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Kazakhstan: Blogosphere's crisis chronicles

Bloggers of Kazakhstan continue to follow closely the situation in the country and the government's attempts to switch on a “manual control” mode in economy and other spheres of social life.

Dass is citing [ru] the Minister of Labor, who declared at the governmental meeting that around 900,000 people are highly exposed to the risk of unemployment, 3,4 million people are moderately exposed to it, and 11,4 million people are not exposed to the risk of losing their jobs. But this statistics seem to be quite strange, as it was noticed in the majority of the comments to the post. The Minister counted not only the labor active population, but all citizens of Kazakhstan, including newborns and elderly population. The number of the labor active population is 7,8 million people, which means that more than half of them risk to lose their jobs.

Slavoyara gives a very critical appraisal to the plans of the Government to oblige the Pension Funds to invest 70% of their assets for infrastructure construction projects [ru]:

The major part of our pension savings can be buried under the heap of the state contracts. We all know what usually happens to all “galactic construction projects” – money is stolen, shared and missed…

In the meantime, along with the criticism of non-transparency of the state holdings’ activity, the prime-minister instructed to reduce salaries of the top-managers in the national companies and state-owned banks down to the level of the his salary, i.e. to 700,000 tenge ($4,698). Megakhuimyak writes [ru]:

The salary of top-managers in Samruk–Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund is $8,054. Top-managers at the banks have salaries around $20-25,000 per month. People in the national companies are crying… On the other hand, every citizen of Kazakhstan can compare his salary to the Prime-Minister’s one.

The expansion of the governmental influence over the economy, even though it is allegedly done for the sake of recovery, causes worriness not only among liberal economists, but also among the intelligentsia. Poet dergachew says [ru]:

I am not a politician, but nothing positive will eventually happen in result of nationalization of big business that takes place in our country now. Sure, the government remains the only capable market player because it accumulates income from extraction of minerals, but a priori it is well-known fact that business people run a business better, than the government.

And a-strekoza is very skeptic about expansion of the governmental control over the media [ru]:

[Newspapers] “Liter” and “Aikyn” are sold [to the ruling party] just for peanuts. I am very pessimistic by nature, and here is what I think: since the ruling party would hardly be able to appreciate such a present, everything is going to be spoiled – gradually the managers will start squabbling, advertisers will leave for other newspapers, journalists will get their salaries cut down and also will have to learn how to write differently… This is how any new management acts, but the government is much more inclined to such stuff.

Pulemetchizza ironically draws parallels between the crisis and a famous expression by Mikhail Bulgakov:

Crisis is in the rest-rooms. Earlier we used to have high-quality two-layered toilet paper and towels in the rest-rooms. Now we have the cheapest toilet paper, and no towels available. Looks like in a couple of months we will just be cutting a newspaper.

Also posted on neweurasia.

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