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Kazakhstan: Postal Rates, Import Taxes Reduced

Prague, 3 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Akejan Kajegeldin has issued a government decree reducing postal rates and reducing to 20 percent the tax on imported automobiles. Our Almaty correspondent reports the new measures take effect January 5.

The decree also allows tourism-related shopkeepers to import up to 90 kilograms of goods tax free. The limited previously was 20 kilograms. The chairman of Kazakhstan's State Customs Committee Gani Kasymov tells our correspondent that the measures are designed generally to improve conditions for importing goods.

Border Troop Reductions To Be Topic Of Summit

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry has announced an April summit in Beijing of Russian, Chinese, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik leaders. Ministry officials tell our Almaty correspondent that the summit focus will be an agreement on border- troop reductions. A similar summit in China last year focused on security issues and cooperation between China and its neighbors.

Five Arrested For Drug Smuggling

An RFE/RL correspondent in Petropavlovsk City in northern Kazakhstan reports five Kazakh citizens have been arrested this week on drug smuggling charges. Authorities say large quantities of drugs, including nearly 400 kilograms of marijuana, were seized. The arrests and seizures took place near the border with Russia. Kazakh authorities say they seized about a ton of marijuana in norther Kazakhstan last year.