“The previous government, on the whole, coped with everything – it was a good year, but it slowly moved towards internal reforms. These are the messages that I heard from the president’s speech at a government meeting. What is important, as it seems to me: firstly, a clear message that you need to focus on how to spend money and how to collect it. If everything else was more or less ritual and routine, then there was a clear focus,” economist, ex-adviser to the head of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Aidarkhan Kusainov told Kommersant.
Political scientist Gaziz Abishev notes another point. “One of the main ideas of President Tokayev at the extended government meeting was the idea of a new investment impulse, which should bring the economy to a new stage of development. Almost all points of his speech come down to this idea. Back in September, the government received the necessary amount of autonomous powers. An investment headquarters has been created, which has a wide range of tools for implementing investment policies and programs both in relation to individual departments and in relation to akimats of all levels. The President demands targeted support for large investors. At the same time, the state should not erect bureaucratic barriers on the path of investors, allowing officials to seek corrupt payments, but should take investors under a transparent umbrella, protecting them from “corruption sharks,” giving them the opportunity to implement their plans,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.
Economist Rakhim Oshakbaev believes that “inflated, ineffective budget expenditures, which can no longer be covered by both oil and non-oil revenues, will force the government to increase tax revenues by any means.” “The previous government tried to do this by increasing tax rates, which will obviously have a depressing effect on the business climate and accelerate inflation, as well as by refusing VAT refunds and advance tax collection from large taxpayers. It is important that the new government does not follow the same path. And he didn’t start squeezing the economy with taxes, but instead turned his attention to budget sequestration. Social spending accounts for only about half of spending. The rest can and should be examined in detail under a magnifying glass to determine whether it is necessary,” the economist believes.
According to Aidarkhan Kusainov, two significant and main trends are budgetary and fiscal discipline: “How to spend and how to collect – this is the Tax Code, this is the attitude towards taxes that there is no need to increase them madly, but need to creatively transform them. Accordingly, theses about digital tenge technologies, artificial intelligence, including in taxes, digitalization of taxes are key for collecting money and tax discipline. And the second question: how to spend the money? The point is not to cut support subsidies, but to streamline them and spend them effectively – not less, but more efficiently. Everything else is such ritual statements in the style of “strengthen”, “raise”, they are in the trend of all recent years, which is what the government of the previous Prime Minister Smailov did,” says the ex-adviser to the head of the National Bank of Kazakhstan.