INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN

2017-12-29

 

 

INFORMATION DIGEST OF

PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 258

December 29, 2017

 

 

President.. 1

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev Addresses the Oliy Majlis. 1

Discussion of issues of the chemical industry development 12

economy.. 13

The Ministry of Foreign Trade has summed up the results of the year 13

Oficcially.. 14

Uzbek President signs decree on setting additional non-working days in 2018. 14

TECHNOLOGIES. 15

Banks of Uzbekistan to implement remote user authentication. 15

International cooperation.. 15

Rosatom delegation arrives in Uzbekistan. 15

Society.. 15

International Youth Association is created in Uzbekistan. 15

Construction and renovation of kindergartens to draw 771bn soums in 2018. 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev Addresses to the Oliy Majlis

On December 22, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the both houses of the country’s parliament, Oliy Majlis. Following is the English text of the speech.

Distinguished deputies and senators!

Dear compatriots!

Esteemed guests!

Today, all of us are taking part in the most important political event in the life of our Motherland.

President of the Republicof Uzbekistanfor the first time delivers Address to the parliament of the country – the Oliy Majlis.

In many advanced nations of the world there is practice whereby the head of state addresses the national legislature on the most critical and pressing issues of political, socio-economic and democratic development of the country.

I think such a democratic method of public administration is especially in demand today and is in tune with the extensive reforms undertaken today in Uzbekistan, first of all the principle of dialogue with the people, and serves to further enhance the effectiveness of our activities.

Today’s meeting is attended, along with members of the Senate and deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, also – by video conferencing – by the deputies of district, city and regional Kengashes, heads of executive and economic management bodies of all levels.

Let me bring to your attention the Address devoted to the main results of the work carried out in 2017, which marked the beginning of a new stage of our development, and the priority directions of the social and economic development of theRepublicofUzbekistanin 2018.

To fulfill the tasks envisaged for this year in the Action Strategy for the development ofUzbekistan, all the capacities and potential of the state and society were mobilized.

The most crucial step on this path was the implementation of the measures outlined in the State Program “Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests”.

It should be noted that our people widely support the large-scale reforms being carried out in the country. The first effects of these reforms are now replicated in the lives of compatriots, while their social activity and confidence in the future have been growing.

We take every decision regarding the life of the country on the basis of a direct dialogue with the people, taking into account the public opinion. The cornerstone of our activities is the principle “Not the people serve government bodies, but the state should serve the people”.

Representatives of state bodies, especially holders of managerial positions, are not confined in their daily activities to office work; they visit places and get themselves engaged in practical solutions to the most pressing problems of the population.

In this sense, we can say with full confidence that in the history ofUzbekistan, 2017 was the year of the creation of a new system of direct dialogue with the people, an effective solution of its vital problems.

The People’s Reception and the Virtual Reception of the President of the Republicof Uzbekistan, which are the basis of this system, have become a kind of democratic institution for dealing with citizens’ appeals.

Within a short period of time, more than 1.5 million citizens applied to these receptions, the problems of many people, accumulated over the years, turned out to be positively solved, which indicates the approval of democracy inUzbekistannot in words but in deeds.

Boosting the personal liability of managers on the ground for the prompt correction of errors and shortcomings has become an important result of the work of this system.

Taking into account the interests of the people, fundamental changes are also being made in the judicial and legal spheres, in the system of the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement bodies, who are the most essential institutions for ensuring social justice.

We have already discussed this in detail at the festive session in tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Constitution of theRepublicofUzbekistan, thus I believe there is no need to dwell on this issue again.

In the current year, more than 1,100 people living in the country without citizenship ofUzbekistanhave received this status. I think this is another confirmation of the provision in our country of human rights and freedoms.

In the economic sphere in 2017, we took the first steps to implement effective reforms that meet modern requirements.

Laws, decrees and decisions, well-thought-out programs for organizing our economy on a new basis and its further liberalization, improvement of its legal framework, modernization and diversification of production have been adopted and are being consistently implemented.

Within a brief span of time, 161 large industrial facilities were commissioned in the country. This will allow us to produce additional products worth 1.5 trillion soums next year(currency rates of CB RU from 28.12.2017, 1$= 8120,07 soums).

For example, a combined-cycle plant is involved in theTashkentthermal power plant. Due to this, an additional 2.5 billion kilowatts of electric power will be produced.

Work is also continuing on the construction of a second combined-cycle plant at the Navoi Thermal Power Plant, a hydrometallurgical plant based on the Ammunai-Amantai gold mines in the Kyzyl Kum.

At present, the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine has begun work on the development of the Yoshlik-1 and Yoshlik-2 mines. The construction of such large facilities as the Sardoba, Central Ferghana and Tupalang reservoirs is being carried out at an accelerated pace. The railway line of Ferghana-Margilan is being electrified.

By launching another large facility, the Kandym gas processing complex, in addition to 4 billion 100 million cubic meters of natural gas, more than 67,000 tons of condensate, and more than 106,000 tons of sulfur will be produced in 2018. At the Mubarek gas processing plant - one of the locomotives of the economy ofUzbekistan- in the next year, blocks for the purification of sulfur from an additional 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be fully operational.

Along with this, in the joint-stock company Uzagrotekhsanoatholding in the new year, production of more than 5 thousand modern tractors, over 1 thousand cotton harvesting machines and more than 2 thousand trailers will be established.

There are many more such examples to cite.

Crucially, in economic policy, such an unacceptable method as the race for unrealistic numbers, the urge to present utopian plans as a reality, was critically revised. Achievement of concrete results and ensuring of human interests are defined as the main goal of our reforms.

Thanks to the implemented measures in 2017, the steady economic growth rate was 5.5 percent, the volume of exports increased by 15 percent. The positive balance in foreign trade reached 854 million dollars.

We started free conversion of our national currency – the soum. Corporatre entities and individuals have the opportunity to purchase and sell foreign currency in commercial banks without restrictions. Since the liberalization of the sphere, the volume of foreign currency purchase and sale transactions has grown 1.5 times and amounted to about 1.3 billion dollars. At the same time, our country’s gold and currency reserves increased by $ 1.1 billion.

This year, the country has established 12 free economic and 45 industrial zones, which contributes to the accelerated development of our regions. Work is underway to organize another 50 new industrial zones in the near future.

During the year, the issue of creating new jobs, which is extremely important for us, was constantly at the center of our attention. In 2017, thanks to the construction of new industrial enterprises, the development of small business and private entrepreneurship, the expansion of the service sector, over 336,000 new jobs were organized. We have determined for ourselves the provision of employment of the population as a priority task, and therefore we will continue to attach special importance to the growth of these indicators not only in quantitative but also in qualitative terms.

It also ensures the implementation of the adopted programs for reforming the social sphere as an extremely important direction of state policy.

It is known that for many years, the housing problem remained the most acute for our population, especially workers in the public sector, low-income families. For the sake of justice, we must admit that we have not paid much attention to this issue. Taking into account the needs of people, this year we started to build affordable housing for upgraded projects on the basis of preferential mortgage loans.

In towns and villages, standard and multi-storey houses with a total residential area of ​​more than 3.5 million square meters were built. Compared to previous years, the volume of housing construction has increased dramatically; for example, in comparison with 2007 it has grown 20 times, 2010, when the program of standard design housing construction was launched, it has grown 3.5 times, and in relation to 2014 the figure stands at twofold.

It should be emphasized that over the past 25 years we have for the first time begun the construction of multi-storey houses with all amenities at affordable prices. In 2017, it was built and commissioned ‘turnkey’ such apartment buildings with an area of ​​more than 800 thousand square meters.

Only in the city ofTashkentthis year 420 thousand square meters of housing has been built - almost 3 times more than last year.

Taking into account that the issue of providing affordable housing for the population still remains relevant, we will definitely continue this work in a new year on a larger scale.

Because people not tomorrow, not in the distant future, but today want to see positive changes in their lives. Our hard-working, kind-hearted and generous people have the right to this.

Specific measures have been taken to improve the environmental situation in theAral Seaarea. Under the Ministry of Finance, the Development Fund for the Aral Sea Region has been established, to which over 200 billion soums are directed.

Due to these funds, water supply, living conditions of the residents of theRepublicofKarakalpakstanand the Khorezm region are improving. Along with this, more than 3 thousand kilometers of internal roads have been overhauled and reconstructed in these regions.

In the current year, we paid special attention to the construction of new and repair of existing educational institutions. 12 secondary schools have been built, 320 have been reconstructed, 152 schools have been overhauled. In addition, 107 were built and reconstructed, 195 pre-school educational institutions were overhauled.

Given the great role and importance of educating our children from an early age, we organized the Ministry of Pre-school Education. We need to strengthen the material and technical base of this sphere, including in the next 3-4 years we must build in all regions of the country and equip thousands of new kindergartens, raise the quality of the education and upbringing they receive in a new level.

In accordance with the proposals of many parents, teachers and students, the general public, we have restored the 11-year general education.

To fill the need on the ground in teachers in theTashkentregion, the Chirchik State Pedagogical Institute was established.

Besides, in 15 higher educational institutions correspondence departments are opened, where more than 5 thousand teachers who graduated from colleges will be able to get higher education.

In the educational system, based on innovative and creative approaches, specialized schools for in-depth study of exact sciences, bearing the names of Muhammad Khorezmi and Mirzo Ulugbek, have been created.

Significant work is also being done to further improve the system of higher education. In particular, the Program for the Comprehensive Development of the Higher Education System in 2017-2021 was adopted.

Due to the newly organized institutes and branches of higher educational institutions, the number of higher educational institutions reached 81, branches in the regions - 15, branches of foreign universities -7. Inaddition, it should be noted the agreement on the establishment in Almalyk of the branch of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys, and inTashkent- the branchWebsterUniversityof theUnited States.

Based on the needs of the real sector of the economy, in some institutions of higher education open and evening departments are open.

Measures were taken to improve the system and strengthen the material and technical base of theAcademyofSciencesofUzbekistan, and the activity of a number of research institutes and centers in its composition was restored.

After a long break, elections were held to theAcademyofSciences. A large number of talented scientists, enjoying prestige in the country and abroad, were awarded the high rank of an academician. In turn, we have the right to expect from theAcademyofSciencespractical results of promising research, new scientific developments.

All of this our consistent work is aimed at achieving one goal:Uzbekistanmust become competitive on the world stage in the field of science, intellectual potential, modern cadres, high technologies.

Dear friends!

Speaking about the development of the cultural and humanitarian sphere, first of all, it should be noted that this year 12 important documents related to the issues of culture, art and literature, and the media were adopted.

In order to increase the role and significance of creative unions in the life of the country, to strengthen their material and technical base, the Public Fund for the Support of Creative Persons of Uzbekistan Ilhom has been established, and also the Friends Clubs, in conjunction with cultural and art institutions, large companies and banks.

In addition, an Alley of Writers, a new building of the Writers’ Union, in Karakalpakstan and a number of areas - creative schools bearing the names of our outstanding writers and poets were created inTashkenton the territory of the National Park. Also reconstructedKokandcity, Khorezm and Jizzakh regional drama theaters, the Ferghana regional branch of the Uzbek State Institute of Arts and Culture was set up.

When we talk about projects that are important events in our spiritual life, we should especially emphasize that work has started on organizing the activities of such scientific and educational institutions as the Center for Islamic Civilization inUzbekistan, the international research centers named after Imam Bukhari and Imam Termizi, the Islamic academy.

Along with this, with the memorial complexes of our great thinkers, schools have been set up to study hadith, Muslim law, Sufism and other areas.

Undoubtedly, our activity in this direction has a deep scientific and practical basis.

It is known that our land, located at the crossroads of ancient cultures and civilizations, has cultivated thousands of scientists and thinkers, great poets and theologians. The invaluable heritage left by them, including in the field of exact sciences and religious and philosophical knowledge, today is the spiritual heritage of all mankind.

Currently, more than 100 thousand ancient manuscripts are kept in the book collections ofUzbekistan. Unfortunately, these unique books have not been fully studied yet; they are waiting for their researchers and readers.

On the pages of these rare works one can find answers to many problems of our time. In particular, to this day, deep thoughts and ideas, which have not lost their relevance, which reveal the truly humanistic essence of Islam, call on all people, regardless of their nationality, religion and social status, for good, charity and harmony.

At the same time, we must frankly admit that we, being the heirs of such a unique heritage, have done far from all to study them, to acquaint them with our compatriots, especially the younger generation, and also the international community.

We talk a lot about the need to combat religious ignorance, against harmful currents - through enlightenment. This, of course, is correct. But where is this enlightenment, this knowledge - first of all, not in such books left to us by our great ancestors?

All our practical actions in this area are aimed at achieving precisely such a noble goal and cause great interest and attention not only in our country, but also abroad.

Therefore, it is unacceptable that in our society, possessing such priceless wealth, having advanced intellectuals, thousands of enlightened ulema, in our country, acting with important initiatives in this sphere, adherents of religious fundamentalism appeared.

Dear participants of the meeting!

In 2017, agreat deal of work was done in the field of physical education and sports.

All of us are pleased with the sports successes of our youth. Declare themselves more and more new world and continental champions, international grandmasters in chess.

In the end of the year, Uzbek athletes achieved high results in various competitions in boxing, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting, freestyle wrestling, sambo.

2017 became a bright page in the history of the Uzbek national kurash. At a meeting of the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia in September inTurkmenistan, it was decided to include this sport in the program of the Asian Games. Thus, at the 18th Asian Games to be held inIndonesiain 2018, athletes from different countries will also participate in contests for the Uzbek national kurash.

At present, we are working on improving the activities of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan. Now the preparation for the Olympic Games and other prestigious competitions will be carried out on a new basis fully meeting the world standards.

Today, with this high rostrum, let me express my deep gratitude to all our young athletes, their mentors and coaches for their services in the development of our national sport, and wish them new victories.

Dear compatriots!

Over the past period in the sphere of foreign policy, we have achieved significant results in the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations with foreign countries, primarily with neighboring countries.

In 2017, 21 high-level visits were held, meetings were held with leaders and representatives of more than 60 states and international organizations. As a result, more than 400 agreements have been concluded, and trade and investment contracts have been signed in total for almost 60 billion US dollars.

In order to timely implement the adopted documents, 40 "road maps" have been developed, which are carried out jointly with our foreign partners.

We have started to implement the principle “The main priority of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy is Central Asia”. As a result, an absolutely new political atmosphere has been created in our region, interrelations based on mutual trust and good-neighborliness are being strengthened.

Strategic cooperation withTurkmenistanandKyrgyzstanhas been established. A number of important documents were signed to further deepen the strategic partnership withKazakhstan, economic agreements were signed for 2 billion dollars. Cooperation withTajikistanis also strengthening. There are airfare betweenTashkentandDushanbe.

The signing of the Treaty on the State Border withKyrgyzstanwas a serious step in ensuring security and stability inCentral Asia.

Important agreements have been concluded on mutually beneficial cooperation with the neighboring Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, practical work has begun on new economic projects.

Effective agreements and agreements were also reached withRussia, the People’s Republic ofChina,South Korea,Turkey, theUnited States, European Union countries, Muslim countries.

Uzbekistanat a new level is developing cooperation with such international structures as the United Nations, the Islamic Cooperation Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been restored, and partnerships have been established with the European Investment Bank. The interaction with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments acquires a dynamic character.

The positive changes taking place in the country increase interest inUzbekistanin the international arena, serve to strengthen our status in the world community.

Of course, we can talk for a long time about the work that we carried out during the year. However, we are well aware that all these are only the first steps on the chosen by us difficult, but the only true way.

I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, economic associations and companies who actively participated in the implementation of the State Program “Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests” to all who contributed to this noble cause.

Dear participants of the meeting!

According to the good tradition that has developed in our country, we must now consult on the name of the upcoming new one, 2018.

We thought a lot about this issue. The appeals and letters received from our citizens during the year to the People’s Reception and Virtual Reception Office of the President, state bodies, and judgments made during the meetings held at the local level, studied the opinion of the public.

Taking into account all the suggestions and recommendations made, I propose to name the new year 2018 inour country as the Year of Support for active Entrepreneurship, Innovative Ideas and Technologies.

In this connection, I would like to briefly dwell on the notion of active entrepreneurship. This is a direction in the economy, where business activity is organized on the basis of innovative, modern approaches, advanced technologies and management methods.

When we say “active entrepreneurs”, we mean business people capable of producing competitive products, most importantly - creating new jobs that benefit not only themselves and their family, but the whole society.

Our first priority should be to provide all-round support to entrepreneurs, in particular, to create favorable conditions for the import and introduction of high-tech products and the latest scientific achievements in production.

We also need to create broad opportunities for them to upgrade their skills, internships in leading foreign companies and organizations, and implement mutually beneficial cooperation with them.

Today we are moving to the path of innovative development aimed at radical improvement of all spheres of life of the state and society.

And this is natural. After all, who is winning in this rapidly developing world? Only a state that relies on a new thought, a new idea, an innovation.

Innovation means the future. If we begin today to build our great future, we must do this primarily on the basis of innovative ideas, an innovative approach.

That is why we organized the Ministry of Innovative Development and put before it specific tasks. We hope that this ministry will perform the role of a kind of locomotive in the implementation of the most important projects, not only in the economic sphere, but also in the life of our entire society.

In 2018, the focus will be on the development of research and innovation activities, the mobilization of necessary financial resources, the full support of the participation of gifted youth in this process, creative ideas and developments.

I. Priority directions for improving the system of state and public construction

Dear people’s representatives!

The need for an effective solution of the currently existing problems in society, the consistent continuation of large-scale reforms requires the creation of an entirely new system in public administration.

I think the time has come for the development and adoption of the Law on Public Service.

At the same time, along with other important issues, it is necessary to envisage the creation of a system of remuneration and decent social security for civil servants and, at the same time, increasing the responsibility of officials.

In the field of management, first of all, we must introduce specific criteria and procedures for improving the performance of executive bodies, rational use of human and material resources.

Second, it is necessary to clearly define the procedure for implementing the tasks assigned to the executive authorities, the scope of their responsibilities.

Third, it is necessary to reduce the administrative impact on the economy and the widespread use of market mechanisms. That is, it is required to limit the state's participation in the creation of business structures, the development of appropriate market mechanisms, the transfer of certain functions of the state to the private sector.

Fourth, it is necessary to improve the methods and techniques that ensure close cooperation between representative bodies and executive bodies, and step-by-step to abandon the excessively centralized management.

It is necessary to provide government services directly on the ground, expand financial and other opportunities for local authorities. It is necessary to optimize and simplify the existing procedures, introduce innovative forms of management.

Fifth, it is necessary to reform the civil service institution, introduce effective mechanisms to combat corruption.

Today, life itself requires us to form a professional, mobile and result-oriented system of public service, to develop an effective system that opens a broad path for initiative-minded people who think in a new way, devoted to the homeland and the people.

In the implementation of these tasks, the Guidelines for us should be the Concept of Administrative Reform in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

As you know, in order to effectively combat corruption in the country, a separate law was adopted.

A corresponding state program is consistently implemented, which includes measures aimed at achieving specific goals in this area.

As a result, for 9 months of this year, the number of crimes related to corruption, compared to the same period last year decreased by 33 percent.

We should consider such indicators as the first results of our long struggle against corruption and even more resolutely to work in this direction.

Dear friends!

I think it appropriate to dwell on the role and significance of the parliament, deputies and senators in enhancing the effectiveness of the reforms we are implementing.

During the July 12 meeting with the members of the Oliy Majlis, it was emphasized that the parliament of our country should become a true school of democracy, the initiator and decisive force in the implementation of reforms, and we approved a program of practical measures.

But what is the benefit to our society from the execution of this program, which of the deputies or senators contributed to the relief of life of our people, the solution of their pressing problems in the spheres of health, ecology, communal services, education and others?

Unfortunately, our people do not see concrete examples of such care in life, in the press, or on television. Only on paper remained the call to our deputies, the senators to become more active.

Of the 136 legislative initiatives that were submitted during the year, only 27 were nominated by deputies, and mainly concern the introduction of changes and additions to existing laws based on decrees and decisions of the President. Does this alone not indicate a lack of effectiveness in the activities of our parliament?

Is it necessary to implement only the decrees and resolutions of the President to implement reforms? After all, the parliament is called upon to develop effective laws aimed at radical improvement of various spheres.

Unfortunately, the activity of our parliament in many respects is to hold formal meetings. Why are the problems identified or raised by the electorate not resolved through the adoption of relevant laws or a resolute statement of the issue to the executive branch?

Dear deputies, our people are waiting for you to answer these questions. Gone are the days when there was an opinion, they say, we are elected deputies or senators, now we can live peacefully.

The parliament of our country was recommended to promote the introduction of a businesslike, constructive, self-critical spirit in the activities of local Kengashes, the work of the health care system, the sphere of early warning of crime and delinquency.

However, the role of parliament and deputies in these spheres is not enough.

Today we can not say that in any region the services rendered to the population by health care institutions meet the requirements of the times.

It would be advisable if the Legislative Chamber (N. Ismoilov) paid more attention to solving problems in this area. For example, it would be possible to set up a separate health committee in the lower chamber of the Oliy Majlis and organize the work of deputies - its members mainly on the ground.

If you look at the reports, you get the impression that there are positive changes in the activity of the local Kengashes, but this is expressed only in figures. We do not need numbers, but concrete results.

Only if the situation in the regions improves, when the budget is enforced, crime will decrease, new jobs will appear in the required quantity, and, most importantly, the people's standard of living will improve, only then can the work of local Kengashes be evaluated positively.

Unfortunately, in none of the districts the activities of the Kengash of People’s Deputies are organized at the proper level.

The leadership of the Senate (N. Yuldoshev) should critically, taking into account the opinions of citizens, consider the activities of the upper house in this direction and take the necessary measures to radically change the work of the representative bodies.

It is also necessary not to allow the weakening of work on the prevention of violations in the regions and increasing the effectiveness of the fight against crime.

In the most important direction of the activity of the Parliament - lawmaking, there are also a number of mistakes and shortcomings.

It should be recognized that the adoption of laws and by-laws that in most cases do not contribute to the resolution of any specific issues, and sometimes contradict each other, in practice leads to a multitude of problems.

The question is who needs the ineffective working groups that are being created, as well as the “dead” laws that do not affect law enforcement practice and do not have enforcement mechanisms?

In order to prevent such negative phenomena, we must develop and implement the concept of improving lawmaking and rulemaking.

Henceforth, we will critically review the practice of enacting laws in the framework of implementing various programs.

We must all be well aware that the only source and author of the law must be the people.

From now on, opinions and proposals on each bill will come directly from citizens, local Kengashes of People’s Deputies.

In the process of adopting laws, we must effectively use the system of wide discussion of draft laws by the population. To organize such a discussion, the leadership of the Oliy Majlis needs to create special ‘sites’ on the Internet.

For citizens to express their position on important issues relating to the life of our state and society, it is advisable to create a special web page “My opinion”.

As the advanced mechanism of democracy, it is proposed to introduce the procedure for introducing collective electronic treatment.

In other words, the mandatory consideration by Oliy Majlis or Kengashes of people’s deputies of initiatives put forward by groups of citizens should be legally enshrined.

Recently we have created theInstituteofProblemsof Legislation and Parliamentary Studies under the Oliy Majlis. It is called to become a kind of scientific center, deeply analyzing the various proposals coming to the Oliy Majlis.

Another important issue is that further strengthening of the role of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis and political parties is necessary for a comprehensive study of the state of affairs in all spheres, the development of effective measures and the solution of existing problems.

It is also necessary to get rid of the practice of chasing numbers. If instead of solving hundreds of problems on paper you actually solve at least a few problems, then the voters will be satisfied with your work, dear deputies.

Most importantly, our citizens, on the example of their own lives, should feel the ongoing transformation; feel that there really are representatives in the system of state power.

Ensuring inter-party competition, creating equal conditions for all political actors is an important condition for strengthening the role of parliament.

As is known, the Environmental Movement of Uzbekistan, organized in 2008, has turned into a real political force over the past period. However, it should be recognized that the inclusion of representatives of the movement in the lower house of parliament on the basis of a predetermined quota does not help to increase their activity and initiative.

I think that the time has come to create equal conditions for all political forces and to stop quoting places in the Legislative Chamber for representatives of the Ecological Movement. The introduction of this change will strengthen the healthy competition in the political arena and will serve to strengthen the Ecological Movement as a separate political force.

In this connection, I would also like to dwell on electoral legislation, which is of great importance in our political life. The 6 laws and a number of by-laws adopted in this sphere, unfortunately, have not yet been harmonized as a single document.

It is necessary to develop and adopt a single Electoral Code that meets international norms and standards.

Also today, we should begin to develop a program of measures to prepare for elections to representative bodies of power, which will be held in2019. Inthe program, special attention should be given to organizing this political process in an even more open spirit, which corresponds to best practice.

Dear friends!

The next important issue before us in order to create even more favorable conditions for the population is a radical increase in the quality and expansion of public services.

Therefore, under the Ministry of Justice, we have organized a new structure - the Public Services Agency, which will coordinate and supervise the work on their provision by all government departments.

Henceforth, the centers of public services of this Agency, which will begin to operate under the People's Reception, will provide prompt and quality services not only to entrepreneurs, but to all citizens.

The actual issue is still the planning of the activities of government bodies, increasing their effectiveness.

At the present time, there is no specific criterion for objectively assessing the activities of a particular agency for the past period. For example, I do not know yet by what criteria the work of the Ministry of Economy or another department is evaluated.

Therefore, ministries and departments, hokimiyats of all levels in determining the forecast parameters should outline specific quantitative and qualitative indicators of the expected results of their activities.

In this connection, it is necessary to review the structure and tasks of state bodies. In order to avoid mistakes in this area, it is necessary to take deeply thought out decisions, to receive a positive conclusion from the Commission on the implementation of the Concept of Administrative Reform.

To ensure the effectiveness of the measures taken, it is extremely important to ensure coordinated work of the executive authorities.

Unfortunately, today the lack of a clear delineation of responsibility, the definition of its degree in terms of activities, mechanisms of authority prevents it from achieving this goal.

In this connection, in the sphere of public administration, it is necessary to introduce a system for making effective decisions based on their openness and transparency.

It is advisable to revise the principles and mechanisms of interaction between government bodies and the Cabinet of Ministers. Each ministry is obliged to ensure the implementation of state policy in the sphere entrusted to it and fully responsible for the final result.

It is required that the relevant ministries directly cooperating with the government and parliament agencies, committees, inspections and centers, which operate in a status equivalent to ministries. In view of this, a critical review and optimization of the tasks and structure of the government is necessary.

Such changes will serve to reduce more than a hundred bodies of state and economic management, performing almost identical functions.

One of the major shortcomings of our activities is the excessive centralization of the functions and powers of the state.

For example, at present there are 64 types of licenses, 21 of them are issued by the Cabinet of Ministers and 40 are by central departments. The issuance of three types of licenses refers to the powers of the regional hokimiyats and only one - the district hokimiyats.

This state of affairs can also be observed in the sphere of processing documents related to licensing procedures.

Only 11 of the 220 permits can be obtained in districts or cities. The remaining 209 have to apply to the republican and regional bodies. Is this normal?

For example, to obtain a license to open a private kindergarten in Shavat district, an entrepreneur must overcome a thousand kilometers, go toTashkentand wait for months.

The same facts are also observed in the selection, placement of personnel, the allocation of credit and financial resources, the approval of many important decisions at the local level.

How can you understand that local authorities do not have the authority even to solve simple questions?

All this has a negative impact on the independent work of the structures in solving urgent social and economic problems on the ground.

It is necessary to abandon the excessive centralization of public administration and transfer many powers of central bodies to territorial bodies.

Taking into account all these circumstances, the position of deputies of regional, city and regional hokims for attracting investments was introduced. In addition, a resolution was adopted on further increasing the responsibility of tax, financial and economic bodies for the formation of local budgets, the creation of additional reserves. The powers of local authorities in reforming the budgetary system have been expanded.

Now the heads of the regional, city and regional hokimiyats should take advantage of the opportunities provided and take responsibility for solving urgent problems on the ground.

One of the urgent tasks in the near future is the complete transfer of authority to the hokims of districts and cities in the selection and placement of personnel responsible for the social and economic development of the territories.

From now on, the appointment of the heads of local departments of public health, public education, economy, finance, tax inspection and other structures for the post and dismissal will be carried out by the district hokim.

Similar powers of regional andTashkentcity hokimiyats will also be revised.

Along with giving such wide powers and independence to local leaders, we must also radically increase their responsibility for the end result.

Another important task is connected with the division of powers of hokims as leaders of executive and representative government.

In recent years, the role of the Kengashes of People’s Deputies, the powers of the people's representatives have been strengthened. The powers of political parties have been gradually expanded in the formation of local government bodies; deputy control over executive bodies has been strengthened.

At the same time, it must be admitted that practice, when hokim is simultaneously the leader of both the local Kengash and the executive body, does not comply with democratic principles.

It is known that hokims report to local Kengash on important and urgent issues of territorial development. And the Kengashi, in turn, make the appropriate decision.

Probably, it is worth asking the question: is it possible to consider such an order of things as normal, when, as a result, does the hokim give an assessment of his activity?

Today, life itself proves that such a system negatively affects the activity of both khokims and local Kengashes.

Therefore, at present we are working to resolve this issue at the legislative level.

Our important task should be to create conditions for the implementation of public control through its representatives over the activities of the hokims for the development of the territories, the implementation of the local budget, and the solution of communal issues.

In today’s reality, it is the reporting, openness and responsibility of officials to society that are an important condition for the effective functioning of the state apparatus.

From this point of view, in the near future, in the Internet, it is necessary to create a single platform for the implementation of all public procurement and the sale of state property. This will reduce budget expenditures, effectively manage state property and save large financial resources.

Dear compatriots!

It should be specially noted that in the reforms aimed at building an open civil society, ensuring the protection of human rights and freedoms, an important role belongs to non-state non-profit organizations.

Currently, there are more than 9,000 NGOs in the country, there are branches and representative offices of 29 international and foreign non-governmental organizations.

Separate decrees and decrees have been adopted to improve the activities of such non-governmental non-profit organizations as the Nuroniy Foundation, the Youth Union, the Council of Farmers, Dehkan Farms and Household Landowners, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Republican Council for Coordinating the Activities of Citizens’ Self-Government Bodies, and their support.

However, despite such measures, the participation of public organizations in systematic study of the population’s problems, their resolution, especially in supporting women in difficult social situations, preventing crime and crime among young people and women, their employment is not properly felt. These organizations mainly deal with formal events.

I think that the relevant conclusions will be drawn from today’s criticism, and NGOs will step up their work.

In order to organize effective cooperation with non-governmental non-profit organizations, I consider it expedient to create an Advisory Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Development of Civil Society.

I want to dwell on one more urgent problem in this area. So far, no specific legal mechanism has been created to implement public control over the activities of state bodies.

This, in turn, hinders the objective assessment by non-state non-profit organizations of the performance by state bodies and officials of the tasks assigned to them.

Proceeding from this, in order to introduce effective and practical mechanisms for implementing public control in public and public administration, I propose to accelerate the adoption of the Law on Public Control and create public councils with all state bodies.

These public councils should ensure the openness of the activities of state bodies and act as a liaison with the population.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Discussion of issues of the chemical industry development

On December 28, 2017, a meeting dedicated to the current financial-economic situation of the chemical industry enterprises and issues of development of the industry was held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

In accordance with the Strategy of actions on five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan a number of transformations were implemented in the chemical industry, in 2017. In particular, in accordance with the resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures of improving the management structure of JSC “Uzkimyosanoat” of April 12, 2017, the membership structure of the board of the joint-stock company was completely updated, the structures of branches and the administrative office of the chemical industry were reorganized.

The Program of development of the chemical industry for 2017-2021 was approved by the resolution of the Head of our state of August 23 of this year. It envisages implementation of 43 investment projects with a total cost of 3,1 billion dollars, increasing the volumes of industrial production by 2,4 times, their export – 2,7 times, increasing the share of localized products to 42,5 percent and mastering the production of 43 new types of products, creating over 3,2 thousand workplaces. “Uzkimyoimpeks” limited liability company was organized for regulating the export-import activities of the industry, ensuring transparency of foreign trade operations, most importantly, increasing the volume and expanding the geography of sales of chemical products in foreign market, further increasing its competitiveness and attractiveness.

The ongoing large-scale reforms have a positive effect on the chemical industry. However, systemic problems in the industry that have accumulated over the years are still awaiting their solution. So, industrial enterprises on production of mineral fertilizers were in a difficult financial situation.

Complete lack of attention or a superficial approach to financing of agriculture are becoming the reason for appearance of shortcomings in the system of mutual settlements in this sphere, said the President of our country.

Expenses related to mineral fertilizers for agricultural needs are not covered. As a result, chemical enterprises are limited in payment ability for the consumption of natural gas, electricity, phosphate raw materials, sulfuric acid and other types of goods and services, their accounts payable is growing.

In this regard, starting from 2018, the supply of mineral fertilizers to consumers is planned to be carried out through exchange trades with the intermediation of the “Single agent”, organized under JSC “Uzkimyosanoat”.

At the same time, there are shortcomings in issues of reducing the cost of mineral fertilizers and increasing the profitability of the industry enterprises. In particular, 67 percent of the cost of nitrogen fertilizers are energy costs. “Ferganaazot” enterprise, Dehkanabad potash fertilizers plant, Kokand superphosphate plant, “Ammofos-Maxam” and “Maxam-Chirchik” companies are finishing 2017 with low profitability, and “Navoiazot” enterprise with losses. In such conditions, enterprises are completely limited in formation of their own working capital and are forced to solve problems by attracting loans at 16-18 annual percent.

In this connection, “Uzkimyosanoat” JSC was instructed to develop a program of concrete measures on reducing the cost of production of chemical products and increasing its competitiveness in 2018-2019, jointly with relevant ministries and departments.

Another problem that needs attention is deterioration of the main technological equipment. As a consequence, the technological process is disrupted, due to lack of funds, the equipment remains without current and major repairs.

The Head of our state noted the need for development of a sectoral plan on implementation of the current and major repairs.

When considering the issue of providing agriculture on scientifically grounded basis with phosphorus fertilizers, it was noted that the existing requirement for the volume of 639,6 thousand tons is provided only by 25 percent. In this regard, it is envisaged to increase production to 177 thousand tons in 2019 by modernization of the existing facilities, and by building a new phosphate fertilizer production complex in 2021 – up to 550 thousand tons.

At the meeting, activities of scientific research and design institutes, centers on advanced training and diagnostics were critically analyzed. Development of the chemical industry, ensuring competitiveness of relevant products in the world market, the fundamental diversification of the sphere directly depend on scientific research, design, engineering, diagnostic centers and, most importantly, on the personnel potential. However, the state of affairs in this direction is still in an unsatisfactory state. In this connection, “Uzkimyosanoat” JSC was entrusted to organize a single center combining scientific research, engineering, design and diagnostic activities, as well as advanced training of personnel in cooperation with relevant ministries and departments, as well as the South Korean research institute of chemical technologies.

At the meeting, officials were given appropriate instructions on the discussed issues.

(Source: UzA )

economy

The Ministry of Foreign Trade has summed up the results of the year

Systemic activities on modernization and diversification of the economy are being carried out in our country. In particular, one of its results this year was the liberalization of trade, increasing the country’s export potential.

Customs duties for all exported goods and services were abolished, the licensing and export system was simplified. A zero rate of customs duties has been established for more than 60 percent types of goods. Thus, the customs duty rate in Uzbekistan has been reduced up to 6,45 percent.

This was noted at the press conference on the results of activities of the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017.

Necessary conditions for further liberalization of foreign trade, increasing the exports range of products that are in great demand in the world market were created in 2017. For example, the prepayment procedure for products has been eliminated and a system of delivering products to a foreign market without surety obligations has been set up in order to encourage exports. The obsolete licensing procedures were abolished, tax exemptions for exporters were extended.

The unified deadline for calculating overdue accounts receivable on export contracts was extended to 120 days. A number of conveniences have also been created for entrepreneurs in customs control.

Speaking about the liberalization of the economy, creation of an opportunity for free conversion of the national currency should be emphasized. Starting from September 2017, the procedure for compulsory sale of the currency part received from exports has been canceled. This provides further stimulation of small business and private entrepreneurship and introduction of modern technologies into production.

This year, the policy of expanding trade and economic relations with foreign countries continued in foreign trade policy. In 2017, more than 20 high-level visits, more than 60 meetings with heads and representatives of state and international organizations were held. As a result, export contracts were signed for 11 billion US dollars.

As Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Sakhib Saifnazarov noted, the Concept of development of export activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2018-2021 has been developed. It is aimed at ensuring implementation of the Action Strategy, expanding the export potential of the country through the production development of new types of products. Its successful implementation will contribute to increasing the country’s export volume by 2,5 times, in the future.

At the event, information on activities of stimulating foreign trade, which the ministry will have to execute in 2018, was provided.

(Source: UzA )

Oficcially

Uzbek President signs decree on setting additional non-working days in 2018

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree “On establishment of additional non-working days during the celebration of official dates and shifting of day-offs in 2018”.

The decree should create additional conditions for citizens to receive a full and useful rest during public holidays, rational use of holidays and non-working holidays established by law.

Additional non-working days will be set in 2018, dedicated to public holidays – New Year, Navruz and Independence Day and some non-working days to dates, close to public holidays.

The decree said that citizens of Uzbekistan will rest for five days during New Year holidays – 30 and 31 December 2017, 1, 2 and 3 January 2018. At the same time, the working day, 3 January, transferred to 6 January 2018.

During Navruz holidays, the citizens will also rest for five days – 18, 19, 20 and 21 March 2018. At the same time, the working days, 19 March and 22 March, will be transferred to 17 and 24 March respectively.

Uzbek citizens will also have five day-offs during Independence Days – 31 August, 1, 2 and 3 September. The day-offs, 8 and 15 Septembers, will be transferred to 3 and 4 September respectively.

At the same time, the decree said that annual leaves will be decreased by three days. It added that minimal length of annual leave set at 15 days.

The decree underlined that three day-offs will be provided to the citizens during celebrations of Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Adha.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

TECHNOLOGIES

Banks of Uzbekistan to implement remote user authentication

Remote authentication will allow banks to reduce the cost of attracting new customers and will enhance competition in the financial market.

Commercial banks of our country have developed schedules for the implementation of mobile banking for individuals. Meantime, the Clearing system of the Central Bank has started testing new mechanisms that allow making card-to-card payment, issuance and repayment of loans, processing online deposits and online payments.

A single platform set to be launched upon implementation of the above mechanism, allows bank customers to perform transactions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a break for holidays.

It is also expected to enhance the infrastructure of accepting cash payments in 2018, the implementation of mechanisms for the use of contactless methods of making payments using mobile applications using the QRcode and NFC. Especially important is the use of data technologies in the organization of trade in markets, fairs, outside commercial premises, transport etc.

The expansion of functionality of mobile applications necessitates the development of remote authentication of users of mobile applications for remote management of bank accounts. The launch of this mechanism will simplify the banking and will ensure the necessary level of control over operations. Using a single mechanism for remote authentication, the client is not required to re-provide data to financial institutions when applying for various financial services.

 In turn, remote authentication will allow banks to reduce the cost of attracting new customers and will enhance competition in the financial market.

(Source:UzReport.uz )

International cooperation

Rosatom delegation arrives in Uzbekistan

A delegation of the State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” headed by General Director Alexei Likhachev arrives in Uzbekistan on 29 December 2017.

During the visit, the Russian delegation will hold a number of bilateral meetings and negotiations in Tashkent.

(Source:UzDaily.com)

Society

International Youth Association is created in Uzbekistan

The Ministry of Justice registered a non-governmental non-profit organization “International Association of Youth of Uzbekistan”.

The new association will support and protect the interests of young people, studying and working abroad.

The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his message to the Parliament of Uzbekistan noted the need to create such association.

“Today, many of our young people are studying and working abroad. Of course, among them there are those who found their vocation there, live happily. However, homesickness is a strong feeling that never leaves a person if he is away from his home. Therefore, we need to establish a permanent relationship with compatriots living abroad, strengthen work to protect their rights and legitimate interests, support those who wish to return to their homeland,” President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

Construction and renovation of kindergartens to draw 771bn soums in 2018

Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a video conference devoted to ongoing reforms in the system of preschool education and challenges for the future(currency rates of CB RU from 28.12.2017, 1$= 8120,07 soums).

Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the number of state preschool educational institutions has dipped 45% over the past 20 years, while kindergartens covered only 818 000 children from 2.45 million.

Kindergartens do not provide social, personal, emotional, verbal, mathematical, physico-psychological, and creative development for children. In short, kindergarten has become an institution that only cares about the child, when his parents are at work.

Due to the negligence of some leaders, the work in this direction remains undeveloped.

Considering such shortcomings, the head of our state put forward a number of proposals.

In particular, in accordance with the Program for 2017-2021, work is set to continue on the construction and reconstruction of kindergartens. Some 771 billion soums are set to be allocated for the construction and repair of 427 kindergartens in 2018 at the expense of the State budget.

According to the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, new types of preschool educational institutions will be created based on public-private partnerships.

In order to ensure the healthy nutrition of children the amount of funds allocated for feeding infants will be increased, and all types of preschools will be attached to farmers and entrepreneurs.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

 

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