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Over 98% of needy citizens received government support measures to reduce debt burden

Friday, 04 October 2019, 19:54:08

June 26, 2019, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree in which he instructed the Government and the National Bank to take unprecedented measures — to write off debts on unsecured consumer loans to socially vulnerable segments of the population. The rest of Kazakhstani people will waive the fines for unpaid loans. Read the report by PrimeMinister.kz about the work done, how many Kazakhstanis were affected by these measures, and what remains to be done.

The decree "On Measures to Reduce the Debt Burden of the Citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan," signed by the Head of State June 26, 2019, consists of three parts, which affected different categories of citizens.

One part of the Decree concerned all Kazakhstanis who decided to write off the charged fines and penalties on unsecured consumer loans by second-tier banks and microfinance organizations.

The second category of citizens covered by the Decree is Kazakhstan people who find themselves in a difficult life situation, namely:

  • large families;
  • families receiving survivor benefits;
  • families with disabled children, disabled since childhood over 18;
  • recipients of state targeted social assistance;
  • orphans;
  • children without parental care, under 29 years of age and having lost parents before adulthood, as of June 26, 2019.

They decided to help by repaying the state debt on the principal debt and the accrued interest on it, but not more than 300 thousand tenge per borrower. The debtors themselves for unsecured consumer loans, the total debt should not exceed 3 million tenge as of June 1, 2019.

The purpose of the action is to help Kazakhstanis, who find themselves in a difficult life situation, to give them the opportunity to improve the financial situation of their families.

In addition, there is the third direction of the Presidential Decree, according to which the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan must take a set of regulatory measures to strengthen the responsibility of financial organizations, providing:

the prohibition of charging penalties, commissions and other payments related to the issuance and servicing of credit for all unsecured consumer loans of individuals with overdue debts over 90 days;

  1. a ban on loans to citizens with income below the subsistence level.
  2. additional regulatory measures when issuing unsecured consumer loans.
  3. writing-off the fines and penalties to all borrowers.

According to the National Bank of Kazakhstan, July 30, 2019, banks and microfinance organizations completed writing off (forgiveness) of fines and penalties for unsecured consumer loans to 1,192,834 borrowers for 33,620 million tenge.

The waiving of fines and penalties was carried out, first of all, at the expense of own funds of banks and microfinance organizations.

Aug. 15, 2019, the Problem Loans Fund repaid to banks and microfinance organizations 30% of the amount of written off debts on fines and penalties in the amount of 10,086 million tenge.

 

Debt Repayment up to 300 Thousand Tenge

Based on the data provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on August 20 of the current year, 507,363 citizens were identified who were repaid debts in the amount of 105,174.6 million tenge.

At the same time, 263,525 citizens (51.9% of the total number of citizens who found themselves in difficult situations and have unsecured consumer loans) have fully repaid their debts to banks and microfinance organizations.

In general, state support covers about 98.4% of all borrowers who find themselves in difficult situations and have unsecured consumer loans.

 

Write-off of 300 Thousand Tenge Affected Both Spouses

Note that the Kazakhstanis, who came under the repayment of loan debts, did not have to go to banks. The main work was carried out by the Government, the National Bank, and the state credit bureau.

Lists of citizens covered by the Decree were compiled through the information systems of the ministries of labor and social protection of the population, education and science, and justice.

It is also worth noting that the loans were repaid to both family members.

“A lot of questions arise in society, if the spouse and the spouse have a loan, then how they will be repaid. Accordingly, the rules repay the loan to both spouses if they fall under the terms of the Decree. If the total loan amount does not exceed 3 million tenge, then 300 thousand tenge will be repaid to each. That is, 600 thousand tenge will be written off to one family for loans,” Svetlana Zhakupova, who at that time was vice minister of labor and social protection of the population, explained at a press conference in the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the same time, Kazakhstanis, who have several loans, were repaid the debt in the range of 300 thousand tenge and no more, primarily in the bank where there is the largest debt.

“We proposed such a mechanism — repay depending on the largest debt. There is no task to distribute evenly. We will proceed from the proportionality of the debt from an individual,” said Deputy Chairman of the National Bank Oleg Smolyakov at a press conference in the Government.

 

How to Check Your Status?

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection told how to find out if you have lists and what to do for those who are not listed there.

To clarify the possibility of repaying debt on loans and microcredits at the expense of the state, Kazakhstanis could use the electronic service “Checking Status to Participate in the Debt Reduction Program” located on the main page of the electronic government portal. This requires an electronic digital signature.

“On the eGov portal, a service was organized to determine their status. A person goes under his EDS, logs in to the portal, enters the IIN and can get an answer,” explained Zhakupova at a press conference in the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Daily information on writing off loans can be obtained by short number 111, or by calling 74-32-20, 75-01-79, 75-01-78.

In just two weeks of September (from September 5 to September 18), the employees of the 111 call-center, which operates under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, gave Kazakhstan citizens more than 58.5 thousand consultations on debt reduction issues around the clock.

“Calls to 111 come from all regions of the country. On average, about 10 thousand calls are received per day, of which about 5 thousand are for debt reduction issues. Due to the increased load on the 111 line, given the social significance of this action, the call-center management attracted additional resources. In recent days, during peak hours, from 50 to 60 operators work on the line,” said Ayash Makenova, head of the 111 call center.

According to call center employees, most often citizens ask questions regarding their absence from the list of participants in the program to reduce debt burden, clarify the amount of write-offs from the total loan amount, and others.

“As a rule, first of all, the specialists of our center check the status of the applicant. According to its results, we recommend that citizens who are not on the list digitize the data, after which the information is entered into the list and transmitted to the ministry for further work,” Makenova explained.

Managing Director of the Government for Citizens State Corporation Murat Zhumanbay said on his Facebook page what other methods exist for checking whether a citizen is on the lists.

You can find out your status on the website enbek.gov.kz by clicking on the field on the right side of the page "Checking Status for Participation in the Program to Reduce Debt Burden." Then you need to drive your IIN, and after a few seconds you will receive an answer.

In addition to calling 111, you can find out your status on the e-government website (EDS is required) or directly at public service centers.

 

What to Do If You Are Not on Lists?

The Ministry of Labor also mentioned a number of reasons why Kazakhstanis might not be on the lists for writing off loans. Since the data for the formation of the lists were obtained from the information systems of central government agencies, the reason for the non-appearance in the lists may be the lack of information in the data of information systems. Work on updating data on a systematic basis is carried out by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, at the first stage due to the lack of information in the information systems of state bodies (lack of digitized acts of marriage or birth of children, information on more than 4 thousand orphans, as well as children left without care parents; information on families who did not apply for benefits, like large families), a certain part of citizens was not included in the lists of preferential categories established by the Decree.

In this connection, in the first two decades of September of the month of this year, there was a sharp increase in the number of appeals to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population. In order to establish feedback with applicants, a special algorithm of actions of contact center operators 111, 1411 was implemented. To address dial-up issues, the number of 111 call-center operators was increased from 35 to 60 people. Along with contact centers, from September 12, the reception of citizens for counseling began to be carried out in the front offices of the State Corporation of the Government for citizens.

“Often, subscribers call us complaining that they are not on the list. Moreover, the subscriber is suitable for all criteria. Then we send him to digitization. Then, when his digitized data appears in the information system, we send his data to the Ministry of Labor,” the employees of the 111 call center explained.

Thus, those who do not agree that they were not included in the list should call the operators at 111, 74-32-20, 75-01-79 and 75-01-78 and tell them the reason for their appeal.

 If you are not satisfied with the reason for exclusion, you need to contact the bank or microfinance organizations, where you were given a loan.

As noted in the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, at present, work is underway to process the accepted applications. Their number as of the current date is about 25 thousand. They will be sent to the National Bank as they are processed to verify that the applicants for paying off the debt burden comply with the Decree. Regular lists are planned to be sent in the first decade of October of this year.


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