It is necessary to give the elected akims time to work. It does not happen that any initiative, even the most important and good, will instantly bring results. If you correctly set the task and create the conditions, I am sure that there will be results. Why? We already have experience of electing akims at the aul level, but then the tasks and conditions were set incorrectly. If you buttoned the first button incorrectly, you will button all the others incorrectly as well. In the case of the elections of akims, it is obvious that lessons have been learned from past years, the right conditions are being created, which means that everything must work out. Otherwise there will never be order on the ground. All the world’s experience proves it.
For example, in the U.S. only 500-600 people are elected at the federal level, while the vast majority are elected from a half-million elected positions – states, counties, cities and towns. Following the example of the U.S., through decentralization of power and delegation of authority, with the condition of a strong central government, it is possible to achieve effective management of the state.
The successful political and economic reforms in Poland, which made the country the sixth economy in the European Union and the 20th economy in the world, were largely made possible by local government reforms. It is clear that both Americans and Poles have a long tradition of democracy. However, we also have to start somewhere, and most importantly, we had such traditions of elections in our steppe democracy.
Therefore, the reforms to introduce direct elections of akims of rural districts were accompanied by high expectations on the part of the local population. This is the only way the formula will work: “We elected you – we expect concrete results from you”. Now the akims have a real opportunity to improve the lives of people on the ground and not just by taking into account their opinions, but based on the decisions of the local community.
An elected akim is responsible, first and foremost, to his constituents, whose questions he has to answer and whose problems he has to solve. To do this locally, they need resources, including financial resources. In 2018-2020, the fourth tier of the budget system was implemented in all rural districts. Previously, taxes and other mandatory payments went to the statewide budget, then funds were distributed to the regions. Now, taxes on land, transportation, property, individual income tax, community property revenues, community property rentals, and fines remain in the rural district budget.
Moreover, according to the Concept of Development of Local Self-Governance until 2025, the number of sources of replenishment of local budgets is to be expanded. By 2024 the fourth tier of the budget will additionally receive, for example, land tax, fees for the use of land plots, etc. Local communities from among the inhabitants of settlements will decide for themselves what to spend the budget on. Villagers can spend these funds on infrastructure repairs, landscaping, and much more.
We, represented by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, will conduct our own analysis of the effectiveness of the election of akims. This is not an easy job, but it is a necessary one. We will be sure to tell the general public about it. I am more than confident that the election of akims will very soon show its effectiveness. In some cases, we can already see the results.