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Land issues reportedly continue to rock Kazakhstan
Central Asia | analysis | 16:32, 02 June 2016 | 2119

AKIPRESS.COM - The always sensitive issue of land, be it farmland or plots for building houses, is continuing to agitate people across Kazakhstan, according to bne IntelliNews.

Authorities are desperately trying to quieten the situation following large-scale land protests in April and May, which they have labeled as an attempted coup d’etat and blamed them on “third forces” abroad.

Demonstrators have been protesting against the auctions of farmland to entities with foreign involvement and the leases of it to foreigners. Discontent with the ongoing economic crisis, which has led to a rapid fall in living standards, has brought hundreds out on to the streets to challenge the authoritarian regime.

For the moment the government seems to have brought the protests under control, but it may still find itself in an awkward situation when it has to explain to why it is advocating the sale of farmland to entities with foreign involvement, while regional governments continue to ration the allocation of free land for building housing for its citizens.

On May 16 the country’s National Economy Ministry told Tengrinews that despite regional moratoriums imposed on the allocation of plots of land to individuals for building houses, authorities would allocate plots covering 1,000 square meters in some regions of the country this year.

A total of 7,391 plots will be allocated in western Aktobe Region, 11,511 in densely-populated southern Almaty Region, 1,748 in West Kazakhstan Region and unspecified numbers of plots in South Kazakhstan, southern Zhambyl and Kyzylorda Regions and East Kazakhstan Regions. Plots will not be allocated in the other seven regions and the cities of Astana and Almaty.

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