Changes to the law in Kazakhstan requiring citizens traveling within the country to register with local authorities if they remain in one locality for more than one month has, as if on cue, blown up in the government’s face.
The new rules led in the past few days to long lines appearing at understaffed government service centers as people desperately tried to get their papers in order to avoid incurring official warnings and fines of up to 30,000 tenge ($90).
On January 11, Information Minister Dauren Abayev used his Facebook account to issue an apology over the fiasco.
“The public outcry and criticism of the authorities is understandable and justifiable. Unfortunately, not all the mechanisms [of this new rule] have been worked out in a timely and effective manner,” Abayev wrote.
Despite the furore, officials are sticking to their guns on the policy.
“The law has been adopted and should be implemented. Our task is to create the maximum convenience for citizens going through the registration process,” Abayev said.
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