Kazakh Parliament passes draft law on agglomerations development

Kazakhstan will introduce a new urban agglomeration management model. The corresponding bill and its consequential amendments have been approved by the country's Parliament. The draft law was presented to MPs by Minister of National Economy Alibek Kuantyrov. According to him, the bill drafted by the Head of State was based on international experience. It provides for amendments to five laws and two codes of land and budget. As Kuantyrov noted, Almaty, Astana, Shymkent, and possibly other administrative centres with a population of over 500,000 people will be defined as agglomeration centres. The new management model also provides for the creation of local councils as platforms for interaction between the officials of the cities and adjacent regions to address specific issues. The development of urban agglomerations will be coordinated by the National Council under the Government. In addition, it is envisaged that the authorities of Astana, Shymkent, and Almaty will control the implementation of the master plans, as well as the architectural and construction policy of suburban areas. The mayor’s office of Almaty may receive the right to borrow foreign loans to finance projects, mainly the green ones.

“These are mainly green projects. Particularly, a special green transport route can be created between Almaty city and the suburban zone. It is worth pointing out that it used to be a daunting task. These loans will be attracted strictly within the limit set by the Government, namely the Kazakh Ministry of National Economy that sets the corresponding limit for external and internal loans and coordinates it with the Kazakh Ministry of Finance. The most important point is that foreign loans will be provided in the national currency,” Kuantyrov said.