Kazakh Parliament Approves Surplus State Budget
<div class="caption"><div class="watermark"> <a href="http://gdb.rferl.org/FDF38901-C18B-4CB6-A584-B45C47DE91B9_mw800_mh600.jpg" rel="ibox" title="The approved budget assumes major revenue gains from oil (AFP)"> <img alt="The approved budget assumes major revenue gains from oil (AFP)" src="http://gdb.rferl.org/FDF38901-C18B-4CB6-A584-B45C47DE91B9_w203.jpg" class="photo" border="0"></a></div><p>The approved budget assumes major revenue gains from oil (AFP)</p></div>Astana, 9 November 2005 -- Kazakhstan's parliament today approved a state budget for next year in its final reading that includes a projected deficit of some 1.4 percent of GDP, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.
The budget includes cuts in funds for development institutions like the Kazakhstan Development Bank, the National Innovation Fund, and the so-called Investment Fund, according to a report by gazeta.kz.
It calls for increased spending in education, health, welfare, and agriculture, as well as culture, sports, tourism, transportation, and state security.
The budget projects revenues of 1.49 trillion tenges ($11 billion) and expenditures of 1.47 trillion tenges, and assumes a major boost from oil revenues and corporate tax receipts, according to gazeta.kz.
Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov said that more than $3.7 million has been earmarked to compensate victims of nearly 500 nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk, the area in northeastern Kazakhstan that served as the Soviet Union's primary atomic-weapons test site.
Inhabitants were exposed to nuclear radiation from above-ground tests, and they and their descendants have suffered from abnormally high rates of birth defect and serious illness.
Akhmetov said payments for people who were living in "maximum risk" zones during those tests will start receiving compensation in January. He said all victims of the tests will be receiving compensation in 2007.