MP proposes introducing food coupons for poor

Photo © Adilbek Tauekelov /
Majilis Deputy Amanzhan Zhamalov expressed concern over the unprecedented rise in food prices in Kazakhstan and demands that the country's state bodies stop "imitation of vigorous activity" in matters of price containment, correspondent reports.

The National Bank and the Government, the deputy said, report that inflation is only 7.2% in annual terms, but a completely different picture is observed in stores.

"Prices for certain foods are growing in double digits. Quite recently, the just indignation of the population was caused by a sharp rise in the price of potatoes up to 500 tenge per kilo. Examples can be continued," he said.

Amanzhan Zhamalov believes that the Government needs to closely monitor the situation and take adequate measures to curb the rise in food prices.

"First of all, in order to fight inflation, it is necessary to deal with monopolies and cartels. Recently, the Prime Minister of Russia named the greed of individual producers and retail chains as the main reason for the rise in prices. This also applies to Kazakhstan. What does our Agency for the Competition Protection and Development do? Ministers are constantly engaged in clarifying the situation, but the people have not yet seen tangible shifts. Recently, the Agency for the Competition Protection and Development told us about a new practice of preventing unreasonable price rises. They call it the practice of "soft law." In fact, it looks like another newfangled gibberish, the deputy resented.

He recalled that in 4 months the antimonopoly authority issued 48 notifications to producers and wholesalers of eggs, sunflower oil, sugar, buckwheat, dairy products, chicken meat, pasta on the basis of anticompetitive concerted actions, abuse of a dominant or monopoly position.

"If you look at the statistics, over the past 12 months, eggs have risen in price by 33.7%, sunflower oil - by 48%, sugar - by 26.3%, buckwheat - by 29.4%. These are the goods for which the agency issued notifications. What is such a "soft law" for then? I think that in such a situation it is necessary to act more effectively, and not engage in imitation of vigorous activity, "Amanzhan Zhamalov emphasized.

In this regard, the deputy considers it necessary to analyze the reasons for the rise in prices for socially important goods, change the current approaches to curb price hypes, step up efforts to combat speculative price rises as a result of collusion between suppliers and sellers, develop proposals to increase targeted social assistance, introduce food certificates for socially vulnerable population, as well establish interagency interaction to develop vigorous and effective measures to contain prices, with the personalization of responsibility.

Laura Tusupbekova
11:40, 16 June 2021

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