National Economy Minister explains food prices hike

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev explained Tuesday what had pushed food prices up in Kazakhstan.

"First of all, changes in pricing environment at the world markets and weakening of the national currency have largely affected prices for imported food products. This factor drove up cheese prices by 16%, farmer cheese prices by 55%, and poultry prices by 40%," said Minister Bishimbayev at the session of the Kazakh Government on Tuesday.

In his words, increased electricity tariffs and seasonal fluctuations are also to blame for the recent food prices spike.

"For instance, vegetable prices hike can be explained by the fact that food manufacturers are running out of potato, onion, green cabbage, beetroot in May-August," Bishimbayev noted.

The minister admitted that food prices skyrocket in Kazakhstan annually because local executive bodies fail to take timely measures to stabilize the situation at local markets. "They just leave the situation with food prices drift along," he added.

At the session Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev asked akims (governors) of the regions not to compare regional food prices with the republican ones. He made the comment after governor of North Kazakhstan region Yerik Sultanov stressed that some food prices in northern Kazakhstan are lower compared to the republican ones.

Prime Minister Sagintayev said it is unacceptable to compare food prices and reminded the governor that living standards in North Kazakhstan region are lower than the republican ones. "You are responsible for your region and prices there. Don't compare them with the republican ones," he said.

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