Bolat Palymbetov: "There is someone to protect the interests of business"
The institute of Business Ombudsman, designed to protect the domestic business, was introduced in Kazakhstan in 2016
What has been done in this period? Did the business defender managed to protect the rights and interests of the local business community? We asked the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan Bolat Palymbetov to answer these and other questions.
- Bolat Abylkasymovich, in the first year of work you have visited all regions of the country. Have you managed during these visits to identify the most acute problems of the domestic business? What are the challenges that businessmen face in the regions?
- Yes, last year we traveled to all regions of the country. But before it we have carefully analyzed the received appeals. It was found that 90% of complaints are related to infringement of the rights of entrepreneurs in the sphere of land relations, construction, architecture, which are submitted to the central office of NCE, can be solved in the regions. That is the desperate entrepreneurs are appealing to the capital, since they do not find an answer in their own regions.
We met with akims of regions, with prosecutors and, most importantly, with entrepreneurs. Everyone was welcome at the meeting. All the complaints voiced by entrepreneurs, which are often of identical nature, were communicated to the heads of regions. For example, almost in all regions there is a problem with access to land due to the non-compliance of land plots to the Master Plan and the project of detailed planning. We have offered to publish the Master Plan on the website of akimat. In general, they began to sell land plots through auctions in all regions, business representatives were included in the various commissions. As a result, on the websites of a number of Akimats is published information on the Master Plan and the projects of detailed planning of settlements.
In general, the problematic issues at the regional level are related to the illegal actions of local authorities, which often rule out unlawful decisions or judgments.
At meetings the heads of regions declared their interest in the active development of entrepreneurship in the regions and willingness to meet with local businessmen to discuss problems. And, we can say, the heads of regions confirm their intentions by real actions.
- You by virtue of your powers and competences for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs work rather closely with government agencies. How effectively support is rendered to business on the ground?
- At meetings with the first heads of government agencies of all regions, as well as with the Minister of National Economy, Chairman of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, I raised the most acute problems faced by the business, after the discussion of which we developed a set of measures to address them. For example, in conjunction with state authorities was approved the roadmap for the reduction of pressure on business, stipulation the reduction of inspections of business.
All state organs, with which we had to work, have been active in the joint solution of business problems. I can say that they are no less interested in the development of entrepreneurship in the country.
So, after our observations and proposals the work intensified of in all regions, entrepreneurs have begun to be part of the various working committees, and representatives of Akimats and prosecutors - to meet with local entrepreneurs regarding their problems.
In Mangistau, Kyzylorda regions for timely response to business issues in regional chambers and district branches were opened "offices of the prosecutor", where the representatives of the supervisory authorities conduct business receptions.
- Recently there are more and more conflicts between entrepreneurs, which alas, become public. In the form of mutual claims, charges get to social networking media. Is it possible to resolve somehow all these issues?
- I agree that they happen very often. And a situation acquires a social resonance as entrepreneurs go to extreme measures, such as the hunger strike, demonstrations. I believe that you can avoid this, because the National Chamber of entrepreneurs - is an excellent platform to discuss sensitive issues in the legal field. It is possible to solve many problems. I agree that there are points of contention, but, in any case, it is possible to find common ground and compromise. Who needs a public hearing with the involvement of the media and the judiciary? I really hope that mediation will find it’s place.
We can say that the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs succeeded as an organization as an association of entrepreneurs across the country. Entrepreneurs do not run with their proposals and concerns to other bodies, but deliberately address to NCE "Atameken". The Chamber of entrepreneurs, thus, earned their trust.
- Do institutes of Ombudsman exist abroad?
- Today, the Ombudsman institute exists in more than 50 countries with different forms of government: Presidential Republic (Finland, France, USA), parliamentary republics (Switzerland, Austria, Germany), constitutional monarchies (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada). A first ombudsman was established by Parliament in Sweden in 1809. In the post-Soviet business ombudsman were introduced in Ukraine, Georgia, Russia. So, I took part in the VII All-Russian Conference of Business Ombudsmen of Russia in June 2016 by the invitation of the Russian Business Ombudsman Boris Titov.
One of the goals of the Business Ombudsman – is to assist Kazakh businessmen, who are in a difficult situation in a foreign country. The main problems are associated with non-compliance on the part of foreign partners in the supply of goods, and financial obligations.
It is essential that businesses know that there are institutions that can provide them with the necessary support. The main purpose of the meeting was in it. Kazakh businessmen should be assured that they will receive the necessary support from our side in the event of violation of their rights abroad, any undue interference in their activities by foreign bodies.
At the conference was signed a memorandum with a view to building further cooperation between the Commissioners for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs on the basis of agreements reached with respect to the maintenance of favorable conditions for business on the territory of the two states.
I hope that cooperation between the Commissioners for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs will be built both at the state and regional level.
(Magazine “Business Emirates", # 6 (11), November-December 2016)