The Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan – Department of evil doings

Новость на Казах-зерно:

There is no need to convince anyone that just as the fish rots from the head, corruption is growing from the top. And yet, despite actively promoted fight against this social evil, in Kazakhstan there are strangely few convicted corrupt officials of high rank. Of the recent examples we can recall only the former Minister of Health Zhaksylyk Doskaliev convicted in August of last year and sentenced to 7 years of the colony with a strict regime with confiscation of property for a corruption offense. But each “sentenced” minister is the best incentive for other officials to serve the country rather than his own pocket.

In this regard, we see the only real way to fight corruption in Kazakhstan – the regular high-profile trials of ministers, caught in the crimes. In this regard, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for law enforcement agencies to take a closer look at the candidacy of the head of the Ministry of Agriculture Asylzhan Mamytbekov.

Clever mouse

Activities of Asylzhan Mamytbekov in agricultural sector make the country’s farmers to laugh hysterically through the bitter tears. He first showed itself in all its glory as the head of the National Holding “KazAgro”, controlling all state funds, poured into the industry development. Then he deftly jumped into a chair of the Minister of agriculture. And to the present New Year he made himself really a very precious present – in addition to the ministerial portfolio he also got the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors “KazAgro”. Thus, Asylzhan Mamytbekov united in his hands administrative and financial leverage, embodied in his person in democratic Kazakhstan a classic example of plutocracy (from the Greek ‘plutos’ – wealth and ‘kratos’ – power).

And for what Mr. Mamytbekov guides such potential? Is it for the development of one of the top-priority industries for the country – agriculture? Entirely not, he copes very badly with his work.

It is enough to remember the harsh criticism that earlier this year was brought down the head of the Minister of Agriculture by President Nursultan Nazarbayev: “Mamytbekov, the mountain gave birth to a mouse – this is the result of your work. – The Ministry of Agriculture still did not hold a solid and concrete work. Over the past three years the state has invested huge amounts of money for the construction of farms – dairy and beef, feedlots, poultry farms, greenhouses, vegetable stores, but where is the result? “.

Pawn

We’d rather not argue with the President. Moreover, there is no subject, a correspondent of “KazakhZerno.kz” edition wrote. Moreover, we can extend the list of failures of Asylzhan Mamytbekov as the Minister, which prove his professional unsuitability at the current position.

There are some of readers’ comments on the site of one of the news agencies that have published the news about the president’s criticism in the address of Mamytbekov:
“Well, what an agrarian Mamytbekov is? He was an office clerk, who got a ministerial seat. And no matter – which one “…
“The fact is that he is not a professional in this field, and this is the most important thing. Here you need experience, theory and practice. Remember, as in Soviet times, people were making unreal volumes: did not sleep at night, worried, etc. These professionals are born to be the Ministers of agriculture. Do you understand? And Mamytbekov – he is just a pawn, or through the buddy system! “

“Big harvest is harmful for the country,” – these were the words of Mamytbekov. What a nonsense! And besides, from the mouth of the Minister of  Agriculture! “
“It’s high time for the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Financial Police to take a closer look at the Ministry of Agriculture. It has matured! How they harvested grain crop in 2011, how much grain rotted in the fields! Who will pay farmers for their losses? “

But we will not focus on the failures in the work of the head of the Ministry of Agriculture. Eventually, a lack of professionalism is not judged – for it people are fired. We began our conversation about the need to combat corruption, which is now holding back the development of agriculture in Kazakhstan.

Corruptive hell

The sea port itself is under the authority of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Kazakhstan, and grain terminal is controlled by “ProdCorporation”, which in its turn – by holding “KazAgro” – i.e., by the Ministry of Agriculture. Due to this close proximity of the two government agencies, we can easily compare their work. And this comparison causes a lot of questions is in the direction of the agricultural department.

To experience all the circles of corruptive hell on his own example, built by the Ministry of Agriculture and “KazAgro” around the grain terminal “Ak biday terminal” have happened to LLC “Long-suffering grain.”

In the middle of last year LLC “Long-suffering grain” was trying to get the opportunity to ship a cargo of barley in Iran by sea. But the simple at first sight business, ran into an impenetrable multi-layered “defense” of officials. Numerous letters, phone calls and personal meetings of employees of LLC “Long-suffering grain” with all the links of the management pyramid led to nothing. Representatives of the grain company eventually failed to send the goods.

But semi-annual experience of beating the head against the administrative barrier made it possible to establish the existence of corruptive schemes, on which the whole work of the terminal is based. This scheme has allowed officials to turn the state owned grain terminal into the personal patrimony, serving only their own pockets, but not the interests of the state.

It looks like this: “Ak biday Terminal” on a regular basis provides grain handling only for three – four companies. They appeared “in the cage” at that very moment when Asylzhan Mamytbekov headed “KazAgro”. Attempts of any other companies to ship through the terminal met with a refusal. The motivations for refusal were so-called modest capacities, insufficient for the shipment of all wishing to do it. But! If the trader asks for help some forwarding firm (the officials are always happy to tell in advance which), he is eventually shipped. And the secret is that the forwarding company takes a lot of money for their services. And they, unlike the fixed state rates, does not go  to the state budget, but settle in the right pockets.

Well, well, in this example it can be clearly seen on what the officials are spending their forces and state funds. They have no time to engage in public affairs – they need to think about their personal well-being…

Agreement- judgement

We remind that according to the Law, corruption is defined as the use of power to obtain property benefit” by officials. Therefore the scheme of this, we may say, “work”, can be considered only as corruption. And honest grain traders do not want to put up with it. LLC “Long-suffering grain” after the semi-annual negotiations, seemingly, managed to get into the number of companies sending the goods without hiring brokers. In the end of 2011 the firm signed an agreement on shipment of a batch of barley with JSC “Ak biday terminal.” LLC “Long-suffering grain” chartered a ship, but … at the last moment, despite the existence of the contract, the shipment of grain through the JSC “Ak biday Terminal” was denied!

– We were in a terrible situation – said the representative of LLC “Long-suffering grain.” – It was not our fault that we could not ship the grain, thus violating an agreement with the owner of the vessel. For a few days of downtime, we paid a huge amount of money, and sustained losses. And the penalties would have been much higher if we were not able to find another company that has agreed to use a vessel chartered by us to send their cargo. Thus, the actions of JSC “Ak biday Terminal” actually put us on the brink of bankruptcy … We have had a desire to file a lawsuit against the management of the terminal. But months of negotiations have convinced us that, in fact, Rafael Galyamov, Chairman of the Board of JSC “Ak biday terminal” does not take any important decisions concerning the work of the terminal. All policies are defined at the top, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan.

It should be noted that the links of JSC “Ak biday terminal” to “objective reasons” supposedly impeding implementation of shipment, made grain traders feel sick and giddy. As they say, only that who does not want to work is looking for reasons. And who wants to work, he is looking for opportunities. LLC “Long-suffering grain” found such an opportunity to ship, by-passing the grain terminal: shipping for some time is going in big bags directly through the port of Aktau. We remind that the port is under the authority of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Kazakhstan, and not the Ministry of Agriculture. And as it turns out, in the transport department are working whether much more professional experts, or simply not accepting corruption.

Новость на Казах-зерно:Unanswered questions

However, this is the solution – shipping in big bags cannot suit the grain company very well, because this method is twice as expensive as traditional. In principle, shipping this way – this is the first case in Kazakhstan. Previously, the grain was dispatched only through the grain terminal, “in bulk”.

Transportation in big bags is an extreme way, in order not to undermine finally his reputation among the grain buyers, which was severely damaged by the fault of JSC “Ak biday terminal.”

– We had hoped to regulatory authorities who could verify the work of JSC “Ak biday terminal” and to establish the facts which we meet with – said the representative of LLC “Long-suffering grain.” – Unfortunately, we have not received any answers or have received letters in which it was mentioned that there are no disturbances in the work of terminal.

Although there is nothing surprising here, if grain traders are right that this whole scheme is controlled by the Minister of Agriculture. In order to catch such a high-flyer, even the regulatory agencies need approval from above. But will they get it?


Leah Strick

“KazakhZerno.kz” edition:
[email protected]

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