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2018 Government Program Approved

The Presidential Decree, signed January 22, approved the Government Program for the implementation of the Strategy for Actions in the Year of Support for Active Enterprise, Innovative Ideas and Technologies.

The document identifies its major dimensions, as well as priority measures for its practical implementation.

The decree announces a two-year moratorium on inspections of financial and economic activities of business entities. Thus, from the time the decree is published, entrepreneurs can safely carry out their activities without diverting their time and resources to inspections by the controlling bodies.

Another important novelty is lifting the ban on hiring - by employers - of citizens who do not have a temporary or permanent residence permit or account at the place of stay. This will allow citizens to realize themselves in any region of the country, especially in the city of Tashkent and the Tashkent region, without any restrictions on employment. Promising specialists can work in the metropolitan region regardless of the place of permanent or temporary residence permit or registration at the place of stay.

The state program consists of five sections. The first is directed at the improvement of the system of state and public construction. The key step will undoubtedly be the adoption of the Law on Civil Service. Making service in public institutions truly prestigious, the document will primarily contribute to the creation of a decent system of remuneration and social protection of civil servants, and also increase their responsibility for the state of work in the entrusted area.

Real decentralization of state functions and powers will be carried out. First, certain functions of the government, especially in the field of permit and licensing procedures, will be transferred to ministries and other government agencies, as well as to local authorities. Second, the powers and positions of the hokims of all levels as responsible for the implementation of state policy, ensuring the rights and interests of citizens in the relevant region will be substantially expanded. The ultimate goal is to make sure that hokims have real powers, which in fact will allow for the acceleration of socio-economic development in regions and the elevation of well-being of the population.

As a new mechanism for realizing the rights of citizens to participate in governance, a system of collective electronic petitions will be introduced. This scheme will allow citizens to raise specific issues before representative bodies of state power, which should respond to an appeal approved by a certain number of citizens. Thanks to this mechanism, active citizens and public organizations can become the initiators of addressing various problems.

The next important direction of the government program is to ensure the rule of law and further reform of the judicial and legal system. It is planned to work out a concept for the development of criminal and criminal procedural legislation in 2018-2021, revise the limitation period for bringing a person to criminal liability. It provides for the liberalization of criminal and administrative liability, improvement of procedural norms.

To enhance the judicial control over the preliminary investigation, the courts will be given the right to issue a sanction for a search and wiretapping of telephone conversations. In order to prevent violations of human rights, pre-trial detention centers and penal institutions will be equipped with video surveillance.

The government program provides for measures to simplify the institution of registration and the passport system. In particular, citizens who do not have a permanent residence permit in the city of Tashkent and the Tashkent region will be able to purchase real estate on the secondary market.

The third direction of the program is devoted to the development of the economy and support for active entrepreneurship. In this sphere, a gradual transition to a new model of innovative development is projected, based on advanced ideas, smart technologies and cutting-edge know-how.

Legal frameworks will be developed for the creation and development of venture funds, venture financing, as well as mechanisms to stimulate the introduction of innovations and new technologies into the economy.

Tax privileges are granted through to 1 January 2023 to venture funds, high-tech start-up projects, research institutions, innovation centers, and design bureaus on income received from the sale (transfer for use) of their own new technologies.

To ensure transparency and legality of the provision of land, it is intended to introduce online trading on the Internet. It is envisaged to create a system for the sale of state assets through electronic trade platforms.

The legislation on banks and banking activities will be radically revised, digital banking, Internet banking and other modern technologies in this sphere introduced.

Particular attention will be paid to the development of the travel sector, to stimulate the development of inbound and domestic tourism, to simplify administrative and visa procedures for tourists.

The next section of the government program deals with the development of the social sphere. In order to determine the amount of income required for decent living conditions of the population, legal regulation of issues regarding the ‘consumer basket’ is provided. A step-by-step transition to the system of determining the amount of wages, pensions and other social payments is planned taking into account the ‘consumer basket’ in the context of the regions.

Work will continue to further perfect the system of healthcare and improve the quality of medical services. It is projected to introduce the system of ‘smart medicine’, innovative technologies in healthcare. Establishment of 2 thousand social pharmacies that will provide the population with high-quality medicines at affordable prices is envisaged.

To ensure the growth of public demand, especially among young families, in the accessible housing in 2018, the volume of construction of this type of housing will be increased by 1.5-2 times. About 5.3 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 26.01.2018, 1$= 8163.93 soums) are assigned for these purposes.

For full coverage of the population with telecommunication services, it is designed to lay 2,000 km of fiber optic communication lines in remote areas, increase the Internet speed by 2.5 times and put into operation of more than 4,000 mobile communication base stations.

In addition, the concept of the state policy on cooperation with compatriots living and working abroad will be developed and adopted.

The religious education system will be revised to make it more effective and useful, especially among young people.

In total, 13.5 trillion soums and 1.3 billion US dollars will be allocated for implementation of the measures stipulated in the government program.

The implementation of the measures outlined in the program will become a powerful impetus for the enhancement of economic development in the country, a real increase in the well-being of the population and improvement of the quality of life.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)