Tuesday, July 03, 2012 -
Kyrgyzstan’s government will use a new $35 million loan from Turkey to help raise the living standards of citizens living in the poor outer areas of Bishkek, Economy Minister Temir Sariev said Tuesday.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, he said $30 million of the financing will be used to build educational facilities and roads in residential areas at the edges of the capital city.
Of that amount, $17 million will be specifically earmarked for construction of new schools.
Around $5 million will be spent on building an electricity substation in Ak-Ordo, a desolate district on the capital’s outskirts, as well as on raising living standards in other wretched areas.
The government meeting concluded with a draft agreement to take the loan, but only after a fair amount of heated wrangling by Kyrgyzstan’s notoriously argumentative politicians.
National Security Committee chairman Shamil Atakhanov said all the money should be spent on building an irrigation system that would pay for itself in three years.
Akylbek Japarov, the country’s minister of finance, questioned the value of taking a loan in the first place, suggesting that Kyrgyzstan would have nothing to show at the end of its 20-year term.
That comment visibly angered Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov.
“The Turkish side is ready to help, willing to allocate resources. And we sit here and criticize each other,” said the outraged premier, the KyrTAG news agency reported.
“Let us then sit idly by, while our children continue to learn in tents!” said Babanov.