Minister of Economy Temir Sariyev warned that in the case of Kyrgyzstan's entry into the Customs Union the cost of food products will increase. However, a sharp rise is not expected: some items will be brought from the union without customs duties.
Fortune smiled upon domestic farmers. They will be able to enter the markets of the countries of the Customs Union and, therefore, will prefer to sell their products at a higher price. Temir Sariyev assured that the government is developing a program of assistance to state for the transition period to smooth away the rise in prices. They will have difficulties.
24.kg news agency decided to contact its respondents with the question of how they intend to feed their families, while Kyrgyzstan will adapt to the CU?
Tatyana Eletskaya, retiree, guardian of a child with epilepsy:
- I dread waiting for a price increase. I don't know how we will survive. I have two grandchildren. Dima has epilepsy, per month we need over 20,000 soms only for drugs. Granddaughter studies at school №9. It requires 650 soms per month! She comes home, crying, saying that she won't be allowed to go to school, unless we pay money. But I just don't have money. How can the three of us live with a sick child on 8,000 soms per month? Previously I could earn some money, but now what will I do? Recently I had a terrible heart attack. I also need treatment. But currently I don't buy drugs. Nobody helps us. Wherever we go, the state court, they say the same thing: "Leave the children in the orphanage". Who will take care of them there? So that future price increases not only scares me, but leads to a state of complete hopelessness.
Victor Shvachev, resident of Panfilov district:
- I live in the village, so don't worry too much because of the future increase in food prices. I have my own garden; I plan to breed more cattle in order to buy fewer products. But, on the other hand, I worry that fodder will rise in price. And fuel becomes more expensive with each passing day. For villagers it is still easier, our own gardens feed us. A son lives in the city, and I don't know how he will support his family. They have no his garden or farm. They buy everything at the market. And the prices, people say, to rise by 15 percent. He'll have to stock the products in advance. Something they will take from the village, so we will try to survive together.
Marina Terentyeva, an English teacher at school №67, Bishkek:
- I don't know how we will live. We hope that teachers' salaries will be increased. One promised to increase them in the next year. There is nothing to count on. Maybe to find a second job. Well, I still hope that my husband he will earn extra money to support the family.
Sergey Afanasenko, Bishkek resident:
- I don't even know how we will survive. Even now we have difficulties. We rent an apartment, my daughter goes to a private garden. If prices will rise, probably I will have to find a second job. Otherwise, we won't survive. This year I plan to buy a cottage not far from Bishkek, at least there is garden and place to keep fowl. It will be easier. I would be good to buy a car before the New Year. My old one is bad, I won't be able to drive it to the countryside, it will break very soon. People say that with the entry into the Customs Union, cars will become more expensive. But we are young, it's easier to adjust. In addition, the difficulties will be temporary. Residents of Kazakhstan in the first years of the CU also had a hard time, but now the situation has stabilized. So we also need time. The problem is different: it's scary to think how teachers, doctors, pensioners will survive. They have minimum income, and now the new price hike. The government should develop a program to help them to survive the transition.
Sergey Ponomarev, Chairman of the Markets Association of Kyrgyzstan:
- I would recommend the government to develop export duties. For example, this issue has already been adjusted in Russia, there the duty imposed not only on the importation of goods, but also for export. We don't have such mechanism. It should also take into account that after the joining the Customs Union a certain interest rates will be introduced, the state budget will increase, as part of this it will be possible to raise public sector wages, pensions, the elderly and social benefits for the poor. Also from the countries-members of the Customs Union, products in particular from Belarus will be delivered to Kyrgyzstan without the 12 percent VAT, which means that from the shelves they will be released at cost, which is cheaper. These products, as you know, are on the list of essential commodities, and their prices will remain within acceptable limits.
Irina Korgonbaeva, Shorinji Kempo caoch:
- I have an ambivalent attitude to the Customs Union. On the one hand, it is very good when people unite and try to live together. On the other - future increase in price absolutely doesn't make happy. The poor will have difficult period. They are now on the brink of survival. Those potatoes, flour and other products are already very expensive. Therefore, many families are unable to buy any products in sufficient quantities. After accession to the CU they will be harmed even more.
- And are you ready for rise in prices?
- I find it easier to adapt to the situation. I can take more work to increase prices of my services. I believe that many people will do the same. Prices for services will rise because people need to bring them to a level sufficient to support their families. And this is a problem. On the one hand, we will be able to survive, but certain types of services will not be available for the poor. If they are now harmed, then it will get worse. Therefore, the Customs Union - it is, certainly, good, but the government should first think about people.
Shaira Biymurzaeva, an elementary school teacher at school №35, Osh city:
- Today, even without the Customs Union, prices are growing by leaps and bounds. Petrol price is going up with each passing day, and with it fare. Bread also rises in prices. Yesterday I bought a loaf of bread at 1 som higher than last week.
I don't believe in help of the government. Our Osh authorities also promised to help with gas, but there isn't real help to population, we live without natural gas and liquefied gas becomes expensive. We will survive by our own efforts. We will have to refuse from something, of course. We have made some inventories, pickles, jam again.
Rahmatullo Akhmedov, police officer:
- We will start from opportunities of our family budget and try to get it in line with our desires.
- Theoretically, you are ready to tighten belts?
- A person should be ready for any changes, including to economic ones.
Oleg Pankratov, the former Deputy Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic:
- The bulk of the Kyrgyz people will not notice the fact of entering the Customs Union. Consequently, there won't be any changes in their family budget. Adaptation of economy to a large part of the CU will allow citizens, who today do not know how to feed their families, have to leave the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic on earnings or earn by chance, find work in the factories. They will have to be in the process of adaptation of the economy to the conditions of the Customs Union. Adaptation refers industrialization. But this is only possible if the government of the Kyrgyz Republic will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that open upon accession to the Customs Union and the Common Free Market Zone.
Marina Kudryavtseva, nurse, Kara-Balta:
- All my life I dedicated to medicine. I have an elderly mother. Salary, of course, small, but we have somehow got used to survive. What helps us - my mother is a Russian citizen. Her pension in terms of our soms sometimes exceeds my salary. We even don't want to think how we will live after next price increase. And we don't talk about raise in salaries of public sector. The recently re-raised the issue of increasing the salaries of teachers. The Ministry of Finance immediately told not to hope. The same goes for medical concerns. In order to somehow survive, I'm doing injections and drip at home. We will probably have to raise prices for the services. I do not have the other way out.