While the government sets the Ministry of Agriculture the task of curbing the unjustified rise in food prices, the leadership of the veterinary service puts obstacles to processors in providing raw materials and lobbying the interests of intermediaries for sure, not disinterestedly. At the head of the pyramid rises odious figure, Vice Minister of Agriculture Gulmira Isayeva , which enjoys a reputation for its hands of ex-head of the department of agrarian Asylzhan Mamytbekov as part of the current team of the Ministry of Agriculture, says ” KazahZerno.kz “.
The official arbitrariness has led to the situation where one of the largest enterprises in Kazakhstan, which has been involved in the production of sausages for two decades, has got into a critical situation – Sterkh LLP . The founder of the company, Vadim Lukash, says that he has units in the Akmola region and the North Kazakhstan region. It supplies its products to large retail chains of the country. It is in demand, because it is of high quality, and is also represented in the low-cost segment – what the population needs in our difficult times.
To keep the cost of production at an acceptable level, the company allows the fact that it supplies raw materials from Russia and Europe itself, without intermediaries.
Rather, it was imported. At the beginning of this year, thunder struck – the veterinary service of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan (which, as you know, is supervised by Gulmira Isaeva) initiated an undeclared war against Sterkh LLP , practically making it impossible to import raw materials – chicken meat. At the same time, the enterprise is now besieged by intermediaries, offering Vadim Lukash to buy through them the same meat (and from the same poultry farms!) With which he worked for many years, but with a margin of 30 – 40%!
In fact, it turns out that the officials put the businessman before the choice – either to close the production, or to share with suppliers. There is a clear feeling that civil servants and intermediaries work in tandem, thereby squeezing fat benefits for themselves.
The first bell about the preparation of the “collision” from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan rang out at the end of last year, when in one of the consignments of raw materials sent to the “Sterkh” LLP, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan allegedly found an excess of infection rates.
In principle, the very fact of such a “find” will not surprise anyone who is familiar with the organization of the laboratory and the state of its equipment. So even if we assume that the “find” was not made on purpose, it could well be entered into the sample from the outside.
However, the recipients did not begin to find out all these nuances and simply ordered an alternative analysis in a more reliable place. He turned out to be negative. The raw materials were released, and the enterprise continued to work.
“Hint” from the vice minister
However, it was too early to rejoice. At the end of February 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture suddenly revoked import permits without explanation. By that time, the Sterkh LLP was already sent a car with chicken from Europe. As a result, it is stuck on c treasure t temporary storage, wherein staid half months without movements.
“There is no such provision in the law – so that the raw materials stand!” indignant Vadim Lukash. “The veterinary service is obliged to take a sample of the cargo for analysis, and use one of two options – if the analysis is clean, give the cargo to us. If something is found, send the car back. All! It is impossible to keep the goods locked up!”
So, the analysis was really carried out, and ten days after the receipt of the goods, it became clear that it satisfies all conditions of quality and safety. But officials refused to give it to the recipient. Rather, they did not give any intelligible answer at all, I attribute everything to the emergency mode. A behind the scenes employees of RK Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Department of the Akmola region, surprised themselves while, nodding “up” and talked about the verbal orders personally Gulmira Isayeva – “not to let”.
Vadim Lukash had a clear feeling that they decided to “teach him a lesson” for something, at the same time incline him to work through an intermediary supplier. Now this – the task of law enforcement: check affiliation Vice-Minister and the companies-suppliers, which have all the necessary papers from the Ministry of Agriculture and safely carry in Kazakhstan the same chicken, with the same factory farms – and offer him LLC «Siberian Crane ». But already with a wrap of 30-40%!
The situation hung in the air for a month and a half – from the beginning of March to April 23, when the car was finally (again – without explanation) given to Vadim Lukash.
“Now for me this chicken is golden,” the businessman laments. – After all, a day of downtime cost me 300 euros. That is, the total damage caused by officials is almost 15 thousand euros. Naturally, I won’t leave it like that and will sue. My European partners who shipped the goods to Kazakhstan are planning to do the same. They, too, are shocked by the situation – they have never encountered such bureaucratic lawlessness anywhere before.
Loafers versus business
Processing of agricultural products is welcomed all over the world. The Kazakhstan government has repeatedly set this task as a priority. But it is in words. But in fact?
– For us, the most offensive in this situation is that we would like to work on domestic raw materials – but it simply does not exist! – says Vadim Lukash. – We are forced to import more than half the volume of meat! How many years in a row the Ministry of Agriculture of the RK has been building one program after another, constantly promising to achieve certain indicators. Five thousand people are sitting there, discussing something – but the result is not. On the contrary, “thanks to” the MOA policy, quotas for importing chicken from non-CIS countries over the past 10 years have grown by almost 50%, from 110 thousand tons to 147 thousand tons. Plus, imports from the countries of the Customs Union chicken imports have almost doubled. Now we see the reason for this, we feel for ourselves – because instead of helping to develop the industry, officials are destroying what we businessmen are creating with such difficulty. Here, look, only on the example of our LLP: for the period of problems that the veterinary service created for us, due to a lack of raw materials, we had to cut about 50% of our employees, reduced tax transfers to the budget by three times, and reduced the volume of output by three times.
For reference: STERKH LLP has been a producer of food products since 1995. The number of employees at the end of February is 200 people. Finished goods production in the sausages and semi-finished goods segment for 2019 was 2 857 000 kg or about 6% of the total production for these goods in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Paid taxes for 2019 156 239 039 tenge. What awaits him in the future is unclear.
We are waiting for the reaction of the prosecutor’s office
Meanwhile, Sterkh LLP has already appealed to the prosecutor’s office and the anti-corruption department with a request to respond to an outrageous violation of business rights. And the “veterinarians” do this at a time when the President of Kazakhstan, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, demands that pressure on entrepreneurs be reduced, and the government speaks of the need to provide the population with affordable food.
But it seems that the old guard, entrenched in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, uses the same working methods that are used to under the previous bosses. Let us remember at least the case of the Muslim Umiryaevym, Deputy Asylzhan Mamytbekov that thundered for a bribe of 10 years. Is history repeating itself?
How long will the current head of the Ministry of Agriculture Saparkhan Omarov endure next to himself this foul-smelling “inheritance”?