Almaty – The impact of the falling oil prices is being felt globally. The price of US crude fell below $27 a barrel last month amid a global glut in oil supplies that seems to be getting worse.
That is the lowest price since May 2003 and a far cry from the $100-a-barrel it fetched in the summer of 2014.
Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s richest nation and its economy is dependent heavily on oil. After Russia, it is the largest oil producer among former Soviet states.
The situation in Kazakhstan is no better than it is in other oil-producing countries. In the city of Almaty, many people are struggling to make ends meet.
“The suppliers and the landlords are raising prices, and the customers are spending less,” Nailya Kaltayeva, a restaurant owner, told Al Jazeera.
“These are two problems we’re having to deal with at the same time.”
But the president’s office is assuring the public it is doing everything possible to “stabilise the situation”.
“Our budget has been cut by 40 percent,” Dauren Abayev, adviser to President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said.
“We understand the difficulties our citizens are facing and are taking every action to stabilise the situation.”