ADDRESS by Nurlan Nigmatulin, Chairman of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the Closing of the Parliament’s Second Session of the sixth convocation, Astana, House of Parliament, June 30, 2017

30.06.2017

30.06.2017

Dear MPs,

Distinguished Members of the Government

and the Guests!

Today, in accordance with the Constitution, we are concluding the second session of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the sixth convocation.

In accordance with the tradition, let me sum up some of the results of the joint legislative work of the Chambers of the Parliament, the main strategic priorities of which have been defined by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Yelbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev at the opening of the session last September, and in the Address to the People of Kazakhstan.

I would like to emphasize that this session has been probably one of the most important since this representative body was established – first of all, because the current session was held under the sign of the 25th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

This anniversary date is not just a great holiday – it is a historic milestone that allows us to look back and appreciate the path we have traveled, fully aware of the invaluable historical role of the First President of the country, Yelbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has an inextricable link to all our achievements and all our victories.

On the eve of the country's anniversary, the MPs adopted the landmark Declaration of the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which expresses a firm commitment to the strategic course of Yelbasy, who has the greatest merit in establishing and developing independent Kazakhstan.

The current session is also memorable in that it was during the period of its work that the Head of State announced a new course of systemic modernization of the entire country.

Virtually, the President of Kazakhstan has proposed a comprehensive plan for a full-scale third modernization of key areas of the society's life - political, economic and socio-cultural.

These three areas of comprehensive modernization of the country are designed to provide the best conditions for the implementation of the Five Institutional Reforms and the promotion of Kazakhstan to the top 30 developed countries in the world.

First, the President, having outlined five main priorities for the forthcoming technological modernization in his Address, has launched a new model of economic growth that will ensure the global competitiveness of the country.

Secondly, the Head of State, in parallel with radical economic transformations, has initiated the process of political modernization of the state through an unprecedented constitutional reform that is comparable in scope to the adoption of the 1995 Constitution.

Undoubtedly, this political modernization has determined the development of our statehood for many years to come. The constitutional reform of President Nursultan Nazarbayev is, first of all, the further development of democracy, strengthening of the foundations of people’s power, increasing the responsibility of the Parliament and the Government while maintaining a strong presidential authority.

The redistribution of powers between the branches of government has undoubtedly been an effective response to the global and regional challenges of our time.

Thirdly, in his article "Direction into the future: modernization of the public consciousness", President declared the beginning of the socio-cultural modernization, which will change the fundamentals of our society.

This is a very profound project in terms of its content and scale, and its implementation will bring the spirituality of our people to an entirely new level.

Deep insight and timeliness of the coordinated process of modernization of all aspects of the life of Kazakhstan’s society once again demonstrate to all of us a unique gift of strategic foresight of Yelbasy, thanks to whom our country is the leader across all indicators among all post-Soviet countries.

The Head of State has repeatedly said that the world today is not at standstill.

We must learn to live in a new modern environment, where everything changes so quickly, where every decade contains a whole historical epoch.

In order to successfully adapt to new conditions, and to be competitive, every Kazakhstani needs to self-improve and upgrade one’s educational and professional level every day.

Of course, this requirement applies to us - MPs of the highest representative body of the country exercising legislative power.

Therefore, the MPs of Kazakhstan consider it their utmost duty to take an active part in the implementation and legislative support of all the reforms initiated by the Head of our state.

To this end, during the second session, the Chambers of the Parliament continued to work on developing and adopting legislative decisions aimed at implementing the strategic objectives set by Yelbasy.

The content, directions and intensity of this work are determined, first of all, by the priorities of the "Kazakhstan-2050" Strategy, the Plan of the Nation - 100 Concrete Steps and the provisions of this year’s Address of the Head of State "Third modernization of Kazakhstan: global competitiveness".

Dear colleagues! The work of the country's highest representative body during the second session has been saturated, versatile and productive.

During the session, we have held six joint meetings of the Chambers, 38 plenary sessions of the Mazhilis, which reviewed 226 issues, and 25 plenary sessions of the Senate, which reviewed 137 issues.

During the second session, both Chambers considered 111 draft laws, of which 84 were adopted. Of the laws passed by the Parliament to date, 66 have already been signed by the Head of State and have entered into force.

I would like to emphasize that all the laws passed during the session are the result of successful and constructive interaction of the Mazhilis and the Senate of the Parliament in the legislative process.

Both chambers have made their significant contribution to improving legislative work and enhancing the quality of the laws adopted.

Unconditional priority for the members of the Parliament at the last session was to take part in the development and adoption of the main financial document of the country - the Law on the Republican Budget, which defines the basic principles and approaches of the budget policy for 2017-2019, based on global trends and risks.

The approved draft of the republican budget for the next three years is balanced and ensures implementation of all social guarantees for citizens, and warrants macroeconomic stability in the country.

The Law "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Civil Service" adopted during the second session will encourage the promotion of diligent employees up the career ladder, recognizing their knowledge and experience, and – ultimately – improving the efficiency of the entire state machine.

Unification of the standards of state and law enforcement services consolidated them into a single mission - serving the President and the country.

Adoption of laws on countering extremism and terrorism, counterintelligence, fingerprinting management and genome record-keeping, and probation strengthened the legislative foundations of the country's security.

During the second session, MPs devoted a considerable amount of time to reviewing and adopting a number of laws aimed at implementing the Plan of the Nation - 100 Concrete Steps. In particular, the Parliament adopted the Law "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Electric Power".

This law aims to implement the 51st step of the Plan of the Nation and is intended to ensure the consolidation of power transmission companies, which will reduce the cost of energy transmission and, consequently, reduce its cost to the population.

Adoption of the Law on the development of local self-government was the result of the need to implement the 98th step of the Plan of the Nation, which calls for introduction of an independent budget at the level of the rural district, village, city of the regional value, that is, the new, fourth level of the budget system, as well as the introduction of the institution of municipal property of local self-government.

Thus, with this Law, villagers get a real opportunity to participate in solving pressing issues; they get an opportunity to determine what it is necessary to spend budgetary money on in the first place: schools and hospitals, or road repairs, landscaping and lighting.

It should be noted that during the second session, the MPs not only carefully worked with the draft laws introduced by the Government, but also actively used their constitutional right to legislative initiative.

At this session, 15 proactive draft laws were developed by our colleagues, 10 of which have already been adopted and 5 are in the progress.

In particular, the MPs put forward the Law "On Pastures", which will not only ensure the rational use of pasture lands, but, importantly, it will also enable our citizens to participate in solving problems and discuss issues of local importance.

MPs also have proactively introduced amendments and additions to some legislative acts on diplomatic service, culture, transport, environment, and road traffic.

Dear colleagues!

Social policy is also continuously at the core of legislative work of the Parliament.

During the second session, in particular, the MPs adopted the law aimed to improve the legislation on compulsory social health insurance.

MPs also amended some legislative acts on social security, which will result in the increase of pensions to 20% of 2016 level as of July 1, 2017, with a 20% increase in lump-sum child birth benefits.

In 2017-2018, pensions paid out of the national budget will be raised in a phased manner.

This increase will cover all pensioners or more than 2 million Kazakhstanis.

Overall, nearly 82 billion tenge will be allocated from the national budget to increase pensions and the specified type of benefits.

MPs have also done a considerable amount of work on the draft law "On the Amnesty Marked to 25Years of Independence" as introduced by the Head of State.

Yelbasy's proposal to hold an amnesty is an act of mercy, an act of humanism, a manifestation of goodwill and trust towards our citizens who have transgressed the law.

During the current session, the MPs also undertook magnificent work on laws that ratified treaties and agreements with other states and international organizations.

Among the international treaties and agreements ratified during the second session, I would especially like to note the Paris Climate Agreement, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the establishment of the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank in our country, the General Agreement for Economic, Technical and Commercial Cooperation between member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Agreement on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Tajikistan.

Summing up all the above, we can rightfully assert that the MPs of the Parliament deliver systematic and thorough work on legislative support for the strategic course of the First President of the country - Yelbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Dear participants of the joint session!

In addition to their primary objective – the consideration and adoption of bills – at the past session the MPs did a great deal of work on organizing interaction with other state authorities, civil society institutions and the population.

During the past session, 17 government hours, 7 parliamentary hearings, 33 round tables, 27 field meetings of committees and 5 international scientific and practical conferences took place within the walls of the Parliament.

These events were devoted to the most popular issues of the economic and social life of our country.

All of them received great public response; the specific recommendations that have resulted from such activities and were thoroughly and comprehensively studied by the deputy corps, I am sure, will contribute to further increasing the efficiency of our state bodies.

Let me note that from the beginning of this session, all the plenary sessions of the Mazhilis and the Senate, and - since this February - all government hours are broadcasted online.

Such a format makes the Parliament’s work more open and even more transparent.

Moreover, as we see from the media and social networks, the public closely watches the work of the Parliament and its MPs.

Among the events organized by the Chambers of the Parliament, I would like to mention the parliamentary hearings devoted to very important and popular issues – further modernization of the criminal, criminally remedial and correctional laws, providing the country's population with medicines and developing the pharmaceutical industry in the country, developing civil protection in the country, and legal regulation of road traffic and others.

At the high organizational level, the Parliament Chambers held the Asian Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Science, Technologies and Innovations, the International Parliamentary Conference themed "The Kazakhstan Way: 25 years of Independence", the 16th meeting of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, International Round Table "The role of Parliaments in the Legislative Support for cooperation and Regional Security in Central Asia", etc.

During the last session, three parliamentary factions of the parties "Nur Otan", "Ak Zhol", "People's Communists" and the deputy group of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan were actively working on delivering their program statements.

In addition, during the second session, MPs considerably focused on resolving specific issues raised by the population.

Thus, during the session, the members of both chambers of the Parliament sent 357 deputy requests (of which 284 were sent by the Mazhilis MPs and 73 – by MPs of the Senate).

Over this session, MPs received more than 9,000 letters from citizens, which were reviewed in accordance with the current legislation.

Also, we must note the importance of the visits of the MPs to the regions of the country in order to meet with the population directly.

At these meetings, the MPs communicated the key provisions of the President's Address and the draft of the constitutional reform to the population, and discussed the problems that our citizens face and that should be the direct concern of the Parliament.

In total, members of the Parliament have visited more than 700 residential communities, where they held over 2,000 meetings covering almost 300,000 people.

All these meetings showed that the citizens of our country support both the reform of the system of state government and the large-scale program of systemic modernization of Kazakhstan as proposed in the President's Address.

Today, summing up the results of the second session, we should note the great work carried out by both Chambers to strengthen relations with other countries and international organizations.

During the session, the members of the Parliament have actively worked as part of 12 international parliamentary organizations, participated in more than 250 international events and have systematically developed cooperation with parliaments of more than 80 countries.

Dear colleagues! Concluding the work of the second session, we not only laid the foundation for further legislative work, but also gained the pace we need, which is very important to be maintained in the forthcoming period.

At the next, third session, the legislative work will, first of all, be directed at implementing the provisions of the Presidential Address.

In order to implement this program document, the deputy corps, in close cooperation with the Government, will ensure the adoption of well-worked laws aimed at building a new model of the national economy, fully supporting entrepreneurship, furnishing social guarantees to citizens, further strengthening the statehood and developing Kazakhstan's democracy.

Currently, there are 27 draft laws in the Parliament's portfolio.

This includes the most relevant laws: taxation, insurance, housing, social security as well as regulation of the agro-industrial complex.

Also, of great importance will be the adoption of a new edition of the Law "On Currency Regulation and Currency Control".

In addition, by the end of this year we are planning to consider the Code "On Taxes and Other Mandatory Payments to the Budget and Customs Regulation" and the Code "On Subsoil and Subsoil Use".

As you can see, the main distinctive feature of the legislative work of the MPs of the Parliament will continue to be its clear social orientation and the aspiration to solve the most urgent and pressing issues of our population.

Dear colleagues!

As you know, the day before yesterday, on June 28 this year, MPs were elected to the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A number of our colleagues taking part in today's meeting will be engaged in other activities starting from the autumn.

Therefore, speaking from this tribune, on behalf of the MPs of both Chambers of the Parliament I want to thank them sincerely for this joint work.

Each of you, dear colleagues, have worked in the Parliament for a different amount of time and a different number of years, and this was a very important period of your life.

As MPs of the Senate, you have played a significant role in developing Kazakhstan's parliamentarism.

Therefore, on behalf of your colleagues from the Mazhilis and the Senate of the Parliament, let me wish you good health, prosperity and great success in your future work.