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December 01 - 07, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for Kyrgyzstan
Posted on December 7, 2014

Contents

Compiled by Caitlin Murphy – MIGS Desk Officer for Kyrgyzstan

  1. Anti-Corruption Initiatives
  2. Society
  3. Government and Politics
  4. Economy

*All articles translated from Russian, unless otherwise indicated*


1. Corruption in Kyrgyzstan
Slovo Kyrgyzstana News Agency, State-owned media, Accessed on 2 December 2014

Corruption has decreased

  • The State Tax Service in Kyrgyzstan, with the help of students from a local university, interviewed 600 business owners around Kyrgyzstan, including stores in high-end shopping complexes, boutiques, and market vendors. The study is part of the government’s heightened vigilance of corrupt tax collection.
  • Over 600 people surveyed were asked 21 questions. One question was whether or not tax inspectors required money or gifts during tax inspection proceedings. 60% of respondents said “no.”
  • A quarter of respondents had no knowledge of what to do in the case of unfair tax collection. Another issue noted is that business entrepreneurs are unaware of their rights related to taxes under state law, and are unaware how to access information about these rights. Respondents also mentioned that those who did try to access resources regarding tax collection rights and regulations, were unsatisfied with the direction they were given by government officials.
’24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 3 December, 2014

Kyrgyzstan ranks 136th place by Corruption Perceptions Index in 2014

  • According to Transparency International, Kyrgyzstan ranks 136th on the Corruption Perceptions Index out of 175 ranked countries in the world.
  • Kyrgyzstan scored worse than Russia, but better than its Central Asian neighbours. Russia ranked 127th, Kazakhstan ranked 140th, Tajikistan ranked 154th, and the168th rank was divided between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
‘24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 6 December 2014

The PM of Kyrgyzstan once again urges officials to fight against corruption

  • The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Djoomart Otorbaev, held a meeting with officials as part of the government's fight against corruption. His message was particularly directed at the Ministry of Finance and the State Registration Service- a Government division dealing with a variety of sectors including passport and visa control, civil registration, water and agriculture inspection, as well as registration of drivers and vehicles.
  • The PM urged the head of these divisions to define clear working plans to curb corruption. He reminded them that disciplinary measures will be taken against those who do not act accordingly, which includes the possibility of dismissal from one's post.
  • However, threats of disciplinary action may be seen as a formality, where no disciplinary action has yet been taken against any head of a state agency for acting corruptly.
2. Society
‘24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 4 December, 2014

In Kyrgyzstan no more than 1% of fourth-graders surveyed can read fluently

  • A study was conducted in 130 schools across Kyrgyzstan in urban and rural areas, both large and small, with a sample size of approximately 5 840 students. Of the 5 840 students surveyed, 1920 were instructed in Russian and 3920 were instructed in Kyrgyz. From each school, twenty students were selected from each of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th year classes.
  • The results were that a little more than 10% of students in 1st and 2nd years, and 1% of 4th year students, reached a basic level of fluency in reading in Kyrgyz and/or Russian.
‘24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 5 December 2014

Suspected that 175 people in the Kara-Suu district of Kyrgyzstan are members of extremist religious organizations

  • There is suspected Membership of 175 people in extremist religious organizations in the district of Kara-Suu, which is located in Southern Kyrgyzstan, just North of Osh. This number has been provided to the press from the office of the State Ministry of Interior in Osh.
  • According to them, 73 of the 175 people mentioned have a criminal record under Article 299 of Kyrgyzstan's Criminal Code for the storage of religious extremist materials.
  • The police department in Osh also notes that 48 Kyrgyz citizens have left the region to take part in fighting in Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Kabar News Agency, State owned media, Accessed on 5 December 2014  

Pamir Kyrgyz could disappear in 15 years, says A. Mamataliev

  • The Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Abdrahman Mamataliev, received the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kyrgyzstan, Johann Siffointe, on Mr. Siffointe’s last day in office.
  • Mamataliev thanked Siffointe for his efforts. Since the establishment of the UNHCR office in Krygyzstan, great efforts were undertaken to reduce statelessness, and to implement mechanisms for dispute resolution particularly in Kyrgyzstan’s South.
  • At one point in the meeting Mamataliev drew Siffointe’s attention to the possibility of the UNHRC offering assistance to the ethnic Kyrgyz living in the Pamir mountains in Afghanistan’s North, particularly the Little and Big Pamirs.
  • Mamataliev pointed to harsh climatic conditions in area, which is without developed health and education facilities. He said that the Pamir Kyrgyz population is reduced by 6-7% every year, and over the next 10 to 15 years we can expect a gradual disappearance.
  • Siffointe stressed that the issue can be resolved through cooperation with the government of Afghanistan.
3. Government and Politics
Kabar News Agency, State-owned media, Accessed 2 December 2014
  • Putin sign law ratifying Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation agreement
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, has ratified an agreement with Kyrgyzstan for the development of economic cooperation between the two countries, as Kyrgyzstan begins its accession to the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • Over the next two years, the Russian government plans to allocate $1.2 billion to facilitate Kyrgyzstan’s entrance into the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia has promised to grant Kyrgyzstan $200 million for its accession to the Customs Union alone.
  • Kyrgyz authorities decided to join the Moscow-led Customs Union in the spring of 2011. Kyrgyzstan is currently aligning its legislation with that of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
  • A treaty on Kyrgyzstan’s accession is expected to be signed on 23 December 2014.
’24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed 3 December 2014

State Officials will check on the Kyrgyz language

  • The government has plans to test the Kyrgyz language proficiency of its Civil Servants. A pilot test of the program ran this week, which included 15 employees from the Office of the President.
  • The program is called the KYRGYZTEST, and was created by the National Testing Centre of the Ministry of Education in 2013.
  • It will be implemented in order to determine the proficiency of people, civil servants, students, and others, in areas where proficiency is required.
4. Economy
Kabar News Agency, state-owned media, Accessed on 4 December 2014

Revenues of Kyrgyz migrant workers in Russia fell by 30-40%

  • Western sanctions against Russia and the devaluation of the ruble have caused a loss of 30-40% in revenue. Where before Kyrgyz migrants in Russia would receive 700-1000 dollars annually, now workers receive 30-40% less than that.
  • He warns that if the situation does not change, the result will be negative for the Kyrgyz economy, as 33% of Krygyzstan’s GDP comes from remittances, and 80% of that revenue comes from workers in Russia.
‘24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 5 December 2014

Employers from UAE come to recruit in Osh

  • A member of the department of the Ministry of Labour in Osh reported that employers from the UAE arrived in Osh looking to recruit labourers.
  • Contracts for up to two years were offered, along with coverage of travel and other incidentals during the migration process. The contract designates that certain of these expenses will be later deducted from the labourers’ paychecks.
  • The most essential requirement is proficiency in English.
  • 60 applications so far have been lined up for an interview.
‘24.kg’ News Agency, Privately-owned media, Accessed on 5 December 2014

More than 50% of pensioners in Kyrgyzstan receive a pension less than what would be a living wage

  • At a press conference the chairman of the Kyrgyz Social Fund, Muhammetkaly Abulgazi, claimed that the pensions of 50% of Kyrgyz pensioners were below subsistence level. According to him, out of 589 000 registered pensioners, 336 000 receive too low of payments.
  • He says that citizens feel it is unfair, where pension distribution is unequal.
  • Those that suffer most are identified as those who retired early, as a result of injury, for example, and those that received small wages throughout their working experience.
  • It has also been noted as controversial that special positions can warrant special pensions that exceed those of most other pensioners
5. Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia
Kabar News Agency, State-owned media, 02 December 2014

Atambayev: “The project of construction of ‘Kambar-Ata 1’ is necessary not only for Kyrgyzstan, but also for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan”

  • In a press conference with local television stations, the President of Kyrgyzstan made the statement that the ‘Kambar-Ata 1’ dam project was important for all its neighboring countries, not only Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. 5
  • He explained that today’s generation of electricity at the Toktogul dam in Kara-kol leaves the reservoir drained. Building a second dam upstream of the Toktogul dam will allow electricity from the same source of water to be generated twice over.
  • This will allow for more redirection of available water to downstream countries in the spring, when water is needed by Kyrgyzstan’s neighbours. The president said that although Uzbekistan is now afraid of the project, the country will come to understand the project.
‘24.kg’ News Agency, State-owned media, 06 December 2014

Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to buy electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

  • As reported by the Tajik media, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are going to begin selling electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the four-way joint CASA-1000 dam project. Tajikistan will get 70% of the revenue from energy exports, while Kyrgyzstan will get 30%. The CASA-1000 project is set to be fully functional by 2018.
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