Wednesday, 12 May 2021, 13:04:09
At the government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov reported on the results of socio-economic development for the first quarter of this year.
So, according to him, from the beginning of this year. prices for socially important food products increased by 4.8%. This growth is lower than the 5.5% figure recorded in January-April of the previous year.
“If we talk about the factors of price growth, import-dependent products have risen the most — sugar, buckwheat, goods with high export demand — sunflower oil, as well as vegetables, for which prices are traditionally observed to rise in the off-season,” Sultanov said.
Thus, an increase in storage costs and a reduction in stocks led to an increase in vegetable imports.
At the same time, price increases were recorded in all countries of the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the average price increase in four months was 11.4%.
Compared to the neighboring Russian Federation, the rise in food prices in Kazakhstan is 2-3 times lower.
"In general, taking into account the external and subjective factors sounded, we can say that measures have been taken to prevent an unreasonable rise in prices for socially significant goods in the country," said the head of the ministry.
This is the result of the measures taken, in particular the Roadmap to contain the prices of socially important goods.
20 operational activities of the Roadmap were implemented.
The rest of the activities are of a systemic nature and will be completed by the end of this year.
Within the framework of price stabilization, the interested state bodies apply such operational measures as:
- antimonopoly response;
- introduction of price caps for eggs and sunflower oil;
- formation of 57.2 thousand tons of food in the stabilization funds in the amount of 7.1 billion tenge;
- allocation of 27.8 billion tenge for concessional lending within the framework of the revolving scheme, in the near future it is envisaged to allocate an additional 4 billion tenge;
- conclusion of contracts for forward purchases of 36.3 thousand tons of products for 3.7 billion tenge.
In order to minimize the impact of world price fluctuations on the domestic market, work is underway to saturate the market with domestic goods.
Thus, it is planned to increase the country's production capacity for 6 main import-dependent food products and bring the provision of the domestic market with domestic goods to 100% by 2024.
“In order to create a mechanism to stabilize prices for a long-term period and ensure optimal distribution of goods from domestic producers to the counter, work is underway to form a national commodity distribution system in the form of an infrastructure — a network of wholesale distribution centers,” said the head of ministry.
This infrastructure will make it possible to build efficient transport and logistics channels for key areas of product supply.
Taking into account all the measures taken:
1. The Agency for Protection and Regulation of Competition should keep under constant control the issue of preventing price collusion of dominant business entities.
2. Akimats should:
- timely replenish stabilization funds and carry out timely interventions;
- expand forward purchases to 10 billion tenge and financing of the revolving scheme to 50 billion tenge. On the one hand, this will show a positive effect on the market, bringing the food stocks involved in price stabilization with the help of state funds, corresponding to market principles, up to 600 thousand tons.
Second, these financial resources will be of great help to agribusiness producers during today's coronavirus crisis. For this, it is necessary to use funds executed in excess of the revenues of local budgets.
3. The Ministry of Trade and Integration, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with local executive bodies, will work to approve specific types and volumes of socially significant goods.