Nobody considers our opinion - agrarian on introduction of utilization fee for agricultural machinery in Kazakhstan
Farmers from all regions of Kazakhstan continue to send requests to our editorial office and actively speak out against the utilization fee for agricultural machinery. Despite the fact that the relevant order of the Ministry of Ecology came into force at the end of June, farmers hope that in the process of adoption of the new Environmental Code, which is currently under consideration in Parliament, the norms on the collection of utilization fees will be excluded.
We had an interview on this subject with Akshabai Kerimbekov, chairman of the Almaty Regional branch of the Farmers' Union of Kazakhstan.
What do you think of the measure to introduce utilization fees for agricultural machinery in Kazakhstan?
- The practice of utilization fee is quite common in civilized countries, but now, given the pandemic, people are surviving as much as they can, and at this time the fee is being introduced. We tried by all means to resist it, but in this case, the state was " deaf". Until this issue is resolved, our opinion will not be taken into account.
Representatives of "Atameken" actively speak about the need to cancel the utilization fee. In your opinion, how realistic is it?
- Now how can it be canceled, when it came into force? We opposed it, we "attacked" from all over the country for 10 days, all farmers opposed it, but there was no result. Now the equipment will simply go up in price - combines and tractors - by five million. Imported equipment will also increase in price. We need to renew 70% of the agricultural machinery fleet, and how can we, if we do not produce our own tractors, everything comes mainly from Belarus, Europe and America.
The initiators of utilization fee are planning to develop the domestic agricultural machine building at its expense. How do you feel about this idea?
- All this is doubtful, because the domestic machine-building can be developed with the help of other instruments as well. Now there is a struggle to get the money transferred abroad back to the country, why not send it? There are many other mechanisms, and the development of mechanical engineering through the utilization fee, which falls on farmers, is delusional.
[For reference: On May 28, during the plenary session of the Senate, MP Olga Perepechina stated the need to take measures to prevent illegal capital outflow from Kazakhstan. According to her data, US $140 billion was spent in offshore areas in 20 years. She noted that the country lacks a single monitoring and evaluation system in this area].
It will be impossible to buy equipment now. It is so expensive because of customs and other fees, as long as it passes through our cordons, doubles its price. It's much cheaper to buy abroad. Now we have decided to use the utilization fee as well, what will be the result of this? Farmers today have a hard time, and here it is as if it is done on purpose to destroy agriculture, although it must, on the contrary, be revived. Without the revival of agriculture, the state will never be rich.
Do you think that the utilization fee will affect the prices of agricultural products?
- Naturally, it will. An increase in the price of one link in the chain leads to an increase in the price of all other links. In developed countries, where normal prices for machinery are normal, utilization fee is common practice. Where farmers are allowed to work normally, no one opposes the collection, it is taken for granted. Because there the question of buying is solved. We have a farmer on our own, I'm not talking about lattifundists, who can be counted on the fingers. They solve their own issues: they take subsidies, they take loans because they have collateral. The rest of them stay overboard. A simple farmer is not even considered. Everything is connected: to get subsidies, you have to show the costs, but there are no costs. With loans, there would be costs, but normal loans don't. That is why now is not the time to introduce the utilization fee, given the financial situation of the farm sector.