According to BNews.kz., at the session of Work Group on Improvement of Environmental Legislation of Kazakhstan, Nikolay Radostovets, the Chairman of the Mining and Metallurgic Industry Committee of the Panel of the National Entrepreneurs Chamber of Kazakhstan informed that new draft environmental code shall be introduced for consideration by the Parliament.
“We need to apply the world best practices. Currently, for the first time among the business communities, NCC shall draft the new environmental code. We want to make it alternative, and, may be the Government shall take it as the basis. We want to include the world best practices which enable the stimulation of the subsurface use towards the rational environmental processes. Additionally, we want to improve the effectiveness of the communication of the government and subsurface use for each procedure. We plan it for the second half of this year. We shall use the experience of the Asian and European countries. I cannot say right now what country’s experience shall be taken as the basis, anyway, we shall choose the best”, - Nikolay Radostovets, the Chairman of the Mining and Metallurgic Industry Committee of the Panel of the National Entrepreneurs Chamber of Kazakhstan informed.
According to him, currently, the subsurface users are not interested in improvement of environmental situation in the region. Moreover, he added that the regional executive committees make the independent decisions as to the increase of environmental payments for the subsequent year.
“Subsurface user and local communities do not know where such funds are used. Such funds are mostly used for the purposes other than intended. It means the funds intended directly for improvement of situation in the region, are used for other purposes. The person who works at the enterprise or lives in the town located nearby such enterprise does not know where such funds are used, - he added.
He also added that the fund should be created to monitor the funds use and improvement of the environmental situation.
“These dramatic changes are required not only for the business community but also for the Government, the urban population, since the environmental payments and situation in the regions are not adequately controlled by the community. There are some non-governmental organizations, some initiatives, but nobody knows where the funds are, and how they are used. The problem is that the environmental code is completely based on the punitive measures. The penalties can be very high. In some cases, they simply suspend the operations of an enterprise” – Radostovets explained. Currently, the amendments into the Code of Administrative Offenses on reduction of environmental emission payment rate are under discussion.
“We do not want to draft this law only with the National Chamber. We shall involve the Ministry of Environment, invite the deputies, the local and foreign experts. It is not correct to speak just about the “green environment” and to change nothing in the legislation so that to attract the interest of a subsurface user in such green environment”, summarized the Chairman of the Mining and Metallurgic Industry Committee.
“Whereas, Zhumageldy Elyubayev, the President of Kazakhstan Association of Oil and Gas Industry Lawyers, added that none of the countries has such penalties and payments as imposed in Kazakhstan. Moreover, the regional executive committees are allowed to increase the rates by 20 times. Ultimately, some regional executive committees increased the rate but others did not. It means in Atyrau Region one can be imprisoned for any offense, and in Pavlodar Region only penalties can be imposed. This results in violation of the equality principle. It is unacceptable”, - Elyubayev said.
He also informed that environmental ombudsman practice is proposed.
“The aim is to have the independent authority which can consider the dispute between the subsurface user and the authorized body. Additionally, the national fund should be created. We understand, that it is difficult to create the non-budget fund, therefore, we proposed 5 options of such fund without the significant change of the current legislation. If we persuade the Ministry of Environment Protection to work with us, we shall arrange the effective efforts”, - Elyubayev noted.
Source: IA BNews.kz
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