstan. They are unsanitary. Outrageous things happen there. Can’t our businessmen take this profitable business in their hands? It is necessary to build normal, organized indoor shopping centers. Akims (governors) should allocate land for this purpose without delays, include these facilities into free economic zones, exempt them from taxes and close all the unorganized markets in the country," Nazarbayev said addressing Kazakhstan's Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov.

Nazarbayev stressed that retailers should not suffer in the process. “They should be able to transfer their businesses to the new venues. We know how this works. There are successful projects in Almaty, Shymkent, in Astana and elsewhere. However, there are many other places (where work needs to be done). The budget suffers, there are crimes, everything can happen there. What is being done about it at the moment?” the President asked Bakhyt Sultanov.

Sultanov answered: “We are working along the plan aimed at reducing the shadow economy. The relevant legal draft law has been developed as you instructed." Nazarbayev responded by saying that 20 to 30 percent of all the funds in the country are in the shadow economy. “Such a huge reserve this is,” he said.

The question of demolishing unregulated markets in Kazakhstan has been raised more than once. There were several very large fires at Almaty flea markets because of their non-compliance with fire safety rules. The authorities eventually ordered demolition of several such markets in the city.

By Dinara Urazova 

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