III. CREATING A COMFORTABLE LIVING ENVIRONMENT
A comfortable environment means, first and foremost, affordability of housing, a beautiful and safe outdoor area, and a residential area that is convenient to live and work in as well as having qualitative infrastructure.
FIRST. Qualitative and affordable housing.
Today, we are successfully implementing the Nurly Zher Programme that gives a powerful impetus to the housing construction.
We have launched a new large-scale programme 7-20-25 that enhances the affordability of housing mortgages.
I instruct akims to work on a partial subsidising of down payments according to mortgage benefits from the local budget.
The allocation of such housing certificates will enhance the affordability of mortgages for highly-skilled teachers, medical workers, police officers and other experts the region needs.
In addition, we need to enhance the construction of rental housing for socially vulnerable population in big cities.
These measures will help more than 250 thousand families to improve their housing conditions.
Taking into account the construction of utility infrastructure for massive housing areas, in five years the state will help 650 thousand families or more than 2 million of our citizens.
SECOND. We need to ensure the introduction of new approaches to the territorial development of the country.
Currently, economies of leading countries are mostly represented by global cities and megalopolises.
Over 70% of global GDP is generated in cities.
Throughout history, we have developed our own way of life dominated by agricultural economy with mono-cities and small regional centres.
Therefore, it is a great achievement for a country with 18 million people to have three cities with a million-plus population, two of them having become so during Kazakhstan’s independence.
Astana and Almaty already generate over 30% of the country’s GDP.
However, the city infrastructure does not always correspond to the rapidly growing needs of enterprises and population.
In recent years, we have built infrastructure of republican importance in line with the Nurly Zhol Programme.
Since 2015, we have built and reconstructed 2.4 thousand kilometers of roads. This work is ongoing, and we will commission an additional 4.6 thousand kilometers of roads by 2020.
Now, we need to ensure the systemic development of regional and urban infrastructure.
To this end, this year financing for local roads has been increased up to 150 billion tenge, and funds for rural water supply up to 100 billion tenge.
Akims should focus on addressing the most acute problems in the regions using these funds.
The Government also needs to develop a systemic approach to this task, draft a list of additional infrastructure issues, assess projects and find sources to finance them.
The construction of new schools, kindergartens and hospitals needs to be synchronised with plans on the development of residential areas, it is also necessary to create conditions to bring private investors to this sector.
At the same time, we need to gradually transit from the “infrastructure-people” model to the “people-infrastructure” model.
This will facilitate the development of residential areas, enhancing the efficiency of using the allocated funds.
Each region and big city should develop based on their own model of sustainable economic growth and employment taking into account the current competitive advantages.
In this regard, we need to develop a regional standards system for different residential areas – from backbone villages to cities with the republican status.
The standard should include specific indicators for the listing and accessibility of social benefits and public services, transport, cultural, sport, business, production and digital infrastructure, etc.
We need to intensify activities aimed at improving the environmental situation, including polluting emissions, soil condition, land, air, waste disposal, as well as developing environmental monitoring systems with free online access.
Special attention should be paid to the creation of a “barrier-free environment” for people with disabilities.
I task the development of a Predictive Scheme for Territorial and Spatial Development of the Country until 2030 that will serve as a New Map of Administered Urbanisation of the Country until September 1, 2019.
To implement practical steps, I task the draft of a pragmatic Regional Development Programme until 2025 outlining specific events, projects and financing.
The above-mentioned aspects of regional development should be taken into account in Nurly Zhol and Nurly Zher state programmes, their implementation terms should also be prolonged until 2025.
The first programme should focus on the development of transport infrastructure. The second one should centre on utilities and housing construction.
We need to give these programmes “a new lease of life”.
THIRD. We need profound and qualitative transformations in the activity of law-enforcement agencies.
Security is an integral part of quality of life.
Internal affairs officers are at the forefront of the fight against crime and protect citizens from it, quite often risking their lives.
At the same time, society expects a drastic improvement in the work of law-enforcement agencies, mainly, of the police.
I task the Government together with the Executive Office of the President to adopt a road map to modernise internal affairs agencies.
These reforms must be launched on January 1, 2019.
First, we need to optimise the staffing of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and relieve the police of uncharacteristic functions.
The funds saved should be allocated to raise the salaries of police officers, solve their housing and other social problems.
Second, we need to adopt a new standard for police officers and change the system of career advancement, as well as training and selecting personnel in police academies.
All officers must be recertified. Only the best ones will continue to serve.
Third, we need to introduce new modern formats of working with the population, drastically changing police assessment criteria.
We need to switch the police to a service model.
It should be ingrained in the minds of citizens that a police officer does not punish but helps in a difficult situation.
We need to create comfortable conditions for receiving citizens in city and regional internal affairs agencies on a Public Service Centre basis.
All cities of Kazakhstan must be equipped with public security monitoring systems.
Public trust and a sense of security among the population should become the key parameters for assessing the work of the police.
FOURTH. Further judicial system modernisation.
We have achieved a lot over the past years, but we have not tackled the main problem: ensuring a high level of trust in courts.
Moreover, the rule of law is a key to success of our reforms.
First, we should continue introducing modern formats of the work of courts and advanced electronic services.
Every year 4 million of our citizens are dragged into litigations.
We invest so much effort and funds!
We need to reduce the number of excessive judicial procedures, which require an unreasonable spending of time and resources. Processes which used to require personal presence can now be implemented remotely.
Second, we need to ensure a qualitative development and an upgrade of judicial personnel management system, providing incentives so that the best lawyers would strive to become judges.
Third, we need a clear and predictable legal practice, especially for legal disputes between business and state agencies, as well as excluding the possibilities of having an unlawful influence on judges.
I task the Supreme Court, together with the Government, to develop a relevant set of measures by the end of the year.
A smaller and efficient state apparatus, which should consider all of its actions through the prism of increasing the wellbeing of the nation, will play a crucial role in the implementation of any reforms.