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March 2017

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28/05/15 11:10, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency, by Darya PODOLSKAYA, Tatyana KUDRYAVTSEVA

It would seem that the issue of Jerooy gold deposit in Talas is closed. It is the second largest gold project of the KR after Kumtor. Its reserves are estimated at 84 tons of the precious metal. The tender was held, the winner was determined. By the way, the Russian company "Vostok-geologodobycha", which won the competition, has already transferred $10 million. Previously, the project has repeatedly found at the center of scandals. It took a few years to finally find investors interested in the development of the mine.

However, the locals, who don't want development of Jerooy, as usual, put spokes in the wheel. The Prime Minister Temir Sariev instructed the head of the State Geology Duishenbek Zilaliev tell people of the region about advantages of the gold deposit development. But in the past officials of all stripes have repeatedly talked with the villagers, calling not to scare away investors. In vain.

24.kg news agency asked its respondents to the question: who disturbs Talas residents and turns the country into a bogey for the investor?

Valentin Bogdetsky, a board member of the Kyrgyz Mining Association:

- First, it was necessary to get the consent of local people, and only then to hold competitions to Jerooy deposit. I think the old owners, who have legal claims, can organize rallies.

- But before the competition, the residents supported the idea to resume work at Jerooy? 

- People are always dissimilar. Some may agree, but others - oppose. In addition, the conditions of competition clearly prescribed the time period during which the winning company must build a plant and begin production of marketable products. If the company doesn't meet the deadline, penalties are provided. That's the reason to organize rallies. But this is only speculation. I think that there will be more problems at Jerooy. Because on Jerooy we have developed the most unfavorable conditions for Kyrgyzstan in comparison with Kumtor, not to mention Taldy-Bulak. Sooner or later people will tremble, and pay attention to it. Under the terms of competition, legal delays are imposed on investor. Thus, the winner is not determined by the competitive commission but the Kazakh holding Visor. Those who agreed with it, offered the best conditions, and it withdrew the claim. This is not good. The government didn't dare to take the legal risks. If there was no certainty of victory in the international courts, it wasn't necessary to declare and competition. We should have come to an agreement with the Visor.

Mars Cherikchiev, expert:

- I think, we should ask the local residents themselves, why they go to rallies against the development of the field. They have even created their own page on the social networks. And the fact that we are waiting for the parliamentary elections in the fall also plays its role. There is also a politicized issue. In idea, the local population has been presented in the competitive commission. I think that the residents have an interest in beginning of Jerooy developing. The local budget will receive a lot of money. The only question - there can be a dispute over the distribution of money. But I hope that the work on Jerooy will begin.

Another thing is that in this regard the state played the important role. If the government won't stand aside, and will help us, then everything will be fine. All the processes of government should be involved. It is a lot of work to sensitize the local population of the main development aspects. In this case, all the problems can be solved through negotiations.

Omurbek Abdyrakhmanov, deputy of the parliament:

- Our government has no concept of development of the mining industry. All questions of underground riches are solved in the center. The local population is not integrated. Therefore, its representatives are opposing from handouts to handouts. In many developed countries, all proceeds from the auction and development are divided equally between the local population and the government. Then the villagers would be interested in the development of local deposits. With this money, they will repair roads, provide drinking water to villages, build preschools. They can only control the environment. While such a division of funds from the natural resources won't be made, the local population will always interfere with investors, and it is no fault of "enemies".

-Abdymanapov Kutushev, MP:

-These are the forces that do not want progressive development of the Kyrgyz Republic. They agitatelocal population, bringing them to demonstrations.

I suggested the Prime Minister Temir Sariyev making Chatkal district as standard of regional development, a showcase. There are just four rural districts and 25 thousand people there. And licenses were issued for exploration and development of more than 60 deposits, more than half of them - gold. Sariev promised to listen to my recommendations.

Nuripa Mukanova, the Chairwoman of Anticorruption Business Council:

-I can not tell you who stirs the locals. Maybe a social package isn't provided or people are not satisfied with the proposed one. Not all people involved in the work of interdepartmental commission. They called elders, but maybe they do not express opinion of the entire population. Most likely, no one agitates people, but just the interdepartmental commission includes those, who are not supported by most of the population. The investor should organize gathering to consult with the villagers, to present new project, explain what benefits Talas residents will get.

We usually do not know on what principle people enter a particular part of the commission. Typically, the selection of representatives in the interdepartmental commission represents itself a closed procedure. At the same time they say that they took into account the opinion of the lower classes. But it does not happen. One or two people can not express the opinion of all. It would be better if the government will work together with investor. Inviting investors, it acts as a guarantor. Therefore, officials should also meet with local population.

Kairat Osmonoliev, the chairman of the expert council of coordination meeting of law enforcement bodies:

-I can not say exactly who excites people. I think, if it is proved, the correspondent law enforcement authorities should say it. But I can guess that, most likely it is the side that lost in the fight for Jerooy. I do not rule that out. If this is not a case, then losing party must speak and declare its innocence. I think that law enforcement agencies need to understand and identify the true organizers. In fact, it is already illegal things that harm the country's image, reputation and its investment attractiveness. That damage, of course, is immeasurable in rubles or soms. But, nevertheless, it is obvious.

Manas Sultanov, the Vice President of the Equestrian Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic:

-The requirements of people are simple. The most important thing - to apply high technology by standards not inferior to EBRD. That is a minimum European standard. The same goes for environment. These demands concern the investor.

There are requirements to the Government as well. This is, primarily, divide all taxes fifty-fifty with the local budget, as in all civilized countries.

Kalicha Umuralieva, Our Right PF:

-I can not say who brings Talas residents to protest against development of Jerooy. Not interested. But if I lived there, I would be against it too, considering the results of Kumtor, corruption in this matter. For me it is better to plant bean. It is useful, tasty and improves ground. Beans - leguminous which are specially planted for soil improvement. I do not eat gold, and there are a lot of waste products.

Grigory Mikhailov, the expert:

-Conflict situation around the fields is the result of four terms.

The first - weakness of the central authorities and their reluctance to take responsibility for the organization of comfortable, safe and smooth operation of investor on the ground.

Second - the interests of individual politicians (national and local), seeking to receive funding from investors due aggravating the conflict and show themselves before the upcoming parliamentary elections as true patriots, concerned for interests of the country.

Third, it is the investors, who often take into account local specifics entering the country. Accustomed to the fact that in a number of countries agreement in the capital is sufficient for smooth operation in regions, the miners do not take into account interests of the local population, hoping that central and local authorities will take care of it.

Fourth, local residents, who believe that the land belongs to them, and investors - exploiters. The money from work of investors go to the capital, to the state budget and not returned to the village. Under this system, the villagers do not see advantages of the presence of investors, so they try to squeeze out the maximum bonuses from businessmen in the form of money, infrastructure construction, working places. The most effective way to win concessions from the investor - to organize a protest, blocking work of the miners. The central government, fearing the consequences, does not interfere, and investors are losing money due to downtime and become more compliant.

URL: http://eng.24.kg/perekrestok/175887-news24.html
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«When we ran in the elections, we said that would even get the moon and the sun from the sky ».
MP Kamchybek Joldoshbayev at a meeting of Parliament, February 2, 2017.

«What have you done besides sale of donkeys to China?».
Deputy Ryskeldi Mombekov to the head of State Inspectorate for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Safety Kalysbek Zhumakanov at a meeting of Parliament, February 1, 2017.

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