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Nazarbayev on decentralization of powers in Kazakhstan 03 сентября 2014, 18:25

President of Kazakhstan spoke to the Parliament about the necessity to transfer some powers to local authorities.
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Government building. Photo ©Turar Kazangapov Government building. Photo ©Turar Kazangapov

President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about decentralization of power in Kazakhstan, as well as other legislative acts necessary to complete the government reorganization in the country at a joint Parliament sitting in Astana yesterday, Tengrinews reports.

The President said it was necessary to transfer to local government bodies - akimats - the functions that are more effectively executed at local level. “These are primarily functions of local importance. This is supported by a broad international experience. Thus, one function should be fixed only with a single government agency. Duplication should not be allowed. State authorities should ensure that the quality control and supervision of compliance with the legislation do not subside," he said.

"I believe it necessary to expand the range of powers of local authorities in agriculture. It is also important to strengthen local government offices in the field of veterinary inspection by transferring functions and corresponding professionals to the local administrations. Transferring certain functions related to the provision of public services in the field of heat supply should be painless. For example, the issues of functioning of the heating facilities and preparation for the heating season should be completely in the hands of local akims (governors)," he stated.

Nazarbayev stressed that the transfer of functions to local bodies would not only expand their power but also responsibilities.

"I instruct the government to introduce a draft law to implement this decree. The bill should be considered (by the Parliament) without delay," he said.

The President then instructed to continue the transfer of some government functions to the private sector. "In many countries these functions are carried out by self-regulating organizations. Doing this requires starting to build a network of such independent organizations,” the head of state said.

Nazarbayev also outlined the course of action in the central government.

“Necessary is transferring to the ministries the powers of adoption of bylaws, various rules, instructions and regulations and so on. Now all these are considered by the government at every meeting. 50-60 questions are discussed and all of this sinks in a sea of paper documents. Each minister will need to have all powers in the supervised field and full responsibility for decision-making, rather than transferring this to other levels. This requirement needs to be legislatively regulated and appropriate changes meed to be made," he said.

The President also said that former functions of ministerial committees should be given to territorial authorities. “For example, we are transitioning to a single power market in the sphere of energy control in 1 January 2015, which is why the control over energy system must be centralized," the President said.

On the other hand, these committees shall receive control over key realizable functions and be empowered to make decisions to ensure the implementation of state policy in their respective industries.

Reporting by Altynai Zhumzhumina, writing by Dinara Urazova

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