Kazakhstani Premier admits country’s economic woes and sets stopgap measures

    “According to the World Bank, growth of the world economy could decline by 1-2% this year,” Kazakhstani Prime Minister Karim Masimov said on April 8 at a plenary session of the Senate of the Kazakhstani Parliament. According to the Head of the Government, the level of development in Kazakhstan has slowed down as well. Based on preliminary data, GDP fell by 3.2% in January this year, with industrial production also down by 3.2%, and construction volume losing 11.5%.
    “Unemployment was 6.9% in January and 7.1% in February,” Karim Masimov noted, going on to state, “The Government is working on an antirecessionary program now. Our actions are aimed at reducing barriers. Primarily, it is necessary to resolve the banking system. KZT 480 billion has been allocated to the four main banks.”
    “The next measure is the protection of rights of investors. It is necessary to support construction. For this, the banks are obliged to grant loans to the investors [in construction projects],” the Premier said.
    In late March, the Government forecasts on economic growth were revised. The revenues of the national budget decreased by 12% more than was earlier expected, amounting to US $371.1 billion. GDP growth has been revised to 1%, below the previously projected increase of 2.7%, according to Kazinform.