President Tokayev pledges greater support to businesses, increased human rights protection, social support

Assel Satubaldina
29 March 2023, 19:00

President Tokayev pledges greater support to businesses, increased human rights protection, social support Photo: t.me/aqorda_resmi

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - March has been packed with political events for Kazakhstan. Just ten days after the nation had the parliamentary election to the Majilis and maslikhats, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a speech at the opening of the first session of the Kazakh Parliament of the eighth convocation. Read more about it in the latest article of Kazinform.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev touched on a wide range of topics, including the country's economic diversification, political reforms, and support for socially vulnerable groups of the population. The speech, which was broadcast on national television, offered insight into the government's plans for the future.

Photo: akorda.kz

Political initiatives

The first part of his speech was devoted to the Majilis election and how it shaped the country’s political landscape since the national constitutional referendum in June 2022.

«After the referendum, we proceeded to modernize all branches of power in accordance with the new requirements of the Constitution. This is what the people have been waiting for a long time,» said Tokayev.

He commended the plurality of candidates and voices in the election that ensures a better representation in the Parliament. He specifically highlighted the candidates running in single-mandate districts.


«Our people proved that they are ready to contribute to important changes. A new civic and political culture is taking shape in our country. (...) This campaign was, in fact, unique and different from the previous one. The election campaign was conducted openly in the conditions of real competition,» he said, noting that the results of the elections were «unpredictable.»

Six political parties passed a five percent threshold and are now represented in the Parliament.

«As head of state, I believe that the new composition of the Majilis reflects the full range of ideological views,» he said. «From now on, the parties will walk in the wake of political processes that determine the future of our country. The election of deputies by single-mandate constituencies opened up the opportunity for the interests of various social groups to be represented in the Majilis. For the first time in many years, deputies who were self-nominated and managed to surpass party nominees in a fierce competition appeared in the house.»

Tokayev said involving young people, women and people with disabilities in decision-making processes remains a priority.


«I always say intelligent and educated young people must come to power. Involving the younger generation in the country's work is a very important issue. They should bring new values to society,» he added.

This is only the beginning of a long journey, he noted. This year, Kazakhstan will, for the first time, have direct elections for akims of 45 districts and cities of regional significance, followed by the election of all the mayors of the districts in the country. «This way, all the institutions of power will be renewed and work at a new pace. We will continue to democratize the political process and expand opportunities for citizen participation in government. We all need to understand this very important thing. Kazakhstan is the only country in this geopolitical region that is implementing profound reforms. Some people, including politicians, say that these reforms may threaten Kazakhstan. But I think that all these changes are necessary, above all, for the future of the country,» he said.

The system of human rights protection should be further strengthened in Kazakhstan, with the rule of law being observed in all spheres of life.

«It is important that every citizen is confident in the protection of his or her rights and has no doubts about the fairness of the courts. The formation of a highly professional and incorruptible judiciary plays a key role here. On the other hand, it is necessary that all citizens have equal access to quality legal services to protect their rights in court. For this purpose, the state guarantees legal aid to victims of socially vulnerable categories,» he said.

Economic initiatives

Extending support to small and medium-sized businesses was the first initiative put forward by the head of the state. He emphasized the important role these businesses play in the country’s development, serving as a «driving force of the economy and the labor market.»


«We need a new wave of entrepreneurs who can take responsibility for Kazakhstan's economic progress. Its core should be business people who, without access to administrative resources, were able to build a successful business due to their entrepreneurial talents and diligence. There are such people in every region. It is important to give them the opportunity to develop their business within the country and really help them,» said Tokayev.

One of the main tasks is also to protect private property and ensure a competitive market. In doing so, Tokayev stressed the need for continuing reforms of the judicial and law enforcement systems.

He tasked the government to develop a comprehensive program to support small and medium businesses, which will also ensure transparency in how projects are selected for state support.

«It is necessary to take into account the actual socio-economic effectiveness of a project. In this regard, I instruct the government, together with deputies, to develop new ways of the development of medium-sized businesses. Because, medium-sized businesses play a key role in the development of the country's economy,» he said.

He also tasked the officials to form a fair, stable, and transparent tax system that would «ensure an optimal distribution of national wealth, a high level of economic activity, and targeted support for priority sectors of the economy.»


Business activity will also benefit from the digitalization of the process of interaction between fiscal authorities and businesses.

«This will make life much easier for entrepreneurs and systematically increase budget revenues. The parliament could discuss the possibility of differentiating the profit tax and value-added tax rates, which make up the lion's share of the state budget. It would be fair for large enterprises and companies that export raw materials to pay more to the treasury. This is the best practice in the world,» said Tokayev.

He also urged the Parliament to step up consideration of the bill on measures to return illegally withdrawn assets to the state. Under the law, the funds will be used exclusively for development purposes.


Tokayev, however, criticized the reliance of the country’s economy on resources.

«In the course of previous work on industrialization, the non-oil sector did not receive proper development. We still buy food and products from abroad. This is one of the main reasons for rising inflation,» he said.

While the Kazakh economy is always open to foreign trade and investment, Tokayev said it is important to ensure that the needs of the domestic market are met.

«There should be one principled position regarding the satisfaction of the country's domestic demand. First of all, it is necessary to develop a processing industry focused on the domestic market. The manufacturing industry is developing rapidly only through innovation and high technology. It is obvious. That is why the economy of Kazakhstan should be based on scientific achievements. It is not enough to do research and get a patent. It is necessary to use scientific discoveries in production. For the comprehensive development of science, a new law must be adopted. I think that the deputies will support this bill,» he said.

Infrastructure development

The President also called the Parliament to consider three draft laws related to the electric power industry following several incidents at the nation’s energy plants that left cities and towns without heat in freezing winter temperatures.


«The housing problem is the most urgent problem for the vast majority of the population. Every day, I receive hundreds of requests from citizens. Among them are many letters with requests for affordable housing. This problem is solved as much as possible by the state. I repeat once again that the state provides assistance only to those who really need it. Housing policy is closely linked to market conditions. Therefore, we need to review our policy in this area and make it as fair and flexible as possible,» he said.

Quality human capital and public administration

Reforms, however, are hardly possible without quality human capital and effective public administration, the two aspects that were also the focus of Tokayev’s address today.

«The main wealth of Kazakhstan is the people. Educated and capable citizens will lead our country forward. For this, it is necessary to comprehensively develop the education system,» he said, stressing the need to provide opportunities for educators to raise their qualifications.


Speaking about the efficiency of public administration and the quality of strategic planning, Tokayev said it directly relates to the public trust in the government.

«Civil servants play an important role in designing and implementing reforms. Therefore, it is necessary to attract highly qualified specialists who are motivated to work in the public service. The path must be open to professional and talented managers in the private sector. We need to move towards the most consistent model of public service,» he said.

The address of President Tokayev was widely anticipated. Yet, the key developments are only to be seen. The Amanat party, which won the majority of seats in the Majilis, now has the right to propose the candidacy for the post of prime minister to the head of the state. According to Article 70 of Kazakhstan’s Constitution, the government resigns to the newly elected Majilis. All eyes remain on who will assume this position and take the charge of implementing and overseeing the important reforms.

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