Kazakhstan’s debt continues to grow but the government isn’t worried

Senior correspondent
ремьер-министр РК Алихан Смаилов. Фото Аскара Ахметуллина
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov / Photo: Askar Akhmetullin

The public debt of Kazakhstan is at a safe level. The government is going to ensure that the debt won’t exceed 25% of the GDP within the next five years, Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov said during a joint meeting of the higher and lower houses of the parliament.

During the meeting, MP Anas Bakkozhaev asked the prime minister about exactly what the cabinet is doing to decrease public debt.

In response to the inquiry, Smailov stated that the issue of reducing public debt is one of the primary concerns of the cabinet, which is following the best practices in this field.

«Currently, the country’s debt is at a safe level. This is 24.7% of the GDP. The cabinet has been implementing a range of measures to cut the public debt and associated budget costs,» he said.

Smailov also noted that the cabinet is going to decrease the budget deficit, which will let the country attract new loans and prevent spending from further growth.

Secondly, there is the task of boosting budget revenues. To achieve this goal the cabinet should improve the country’s tax and customs administration and proceed with the process of digitalization.

«Last year, the revenue of the country’s budget increased by 42%. We are expecting that this year the increase will be about 40%. We must keep this growth going,» the prime minister said.

He also underlined that Kazakhstan is now prioritizing domestic borrowings nominated in the tenge. This reduces the foreign currency risk.

Another effective measure is the addition of government securities in international indices and the attraction of international depositories to the country. As a result, Kazakhstan will be able to attract more foreign investors and reduce the cost of borrowing.

«In general, we are expecting the public debt to be at a safe level within the next five years, not exceed 25% of the GDP,» Smailov highlighted.

In the first quarter of 2023, the cabinet reported that the public debt reached $58.7 billion or $61.6 if obligations issued by the government are taken into account. The public debt of Kazakhstan rapidly grew last year.

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