Violation of the rules: How deposits are distributed in Kazakhstan
The Council for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs and Anti-Corruption under the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs (NCE) “Atameken” in Kazakhstan has reported that state bodies in the distribution of mineral deposits in the country are not always following the law and that there are corruption risks that affect the interests of both business and society as a whole. The chairman of the council, Kairbek Suleimenov, stated that the state, often luring entrepreneurs into various projects, is playing an unfair game, as it can cancel its own decision at any time. Even the inclusion of a project in the Unified Map of Industrialization, approved by a government decree, does not guarantee its implementation. An example given is the case of PMK Kurlys LLP from the East Kazakhstan region, which had their rights violated in the development of a bentonite clay deposit on the territory of state forest fund and specially protected natural areas. Despite investing over a quarter of a billion tenge in the project, the state deprived the entrepreneur of the right to carry out entrepreneurial activities in this area. Suleimenov stated that insufficient legal regulation in the field of subsoil use has a negative impact on the development of entrepreneurial activity in the region and limits the development of investment activities in the country. Recommendations were made to state bodies, including the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources to conduct an internal investigation and the Committee for Forestry and Wildlife to conduct an internal analysis of corruption risks when issuing conclusions on the right to carry out economic activities in specially protected natural areas. The materials of the council meeting will be sent to the Government Office and the Prosecutor General’s Office for consideration.