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Deputies vs Government: Cabinet is preparing a response

There is only a week till the "day of government," which will take place in the Parliament on March 31. It is despite the fact that a purely economic issue - "the Kyrgyz government's policy on attraction and protection of investments, development of entrepreneurship, production and promotion of products on the foreign market" has been brought up for discussion. Parapolitical circles consider the forthcoming meeting as a milestone for the Cabinet and directly for its leader Temir Sariev.

This is explained not only by the fact that the meeting precedes the upcoming annual report of the government, which is traditionally heard in the Parliament in the spring. The last two weeks, the Prime Minister is showered down with a heap of problems, starting from his own subordinates- apology for the ministers, who are not aware of exotic tenders, and ending with a current tense situation on the border, which has provoked opposition rallies.

Names of possible candidates for the post of the Prime Minister in case of resignation of the current one, starting from the leader of Kyrgyzstan faction Kanat Isaev (who actually makes no secret of his ambitions regarding the Prime Minister's post) to the "right hand" of Temir Sariev - Aaly Karashev, are frequently voiced in the back rooms of the White House. The latter one, incidentally, taking the oath at the podium of the Parliament when having been appointed the first vice prime minister, so confidently uttered his speech (the only one who did it by heart, not from a piece of paper) that made an  impression: he is seeking for the Prime Minister's seat, and maybe even higher.

But whether Kyrgyzstan needs a change of the Cabinet prior to the CIS summit in Bishkek amid a permanent economic crisis and international terrorism, which is gaining momentum? It is good if a majority of MPs will respond negatively. But judging by some hot statements, not all the elected officials, alas, are characterized by prudence.

A little goes a long way

But Temir Sariev, if it comes to that, is not one of those who will humbly and meekly agree on the role of a whipping boy. The more so, he has someone in his team to rely on and a recent trip to the south is another proof of that.

Later on, the Prime Minister held a closed meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament and parliamentary factions' leaders as well as heads of relevant committees (the discussion touched upon the situation on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border). And the press service of the Cabinet presented the results of the work of the government led by Temir Sariev.

 Earlier on, the Prime Minister met with the coalition majority in the Parliament, and the frequency with which he conducts "explanatory" work among the people's deputies only shows his understanding of the situation, when it is easier to prevent a conflict of interests. Nevertheless, it seems that the head of the Cabinet will not be able to get rid of parliamentary questions and reproaches any time soon.

Judging by the list of issues that the MPs have prepared for the upcoming "day of government" (more than 65 deputies on the list, and two or three questions from each of them), the Parliament is going to be in session at least till the evening, and even longer. Moreover, as the press service of the Parliament explained to 24.kg news agency, the list can be replenished by new requests.

Where's the money?

Based on the fact that the session will be devoted to investment and entrepreneurship, the lawmakers are preparing to "hold the Cabinet accountable in full" for all the blunders and mistakes in this sphere.

In particular, the representative of the Social Democratic Party Taalaibek Masabirov recalls that "once the General Directorate of Bishkek FEZ offered for lease 20 hectares of the Exhibition of Economic Achievements land to a Korean Central Asia Corporation for the development of FEZ for 99 years. "But since 2013, the Directorate has been suing for the return of these lands, and is losing the lawsuits. What measures have been taken against the officials of Bishkek FEZ?" the MP wondered.

Taabaldy Tillaev (Respublika- Ata- Jurt) recalled other facts of arbitrariness of state officials - this time the security forces. According to him, in 2013 the State Committee for National Security initiated a criminal case on economic crime facts "against the heads of

Bishkek FEZ, Korona LLC and Enesai LMG Ltd.", and then on the basis of the decision of the Criminal Investigation Division of the State Committee for National Security dated December 23, 2013 it was closed. "During the investigation of the criminal case these companies were forced to suspend operations, thus suffered huge losses, and accordingly, the budget also suffered tax losses. What is the opinion of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic on the impact of these facts on the investment climate in the country?" the MP asked.

A representative of the fairer sex - Ashera Khalikova (SDPK) at all suggested punishment in such cases, and, in her opinion, it is necessary to add to the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic an article providing personal responsibility "of officials and citizens for undermining the public and private investment projects and commitments to investor." Apparently, this idea was caused by the failed visit of the presidents of two large South Korean Energy Companies to the republic. "As it turned out, the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic does not have this right, as, originally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should contact the Embassy to study potential investors' data. In general, there are many similar delays," she said with regret.

And if the laws change is in the hands of the MPs themselves, evaluation of foreign ambassadors' work is under the supervision of the government. Apparently, that is why two people's deputies - Nurgazy Nishanov (Respublika- Ata Jurt) and Lunara Mamytova (Bir Bol) have asked the Cabinet about the amount of investment attracted by the diplomatic missions of the Kyrgyz Republic abroad, and whether there are already started projects.

The deputies have a lot of questions to the local structures also, in particular, they are concerned about the work of the Agency on Attracting Investments at the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic (Asel Koduranova from the Social Democratic Party and the leader of Respublika- Ata Jurt Omurbek Babanov), as well as the Fund of the State Material Reserves under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Umbetaly Kydyraliev - Respublika -Ata Jurt).

All the flags to visit us

But most of all, of course, the MPs are interested in the work of the Cabinet in relation to foreign investors, including those already working in the country. Taking into account the fact that this government has not yet put an end in the protracted Kumtor issue, Temir Sariev and his ministers will be "interrogated under torture".

According to Torobay Zulpukarov (SDPK), the government has "no policy and programs on the engagement and promotion of investments,  and it has not taken steps to create a positive image of the country abroad, it does not provide assistance to investors in obtaining information." In this regard, he wondered how accessible is the information about investment opportunities in the Kyrgyz Republic and the legislation of the republic for the foreign businessmen.

At the same time, his party fellow Uzarbek Zhylkybaev recalls that not only investors, but also tourists should be attracted to the republic from abroad. He is genuinely puzzled why the government has not yet worked out a new edition of the Law on tourism and a concept for development of the industry for the next 10 years.

But  the deputies from Bir Bol faction are interested in almost the entire range of issues related to foreign business: how much of them is in Kyrgyzstan, what has been transferred to them and what jobs are created (Bakirdin Subanbekov), which investments has the republic received  after the accession to EEU (Myktybek Abdyldaev), what should be changed in the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic in connection with the entry into the union ( Akylbek Zhaparov) and how many violations of the foreign investors' interests have been considered by law enforcement agencies in 2015-2016 (Janybek Bakchiev).

By the way, the last question is particularly relevant amid the recent scandal over Junda oil refinery when MPs themselves have to visit the site and inspect it. In this context, Isa Omurkulov (SDPK) is going to ask the government, who and how will compensate the losses of the state budget caused by the actions of the employees of the State Service for Combating Economic Crimes (SSCEC), as well as to compensate for the damage  to the refinery in the case of appealing against the actions of SSCEC workers.