Speaking in the course of the Open Dialogue («Открытый диалог») television program, Minister of Information and Social Development Dauren Abayev made a comment regarding the discontent of some Kazakhstanis with the situation in which the state supposedly provides significant humanitarian support to Afghanistan instead of helping mortgage holders. First, he pointed out that the state helped Kazakhstanis with 25 thousand mortgage loans, and the debts worth 48 billion tenge were forgiven to those who had accumulated them.
«Of course there are some categories of citizens that the state is supposed to be assisting in repaying housing loans. To date in Kazakhstan, debt treatments for almost 25 thousand mortgage holders have been significantly improved at the expense of state funds. The total amount owed had stood at more than 140 billion tenge, approximately 48 billion tenge of which were forgiven. I believe this is a significant assistance to those in need. But the complete write-off of all their credits, I reckon, is a wrong thing to do. Its consequences would be a heavy burden not for the state apparatus, as many people believe, but for the taxpayers», Abayev said.
According to him, often it is so that not everyone of those picketing is in a desperate situation.
«One of them wants to solve their mortgage problems taking advantage of such a development. The other one experiences difficulties in servicing payments on a mortgage loan for purchasing a one-room flat on the outskirts of the city. And the third one calls for writing off his credit for purchasing a cottage or a four-room flat in one of the elite districts of Almaty», the Minister said.
Dauren Abayev considered the talks about the government providing significant humanitarian support to Afghanistan instead of helping mortgage holders to be mere speculation.
«Kazakhstan is not the only country rendering assistance to Afghanistan. Today the whole world is seriously concerned about the problems of this country. There is an explanation for it. The international community must assist in providing the necessary environment for the return of normalcy to Afghanistan after decades of armed conflict. Unless that happens, unless the normal life is restored in that war-torn country, the risk of incursions and attacks by extremist forces, the threat of drug trafficking and radicalism will always invisibly hang over us all. There is a separation of only 1 500 kilometers between that country and the Republic of Kazakhstan. For instance, now students from Afghanistan pursue their studies at higher education institutions in Kazakhstan. Returning to their homeland, they would take up employment in governmental structures, schools, hospitals, and each one of them at his or her place would try to make their country a better place. Yet, it should be noted that there had always been an alternative way ahead of them at the time – to join one of two dozen terrorist organizations. If, one day, the security situation in the Central Asian region takes a serious turn and such militants, trained in camps of terrorists, get very close to our borders, we will be concerned here with the threats to the lives of our people rather than with spending of millions of tenge. And we can’t let that happen», Dauren Abayev explained.
Brief history: In Afghanistan, Kazakhstan provided developmental assistance, military medics, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal units for demining missions. And since 2015, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan have worked to improve trade ties and more recently created a joint transit company to facilitate trade between the countries. Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with assistance of the UNDP and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) leads ODA titled «Promoting Kazakhstan’s ODA Cooperation with Afghanistan». The ODA is aimed at expanding economic independence and rights of Afghan women. The project marks Kazakhstan’s first international cooperation for Afghanistan in the framework of national system of ODA – Official development aid.