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The Committee of Geological, Mining, Coal Mining, and Metallurgical Industry (CGMCMI) of the Presidium of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Atameken” is currently undergoing a phase of restructuring. These changes not only affect the organizational structure but also aim to enhance the overall efficiency of its operations. Highlighting the committee’s proactive approach, Atameken’s Presidium Chairman Raimbek Batalov emphasized the necessity for adaptation, citing the evolving landscape of strategic issues within the mining and metallurgy sector, requiring innovative approaches and swift community consolidation.

During the latest committee session chaired by CGMCMI Director Nikolay Radostovets, discussions revolved around topics such as research and development funding amounting to 1% of extraction expenses, reforming commodity exchange legislation, procurement of goods by subsoil users, agreement on the roadmap for mining and metallurgy development, supply of metals to processing industry enterprises, and the establishment of a Working Group to incentivize waste processing. Deputy Chairperson of Atameken’s Presidium, Gulnara Bizhanova, also participated in the committee session.

Among the deliberations was the initiative from government bodies and parliamentarians to amend the funding procedure for research and development, setting it at 1% of extraction expenses. Within the Working Group discussing the science and technology policy bill, proposals were made to channel all allocated funds for research and development through the Science Fund via the national and local budgets.

According to Atameken’s expert, Erlan Smailov, centralizing research funding through the Science Fund could diminish the economy’s innovation capacity and pose financial burdens. He argued against interfering with a system that has demonstrated growth, presenting statistics indicating a 42% increase in research and development expenditure in the science and education sector in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Deputy Executive Director of the CGMCMI, Erbol Zakariyanov, reminded of similar discussions held three years ago when legislative amendments were proposed to ensure non-tax revenues to the national budget through subsoil user funds allocated for research and development. These proposals failed to gain government support.

Zakariyanov stressed the significant role of subsoil users in advancing industry science, conducting research in their own research centers and laboratories, partly financed through contractual obligations. He emphasized the need for a funding mechanism that prevents adverse impacts on subsoil users, maintains conditions for their research activities, and only centralizes unused funds.

The agenda also included discussions on the roadmap for mining and metallurgy development. Deputy Chairperson of Atameken’s Presidium, Gulnara Bizhanova, highlighted the industry’s lack of strategy and accumulated issues. As a result, a comprehensive set of proposals addressing key industry challenges was formulated within the roadmap. Two roadmaps were developed, one requiring decisions from the authorized body and the other involving the government with other state agencies. Both documents were endorsed during the session and will be submitted for government approval.

Attention was also given to ensuring domestic raw material supply to processing industry enterprises based on relevant agreements. Domestic raw materials refer to goods listed in the domestic raw material products list approved by the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development. Export of domestic raw materials listed in the list is allowed based on licenses issued by the authorized body. The licensing mechanism will be enforced six months after the law comes into effect.