MODERNIZATION. LIBERALIZATION. EFFECTIVENESS
For consular and visa issues, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Berlin:
Perleberger Str. 62, 10559 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 394 098 30/80
Fax: +49 30 394 098 62
Hotline of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Uzbekistan:
+998 71 233 28 28
The Actions Strategy outlines pivotal reforms in five priority areas of development, along with mechanisms of their implementation.
Put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the document has marked a new stage in the country’s development, reflected such noble ideas as ensuring peaceful and prosperous life of people, and raising their living standards.
The Actions Strategy for 2017-2021, ranks the reduction of energy intensity and resource intensity of the economy, widespread introduction of energy-saving technologies into production, intensified application of renewable energy sources, and increase in labor productivity in the economic sectors among the promising areas.
For that reason, it assigns a big part to diversification of primary energy sources in the country’s energy sector, as well as the upgrade of distribution networks and capacities available, the widespread introduction of scientific and technological achievements, encouragement of use of renewable energy sources by economic entities and the population. Regulatory and legal acts in electric power industry have been contributing to the high-quality performance of scheduled works.
The Committee for Industry, Construction and Trade of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis organized a conference on the ‘State and Prospects of Effective Utilization of Energy Capacity in Uzbekistan’. It brought together representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Academy of Sciences, core ministries, departments and organizations, experts and specialists. They exchanged views on the ways of improving the legal framework and identified promising areas for power engineering development.
The conference participants focused on long-term strategic objectives to increase the available capacities to 73.75 billion kW/h by 2030 due to the relevance of meeting the growing needs of economic and social sectors in electricity. They noted that this task will be fulfilled in pursuance of improved performance in rational use of natural resources, commissioning of new capacities, as well as the progressive expansion of the use of renewable energy sources in power plants.
The participants pointed out to the need of introducing amendments and additions to the current laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan ‘On electric power industry’, ‘On rational use of power’, and speeding up the drafting of the bill ‘On renewable energy sources’.
The conference dwelled upon the current state and prospects of the country’s power capacity. The participants accentuated the diversification of primary energy sources, as well as power generation by private owners, the formation of a service market for electricity transmission and sale, improvement of the legal framework in the renewable energy sources sector.
They also discussed the prospects of expanded use of gas turbine and combined-cycle plants in renewable energy sources sector, and utilization of the coal produced by modern technologies.
Experts drew attention to the need to develop target programs on rational use of energy resources, and streamline the mechanism of their implementation, ensuring coverage of consumers at all levels.
Political parties have been doing much on promoting the Action Strategy, and meetings its objectives.
The Executive Committee of the UzLiDeP Political Council held a videoconference. It was emphasized that the goals of the UzLiDeP program are concordant with the Action Strategy objectives on streamlining the system of state and public construction, ensuring the rule of law and further reformation of the judicial and legal system, development and liberalization of economy, strengthening of security, religious tolerance and interethnic harmony, pursuance of balanced foreign policy. In this context, UzLiDeP and all its structures are assigned with taking more active and responsible steps in implementing the document.
Under the policy document, the party will identify problems that hamper the accelerated development of small businesses, develop proposals for their elimination, explore the ways of rehabilitating the business entities that were suspended for some reason. It is also planned that all municipal and district party organizations will arrange open dialogues with small businesses and private entrepreneurs, representatives of diversified farms once a month, to address their problems.
The meeting thoroughly analyzed the performance of party’s local groups of people’s representatives, and criticized them.
Reports on fulfillment of relevant tasks of social and economic development in the regions for the groups of people’s representatives have an introductory nature. They do not express a specific position on the abovementioned issues, and in few cases represent comprehensively elaborated documents.
It was emphasized that groups of people’s representatives should focus on the dialogue with the population, be initiative in studying the issues of people’s concern, and develop specific mechanisms for their solution, effectively using their powers. The participants defined measures on elimination of the shortcomings.
The plenary session of the Central Council of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan set the objectives for party organizations, party factions in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and party groups in local councils of people’s representatives on the implementation of the Action Strategy.
The Program of Action of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan for 2015-2019 has been amended accordingly. Visits of regionally elected people’s representatives and senators to certain districts within 10-12 days of each month, study of performance of government bodies, its analysis, submission of reports of executives of different levels for discussion at sessions of local councils of people’s representatives are seen as an important practice to address the problems that concern the interests of the DPU electorate.
The regular study and analysis of appeals received by public receptions under party organizations help to identify socio-economic problems on the ground, discuss shortcomings and their causes.
The plenary revealed the need to catalyze the activity of party organizations and associations of people’s representatives in social issues in the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests and in the framework of the Action Strategy. Their functions include the provision of employment, the study of the availability of jobs for the college graduates who are members of low-income families, the construction of affordable housing of upd ated standard design in rural areas, provision of free prosthetic, orthopedic and rehabilitation equipment for people with disabilities and lonely elderly.
Milliy Tiklanish DPU held a regional seminar on ‘Actions Strategy: Priority Steps to Catalyze the Socio-Political Activity of Women and Youth’ in Tashkent.
The seminar dwelled upon the issues of enhancing the initiative of party groups in local councils of people’s representatives in the course of implementation of Action Strategy objectives with regard to the development of social sector, strengthening of socio-political activity of women, reformation of the healthcare system, improvement of the preschool education system and quality of education.
The all-round contribution to creation of favorable conditions for the birth and upbringing of a physically healthy and comprehensively advanced young generation ranks among major missions of the policy platform of the party. Therefore, party groups pay special attention to this issue.
Last year, members of party groups in local councils of people’s representatives submitted more than 700 inquiries on women and youth to the relevant organizations. Most of them were addressed positively. More than 120 proposals were put forward at the meetings of standing committees on youth policy and upbringing of healthy generation in local councils.
The objectives se t by the Actions Strategy are successfully and gradually implemented in various areas.
For example, insurance and leasing services have been increasingly developing in our country. However, the lack of the structures rendering such services in the regions limits the population’s access to them. As a result, the rural residents willing to engage in private business have to spend money and time to visit the regional centers.
The Strategy has assigned banks with broad involvement of the population in entrepreneurial activities, triggering active activities in all regions of our country. Each bank is attached to the corresponding residential communities, depending on location, number of families, and able-bodied population. During conversations, bank employees do not just offer banking services, but consider people’s proposals. The Presidential Decree ‘On further expansion and simplification of microcrediting for small businesses and private entrepreneurship’ plays an important role in this process.
The document is aimed at expanding access to microfinance services for graduates of secondary special, vocational and higher education institutions entering the labor market, those who have returned from military service, the unemployed citizens registered with job agencies, and other segments of the population in need of employment. The act also aims at stimulation of family business, private entrepreneurship and other types of activities that ensure creation of new jobs.
Expansion of preferential microcrediting contributes to the creation of new jobs in small and family business, private entrepreneurship, facilitates access of business entities to micro-financial services, increases income of low-income and socially vulnerable groups of population, strengthens the role of citizens’ self-government bodies in ensuring employment of the population.
Preferential micro loans are granted in the amount of up to 200 minimum wages for a period of up to three years with a six-month grace period for the payment of principal. Creating one workplace, an entrepreneur is subject to 9% of annual interest rate, creation of two jobs implies 8%, from three to four jobs - 7%, five or more jobs - 6%.
The resolution establishes a procedure, which allows commercial banks accepting the acquired property as security under the guarantee of citizens’ self-government bodies in case if an applicant does not have sufficient security for repayment under the microcredit.
The Central Bank intends to introduce the micro loaning system this year in Tashkent. In a year, the results of the experiment will be analyzed for further implementation of the system in the regions. These and other measures should contribute to raising the quality and living standards of the population.
There are many similar examples of successful solution of objectives of the Action Strategy.
The Public Survey Center Ijtimoiy Fikr has conducted a social study on ‘Citizens’ View on the Action Strategy of Further Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan’. It covered representatives of various population strata from all regions of the republic, men and women, representatives of different nationalities and faith.
The survey was mainly aimed at identification of extent of people’s awareness of the policy document and its content, their views on the relevance of the adoption of the Strategy and the way it reflects everyday problems. During the study, specialists revealed people’s views on the effectiveness of performance of executive authorities in the field under the national program the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests.
The majority of respondents (about 80%) are sufficiently aware of the contents of the Action Strategy.
The knowledge of Strategy’s contents was largely demonstrated by entrepreneurs, farmers, law enforcement officials, government employees, workers, representatives of NGOs, and especially university students.
Respondents named the state television of Uzbekistan (with 82.7%), periodicals, republican radio and the Internet as the main sources of information on the Action Strategy.
More than 83.5% of respondents consider the adoption of the Presidential Decree on the Actions Strategy as timely, and fully support it.
The absolute majority of respondents (90.7%) fully agree with the five priority areas of development for the period of 2017-2021. They see their implementation as an important stage in the development of the state and society. Citizens ranked the development and liberalization of the economy among the key priorities, as well as the social sector, which, in their opinion, is the closest one to the paramount problems of each person.
The study revealed that 15% of respondents have their own proposals for the policy document. Most often, they mentioned the employment issues, especially for young people, improvement of quality of education, provision of preferential loans for entrepreneurs and farmers, streamlining of social and health protection systems, increase in the construction of affordable housing.
One of the objectives of the survey was about revealing the effectiveness of the Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests, particularly with regard to the effectiveness of local public authorities and administration. The results showed that the dynamics of the vital activity of the population has a positive tendency.
People noted the recent progress in employment, timely salary payments, improving conditions for entrepreneurial activity, financial state of pensioners and people with disabilities, electricity and natural gas supplies.
A positive social mood of citizens has been rising concurrently with their involvement in current events, social activity, suggesting the formation of new priorities in the outlook of most population strata.
At the same time, the study revealed insufficient work of local authorities in addressing some pressing problems, which impeded respondents to assess them positively. The problems concerned the economic sector (utility rates, wages), social sector (provision of housing and its quality, work of medical institutions), as well as ecology, public transport, law enforcement and family conflicts.
The public survey by Ijtimoiy Fikr Center convincingly demonstrated that the Action Strategy will contribute to the radical enhancement of effectiveness of the ongoing reforms, create conditions for ensuring integrated and accelerated development of the state and society, modernization and liberalization of all spheres of life, and thereby raise the quality of life of the population. This view was expressed by the overwhelming majority of respondents.
(As part of the social order of the Oliy Majlis Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions)
Shuhrat Sharafutdinov, Member of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis:
The Actions Strategy outlines the consolidation of public resources and attention for the effective development of the e-government system in various areas of public and state construction, active involvement of all branches of power in addressing relevant problems in this area.
Many issues of healthcare, to which the head of state constantly draws attention, are associated with the underdevelopment of the information infrastructure.
This primarily refers to the provision of rural health units with reliable communication means. Connection of each rural health unit to telecommunications networks would not just raise the effectiveness of interaction between medical institutions and the population, but will also allow the exchange of medical data between regions and headquarters. I would also like to note that the level of computer literacy by medical workers remains rather low against employees of other ministries, which requires an urgent correction.
The Key in Individual Approach
Citizens’ Assembly Chairman, Tong Mahalla of Yashnabad district of Tashkent:
Mahalla is seen as a citizens’ self-government body in our country. This concept is enshrined in the Constitution, which clearly defines its place and status in public administration. This structure is entrusted with large powers as a self-government body, as a true school of democracy.
The Action Strategy draws important vectors for the development of social sector, ensuring the interests of the people. Its objectives cover employment of the population, strengthening its social protection, intensification of social and political activity of women, improvement of state youth policy.
Nearly 10,000 citizens’ self-government bodies function across the country today. Along with reflecting the interests of various segments of the population, these structures play an important role in increasing people’s activity.
The announcement of the current year the Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests has further increased the responsibility of local communities in their direct work with the population. With this in mind, our activists pay great attention to visiting citizens’ houses, solving their problems. Strengthening of direct cooperation with MPs, state structures and banks have been producing positive results, creating opportunities to open small enterprises, provide work for temporarily unemployed youth, improve the well-being of people.
Contribution of Civil Institutions
Lester M. Salamon,
Director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies (USA):
During my stay in Uzbekistan, I got acquainted with the activities of civil society institutions in your country. Civil society institutions are strongly supported here by state grants, social orders and subsidies aiming to increase the effectiveness of socially important projects and programs.
I was impressed how actively NGOs and other civil society institutions were involved in the discussion of the pivotal policy document - the Action Strategy, designed for five years. There is no doubt that they will take an equally active part in its implementation and particularly in the establishment of a dialogue with the people.
It is very important that one of the priority areas of the Strategy envisages the development of civil society institutions, building their social and political capacity.
Close Attention to National Consensus
Head of the German Ethnic Cultural Center (Tashkent):
In the years of independence, Uzbekistan has chosen its own way of development, achieved success, and won the worldwide recognition. The main achievement comes to strengthening the foundations of national statehood, along with ensuring peaceful and tranquil life of our people.
The Actions Strategy pays special attention to interethnic harmony as it ensures the further prosperity of our country, which is home to representatives of more than 130 ethnic groups. Having consolidated on the path of prosperity in our common home - Uzbekistan, they selflessly work in various sectors and branches.
In our country, representatives of non-indigenous nations have the opportunity to develop their mother tongue, national customs and traditions. We are proud that representatives of different nationalities rank among those who are actively involved in state and public activities receive high state awards. This is the result of equal conditions for all in Uzbekistan. We love our native land, and consider it a duty to contribute to its development and prosperity.