Kazakh government allocates additional financial support to SMEs affected by COVID-19
Businesses in Kazakhstan that suffered significant losses due to the current epidemiological situation and quarantine measures will receive state support. In order to provide additional assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises, interest rates on existing loans of enterprises that belong to the affected sectors of the economy will be subsidized, bringing interest rates to 6 percent per annum for the borrower, stated Kazakh Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov at a government session. He said that the lending will cover a period of 12 months, starting from the date of the announcement of the nationwide state of emergency. This is only the beginning. According to the relevant department, in the future, a number of measures will be taken to help businesses to recover.
“This includes the automation of the risk management system, audit of all regulatory requirements and the development of proposals to reduce them by establishing the relevant commission. Measures will be taken to introduce the institution of regulatory appeal by amending the Entrepreneurial Code accordingly,” Dalenov said.
He summed up that such measures will also contribute to meeting the targets of increasing the share of SMEs in the country’s GDP to 35 percent.
In addition, Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Yerbolat Dossayev said that on the instructions of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, additional 200 billion tenge (US$477.3 million) were allocated in the country to support enterprises in order to restore economic growth.
“The list of industries will be determined by the government in conjunction with the ‘Atameken’ National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The National Bank’s concessional lending program will be increased to 800 billion tenge (US$1.9 billion) and extended until the end of 2021,” Dossayev said.
In his state-of-the-nation address, President Tokayev said that the business sector was affected the most by the current coronavirus pandemic. Many of the points from his speech were about economic issues. The Head of State instructed to provide additional assistance to SMEs hard hit by the COVID-19 emergency. All departments are currently working on the ways to implement the given instructions. For example, Kazakh Ministry of National Economy is ready to present a plan in five directions, including the improvement of fiscal policy. A number of taxes and fees will soon be significantly minimized in Kazakhstan.