A series of measures decreed by President Nursultan Nazarbaev in the course of this week aim to drastically reduce and simplify the structure of Kazakstan’s government. The reform seeks to end "Communist-style management," to economize funds, and to "strike a strong blow against corruption, inefficiency, and arbitrariness," Nazarbaev stated. The number of ministries is being cut from 21 to 14, and state committees from 14 to 6. Each ministry will henceforth be entitled to a single deputy minister, instead of an array of first deputy and deputy ministers. The cabinet will have only two deputy prime ministers, instead of nearly a dozen; the powers of the latter are being devolved to the branch ministries and their subdivisions.
Kazakstan’s business partners will find that jurisdiction over oil, gas, and metallic ore deposits, as well as their extraction and processing, is being concentrated into an amalgamated Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, to be headed by Viktor Khrapunov. That jurisdiction has until now been split among many government agencies, creating bureaucratic complications.
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