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Oil Exporter Kazakhstan Forced To Revise Budget

Kazakhstan's government will revise its budget for the period 2015-2017, due to the drastic decrease in the price of oil on world markets.

Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dosaev told a January 16 meeting of the ruling Nur-Otan party in Astana that the new budget would be calculated on oil costing $50 per barrel.

According to Kazakhstan's website, the current budget for 2015-2017 is based on the price of oil averaging $80 per barrel.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev mentioned on January 15, "We revised our budget earlier. We will do it again, if necessary."

Nazarbaev also said, "We need to clearly let all Kazakhstanis know that we are cutting back on our expenses."

MP Tanirbergen Berdongarov from the Nur-Otan party told journalists the state program for construction of housing would be suspended "for this year," as part of those cuts in state expenses.

President Nazarbaev met with Umirzak Shukeyev, the head of the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, on January 16 and told Shukeyev to work out an anticrisis plan for the fund.

Nazarbaev told Shukeyev, "During the period of lower prices for the export goods of our country we need to ensure jobs are preserved."

Kazakhstan has some 30 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves and has been a center of investment for some two decades for world oil majors anxious to tap into the Central Asian nation's vast, and relatively untouched, hydrocarbon resources.

Reports said Kazakhstan also revised oil production for 2015, cutting some 1.3 million tons from the original target figure.

Kazakhstan has been producing about 80 million tons of oil for the last few years and planned to produce some 81.8 million tons this year with an eye to reaching output of some 96 million tons by 2019.

This year's new production figure is 80.5 million tons and the figure for 2017 is only slightly higher at 80.6 million tons.

The statistics committee of Kazakhstan's Ministry of National Economy announced on January 14 that GDP growth for last year was some 4.3 percent.

At the Nur-Otan party meeting on January 16 delegates said "under a baseline scenario," GDP growth is forecast at 1.5 percent for this year, 2.3 percent in 2016, and 3.4 percent in 2017.

From 2000 until 2007, backed by expanding oil production, Kazakhstan's GDP growth was around 10 percent annually with the lowest year being 2007 when it came to some 8.9 percent and the highest year being 2001 when it came to some 13.5 percent, according to World Bank figures.

Based on reporting by, Interfax