Deputies of the Senate at the first reading approved the draft Law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Issues of Specially Protected Natural Areas”, initiated by the deputies of the Parliament.
Speaker of the Senate Maulen Ashimbayev noted that the Parliament has a lot of work to implement the priorities outlined in the Address of the Head of State. According to the Chairman of the Chamber, the President of the country outlined specific laws that need to be adopted in the coming period. Legislation on civil service will be chaged. By the end of the year it is planned to adopt a law “On industrial policy”, as well as a law regulating purchases in the quasi-public sector. Maulen Ashimbaev reminded that close attention in the Address was paid to improving tax legislation, strengthening the fight against corruption, accessibility of information, protecting human rights, as well as developing local self-government, strengthening public control and increasing the role of public councils.
“We are facing high demand tasks. We will work on their timely and systematic implementation. Each draft law must be carefully discussed in terms of national interests and regional development. This is the task of the Senators. When considering draft laws, we will work in close contact with representatives of civil society, NGOs, experts. We must make our contribution to solving urgent problems, taking into account public requests. This is one of our key areas of work,” Speaker of the Senate emphasized.
Maulen Ashimbaev also noted the importance of the draft law on specially protected natural reservations.
“The draft law considered today in the first reading is aimed at improving legislation in the field of specially protected natural reservations. These changes are imperative of our time. In recent months, environmental and animal protection issues have been actively discussed in society. Deputies supported the concept of the draft law. Now, before the second reading, the head committee will have to comprehensively discuss the existing issues together with the responsible Ministry,” Maulen Ashimbayev said at the plenary session of the Senate.
The law provides for the introduction of mechanisms for the return of defense lands removed from specially protected areas to reserve lands for the construction of Kokzhailau ski resort and individual plots provided for Burabay FEZ tourist complex. Currently, the areas of nature reserves and resort areas allocated for specific purposes are not used for their intended purpose. Parliamentarians have come up with an initiative to return these territories to National Parks and unique natural complexes under the special protection of the State.
According to the draft law, it is necessary to amend the Land Code and the Law “On Specially Protected Natural Areas”. The deputies propose to simplify the procedure for the return of reserved lands to specially protected natural areas without scientific and feasibility studies, but at the suggestion of the Government in agreement with the relevant department and local executive bodies. The draft law states that reserve lands that have not been developed for their intended purpose within a year are subject to return to specially protected areas.
“Essentially, the law states that lands transferred from specially protected areas to reserve lands and unused for their intended purpose, tourism development or special economic zones are subject to return. In a year, if the reserve lands are not transferred and are not used for their intended purpose, by the decision of the Government and in agreement with the authorized body, they are returned again to the lands of specially protected natural reservations. For example, Burabay resort zone, where 360 hectares were allocated for the FEZ, of which 110 hectares have not been used. Now the process of return is ongoing. Another example is Kokzhaylau ski resort, where 1002 hectares were not used, is under the process of return”, - explained one of the developers, Deputy of the Senate, Nurlan Kylyshbaev.
In addition, at the plenary session of the Senate, the Deputies voiced inquiries addressed to the Prime Minister. Appeal of the Senator Murat Baktiyaruly concerns the work of the healthcare system during the pandemic. In his request Ali Bektayev touches upon rural health issues. Andrey Lukin is interested in the state and development of projects within the framework of public-private partnerships and SMEs. Akhylbek Kurishbayev made a request on the development of cooperation of personal subsidiary plots. Senator Kairat Kozhamzharov expressed his worries about the lack of funding for the National Guard.