20 november 2017

Central Asia news

Kyrgyzstan authorities to control price of coal because of problems at border

27.10.2017 09:07 msk

Fergana


The Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan proposed to introduce additional regulation of coal prices for 90 days. The draft of the relevant resolution published online for wider discussion.

The note to the resolution states that at present the issue of providing affordable coal to consumers is acute. Despite the fact that the regulator set wholesale prices for fuel for coal-mining enterprises, it reaches the final consumer through intermediaries, and its cost in some regions has increased by more than 20 percent over the past month. As the government noted, it happened because of problems on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border and the Kazakh authorities' prohibition of coal exports outside the country.

"Under these conditions, abuses to obtain super profits in the market are inevitable. It is currently impossible to eliminate abuses within the framework of the antimonopoly legislation; therefore the state intervened," the note concludes.

On average in the republic, the retail price for coal is now 4,300 soms (about $ 63) per one ton. According to 24.kg news agency, the highest price for local coal registered in the Batken region - 5,600 soms ($ 81.7) per ton, the lowest - in Naryn - 3,070 soms (about $ 45) per ton. Prices for coal from the Sulukta field in some areas of the Batken region reach 9,000 soms ($ 131.4), as it is sold in bags.

Since 10 October, Kazakhstan transferred the border troops to a reinforced regime of service, and then set checkpoints with armed servicemen on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border, explaining it by the presidential election in Kyrgyzstan, and in fact - complicated the citizens of Kyrgyzstan to cross the border. As a result, at all checkpoints, long queues from the Kyrgyz side emerged.

On 7 October, Almazbek Atambayev during his speech at the ceremony of presenting state awards accused the Kazakh authorities of "imposing their candidate" on the past presidential election in Kyrgyzstan. In response to these attacks, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the Prime Minister of this country Bakytzhan Sagintayev made statements in which they called Atambayev's statements "provocative" and "unacceptable." Then Kazakhstan refused to send its observers to elections in the neighbouring republic.

The Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan complained to the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE) and the secretariat of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about strengthening of control by Kazakhstan on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.

On 18 October, prime ministers of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan met and discussed the situation which resulted in Kazakhstan agreeing to allow individuals, passenger buses, cars and empty cargo trucks pass the border from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan. At the same time, it is still unknown when cargo trucks loaded with Kyrgyz produced goods would be able to move on the territory of EEA via Kazakhstan in the future.

After these negotiations, the conflict between the two countries reached a new level - Bishkek announced its intention to break the agreement with Kazakhstan, according to which Astana promised to transfer $ 100 million The assistance aims to improve the customs infrastructure of Kyrgyzstan and bring the veterinary and phytosanitary systems of the republic under the standards of the EEA (after repeated accusations that smuggling from China through the Kyrgyz border to the countries of the union). The bill, denunciating the agreement with Kazakhstan, passed the first reading in parliament.

Kursiv.kz news website reported on 17 October that the Ministry of Economy Kazakhstan proposes a possible restriction on the export of coal for the period of preparation for the heating season.

Fergana News Agency