DAILY NEWS HERALD
On January 17, 2018, a meeting on issues of application of a new procedure of forming and financing state programs of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan and his deputies, chairman of the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of Tashkent city and regions, heads of relevant ministries and departments.
The Head of our state, noting the importance of investments for achieving high rates of economic growth and providing strong social protection, criticized the previously disorderly organization of activities in this sphere.
Previously, leaders of the sphere in pursuit of high figures were engaged in embellishing the indicators of attracting and absorbing investments. As a result, the heads of khokimiyats and industries, in order to fulfill this “burden”, had to include ineffective projects in the investment programs that do not correspond to the development of regions and industries, without specific funding sources and initiators.
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In 2012-2017, “Uzbekenergo” JSC included 14 projects worth $3.3 billion in investment programs. Subsequently, all of them were deemed inexpedient and terminated by government decisions. It causes confusion, why $185 million was spent on preparation of these projects’ documentation. This was reported at the meeting, held on January 17 under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
There are a number of problems in formation of investment programs and examination of projects. This process was carried out according to the criteria and procedures defined in the resolutions that were adopted 15 years ago. In particular, as a result of repeated re-approvals of the feasibility study, business plan and tender documentation on projects, their expertise was delayed up to 6 months instead of 15 days. This led to a rise in price and decrease in profitability of investment project.
Economically justified projects with ready design and estimate documentation are subject to inclusion in the investment programs. However, earlier such documentation was prepared after inclusion of the project in the investment program. As a result, in some cases, a gap of up to 80 percent occurred between the initial and approved project costs. This led to unjustified spending of budgetary funds.
Many enterprises went bankrupt due to miscalculations in formation of projects, not attracting investors’ funds for their implementation. Commercial banks, which were entrusted with improvement of enterprises, also suffered heavy losses. Taking this into account, starting from the current year, the practice of transferring bankrupt enterprises to the banks’ balance sheet has been terminated.
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A completely new system of implementing sectoral and territorial projects is being established in Uzbekistan. The Head of our state, at the meeting on issues of application of a new procedure of forming and financing state development programs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, noted that activity in this direction should be carried out in three stages.
At the first stage, it is necessary to develop and approve the Development Concept. This concept will become a document that includes strategic tasks on implementation of directions of sectoral, territorial and targeted socio-economic development.
At the second stage, a three-year project portfolio for 2019-2021, with a specific indication of their objectives and sources of funding, should be formed on the basis of the Development Concept. These projects will be coordinated with the State Committee on Investments, the ministries of economy and finance and will be examined by the National Project Management Agency under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. A detailed calendar plan will be developed on implementation of each project.
At the third stage, it is required to develop and approve the State Development Program on the basis of the approved three-year projects portfolio.
Henceforth, only those projects that have a preliminary feasibility study and design estimate documentation will be included in the state development programs, emphasized Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
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Comprehensive Expertise of Projects and Import Contracts Center was established under the National Project Management Agency in accordance with the resolution of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of January 8 of this year. Now projects, tender documentation and import contracts will be examined in this center. This was reported at the meeting, held on January 17 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic Uzbekistan.
Since the organization of activities on the new order continues, socio-economic development projects in 2018, on an exceptional basis, will be carried out in accordance with the List of Investment Projects approved by the President.
The Head of our state proposed to implement projects using energy-saving, modern construction materials and light structures as an experiment in the city of Tashkent, Tashkent and Samarkand regions and thereby achieve a 20-30 percent reduction in their cost.
The saved funds will remain at full disposal of the city or district where the project is being implemented, and will be directed at resolving social and communal issues of this territory, said President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The current rules of project activity were developed back in the 60-70s of the last century and do not meet modern requirements at all. No new design institute has been established with involvement of foreign consultants to date. Activities of design organizations that meet modern requirements have not been established in the regions.
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Today, the main goal of design institutes is to artificially inflate the project cost in order to obtain a high percentage of profit from design. It’s time to stop this practice, emphasized Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Following the example of “UzEngineering” design organization, which develops projects for basic branches of the economy, other economic associations should also have similar specialized design institutes with highly qualified specialists.
Previously, activities on attracting and using loans, credits and grants were organized by Interdepartmental Council on the issues of cooperation with international financial institutions, organizations and donor countries, implementation of large and strategically important investment projects under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This reduced responsibility and initiative of state bodies, led to the emergence of unnecessarily bureaucratic procedures and costs.
The resolution of the President of our country “On measures of further enhancing effectiveness of cooperation with international and foreign financial institutions” of December 20, 2017 defined specific powers of the state governing bodies in this direction. Now the khokimiyats of all levels will work in close interaction with these structures.
Henceforth, the respective managers will be accountable to the law upon repeated assumption of cases of inclusion projects that are not well-designed, having no specific sources of funding and executors, existing only on paper in such a state development program, as an investment program. This was reported at the meeting, held on January 17 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic Uzbekistan.
The 80th anniversary of the birth of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will be celebrate widely and dignifiedly
On January 17, 2018, a meeting devoted to issues of preparation and celebration of the 80th anniversary of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov’s birth at a high organizational level was held under the chairmanship of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
It was attended by members of the organizing committee on celebration of the 80th anniversary of Islam Karimov’s birth, heads of relevant ministries and departments. Khokims of the regions, rectors of higher education institutions, leaders and activists of “Nuroniy” foundation, the Women’s Committee, the Youth Union of Uzbekistan and other public organizations took part at the meeting through videoconferencing.
Large-scale activities are being carried out in the country in accordance with the resolution of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, adopted in connection with this event, on November 27, 2017. In particular, the memorial complex of Islam Karimov in Samarkand, and a monument to the First President in the city of Karshi are being built.
Cultural enlightenment activity is carried out on promoting multifaceted life and activities of Islam Karimov. In particular, “Uzbekkino” National Agency is making a documentary on this theme. Press and Information Agency of Uzbekistan is publishing a number of popular scientific books, including the work of Islam Karimov “High spirituality – invincible force”. A number of events are also being conducted by Scientific and Enlightenment Memorial Complex named after Islam Karimov, and Islam Karimov charitable public foundation, in Tashkent.
At the same time, preparations are continuing for an international scientific conference devoted to the life and activities of the First President Islam Karimov and other important events in Samarkand this March.
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Islam Abduganievich Karimov devoted his entire life and activity on the post of President to such great goals as construction of a new state, a new society, strengthening our independence, increasing the glory of our people and Uzbekistan throughout the world. Our people associate all colossal transformations implemented during the years of independence with the name of the First President, said the Head of our state Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the meeting devoted to issues of celebration of the 80th anniversary of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov’s birth.
At the meeting, the need was emphasized for paying special attention to organizing meetings in all educational institutions, military units, labor collectives and makhallas on the days of the jubilee, dedicated to the memory of the First President, with participation of well-known writers and scientists, representatives of the older generation, specialists of various spheres, using meaningful and effective forms, based on specific life examples.
Conduction of all ceremonies and events related to the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Islam Karimov’s birth at a high-level, in accordance with great merits of our First President before the Motherland, is not only the task, but also the sacred human duty of each of us, emphasized Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev abolished individual customs, tax and other benefits, as well as other preferences granted to certain economic entities for import of food products into Uzbekistan from 1 February 2018.
The head of Uzbekistan signed a decree “On measures to further ensure food security of the country”.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev also banned the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan to adopt decisions to provide individual customs, tax and other benefits, as well as other preferences to legal entities to import food products into the country.
The decree said that in case of violation of the requirements of this paragraph, the perpetrators will be punished in line with the legislation and criminal cases can be opened against them.
The President instructed to develop a set of measures for 2018 to find and attract food suppliers, create equal conditions for them to enter the market, assist them in concluding contracts, transport and store imported products, as well as other measures aimed at full satisfaction of the population’s demand for high-quality, affordable food products.
Uzbek leader ordered to create specialized warehouses, storage facilities, refrigerating chambers, modern high-technology, energy-efficient equipment for processing and packaging of food products in all regions of Uzbekistan on the terms of public-private partnership.
Starting from 1 February 2018, the ban on the sale (purchase) of consumer goods on commodity exchanges of Uzbekistan was canceled.
Also, sugar producers are released till 1 January 2019 from the payment of value added tax in part of the volumes produced on the basis of imported raw materials.
For sale (purchase) of consumer goods in open electronic tenders of commodity exchanges, there is no need for a license for wholesale trade, the decree said.
Import of socially important types of food products at expense of the Fund for Promotion of Price Stabilization in Internal Consumer Market is carried out in exceptional cases and only through a system of open electronic trading of commodity exchanges, including foreign exchanges, the decree underlined.
Detailed information on planned purchases of food products, income and expenditure of the Fund’s funds will be published monthly on the Single Portal of Interactive Public Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Customers of mineral fertilizers will pay for the goods received on time.
Starting from 2018, the supply of mineral fertilizers to consumers is planned to be carried out via exchange trades through the intermediation of the Single Agent, organized with JSC Uzkimyosanoat.
This was discussed at a meeting dedicated to the current financial and economic situation of the chemical industry enterprises and the development of the industry, which took place on December 28, 2017, under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The activities of the Single Agent will help solve the existing problems. The fact is that at present the costs associated with mineral fertilizers for agricultural needs are not covered. As a result, chemical enterprises are limited in their ability to pay for the consumption of natural gas, electricity, phosphate raw materials, sulfuric acid and other types of goods and services consumed, and their accounts payable.
As the main reason for the current difficult financial situation in which the industrial enterprises for the production of mineral fertilizers turned out to be a complete lack of attention or a superficial approach to the financing of agriculture. They are the cause of the shortcomings in the system of mutual settlements with fertilizer producers, the President said.
Elimination of problems in mutual settlements will help to eliminate problems in ensuring the production of the necessary amount of fertilizers. At the same time, the needs assessment will be carried out on a scientifically based basis.
In particular, the existing need for phosphate fertilizers in the amount of 639.6 thousand tons is provided only by 25%. In this connection, by upgrading the existing facilities, it is envisaged to increase production to 177,000 tons in 2019, and by building a new phosphate fertilizer production complex in 2021, up to 550,000 tons.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
On January 16, the delegation of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov met with Advisor to the President of the US on national security Herbert McMaster.
They discussed the state and prospects of bilateral relations, international and regional problems, including the situation in Afghanistan, cooperation in the fight against modern challenges and security threats.
Abdulaziz Kamilov met with Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the US Thomas Shannon, on 17 January in Washington..
The sides exchanged views on promising directions of further development of Uzbek-American dialogue in political, trade-economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian and other spheres in light of the practical implementation of the ideas expressed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President Donald Trump on 19 December 2017 during a telephone conversation.
The sides also discussed some issues of international and regional character.
Uzbekistan`s MFA saw a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerik Utembaev.
The meeting discussed practical aspects of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan, as well as other issues of bilateral and regional agenda.
In accordance with the presidential decree, Uzbekistan’s population is granted a five-day holiday for New Year, Navruz and Independence Day. Residents of the country spent the first such vacation in the old-fashioned manner, that is, staying home, as the corresponding decision came just a few days before the holiday and, it must be admitted, it was quite unexpected. However, in the near future, much will be changed for Navruz in 2018 and for sure the citizens will be traveling massively around the country with great pleasure.
Judging by the reaction in social networks, the novelty was received positively by the residents, although some citizens were attuned and critical. Thus, a number of comments boiled down to the view that five days is a lot, a misunderstanding why it was necessary to extend the holidays for holidays by transferring working and non-working days, reducing the duration of annual work holidays.
Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism Development, Aziz Abduhakimov, told the Uzbekistan Today correspondent that “the proposal to revise the calendar in order to create more convenience for travelers in Uzbekistan came from the leadership of the republic. You may agree that in previous times the convenient time for planning travels around the nation was only labor leave. Now every resident of the country has five such periods, without taking into account the labor leave: three times for five days (for New Year, Navruz and Independence Day), twice for three days on holy days – Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Two days off for the trip is not enough, but five days of this is already enough to go anywhere in the country to relax and get acquainted with the cultural and historical sights of our picturesque Motherland.”
It is fair to note that already on the New Year holidays, the people of Uzbekistan had the opportunity to celebrate them in the way that was conceived during the development of this novelty. They were given not only time for a successful trip around the country, but also large discounts for hotel accommodation and meals in restaurants and cafes that take part in the program of the State Committee for Tourism “Uzbekiston Boylab Sayohat Qil”, as well as for air and rail tickets for domestic flights . Uzbekiston Temir Yollari for the convenience of compatriots introduced additional train runs to the tourist pearls of the country – Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench. The authorities managed to do a lot to prepare the tourist centers for this date. Thus, for example, you could go to Shahrisabz, taking advantage of 50-60% discount for the best hotels and restaurants in the city, as well as theatrical shows.
Meanwhile, the government is determined to turn every such vacation for Uzbek people to the Golden Week by analogy with the traditions that have existed for many years in Japan and China, and many European nations. These customs imply that the authorities create the maximum conditions and privileges for citizens to travel around the country. And providing a expedient time for traveling is one of the directions of this work.
As it became known to the correspondent of Uzbekistan Today, a number of governmental documents are being prepared to make people travel more. The project assumes unprecedented measures for the country. Among other norms, it is envisaged to introduce tax incentives for both employees and employers, who organize trips for their employees around the country, as well as various social tourism programs for the vulnerable segments of the population.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Uzbekistan is a unique country in the heart of Central Asia. The land is famed with its mosques, mausoleums and buildings and facilities along the Great Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. And every other nation in the world has its own unique associations with that road… This is the reason for the new approach to the promotion of Uzbekistan’s tourism brand in the world, which the State Committee for Tourism Development plans to use soon. In the upcoming issues we will try to explain why in any given country, the story of Uzbekistan will start with some legend, a history of illustration…
The Chinese, for instance, will be told about our country starting with the legend of Ferghana heavenly horses. Because every person in China knows about this story from the school bench…
In 104 BC, a 60,000-strong Chinese cavalry was sent to Davan (an ancient state located on the territory of the modern-day Ferghana Valley) on the orders of the Tang dynasty emperor Wu-Di. The reason for the unfolding of the war laid in the Argamaks, Ferghana heavenly horses, as they are called in all sources. Those animals possessed enormous power and endurance, and they also used to sweat blood, which served a sign of their divine origin for the Chinese. The latter considered them to be ‘heavenly horses’, on which you can go to the ‘land of immortality’. The Chinese Emperor Wu-di wanted bad to attain heavenly horses, since he was looking for ways to become immortal. Celestial horses came to be an object of worship in the Celestial Empire, and even odes about them were composed by poets. However, the secret of the extraordinary nature of the Argamaks and their distinct “blood-sweating” nature was just in the fact that their skin was eaten up by parasites that caused such a curious effect.
However, all this has been clarified in our days, and in the 2nd century BC, the Argamaks were subject of a certain cult. After their defeat in 104 BC, the Chinese attacked Davan again, but this time the Ferghana people had to compromise: they took up commitment to supply the Chinese emperor with 300 horses each year for his army.
There are still unsolved puzzles about the origins of these horses. Here is what the Chinese traveler and diplomat Zhang Jian writes: In the Davan possessions there are high mountains. On these mountains there are horses that cannot be reached: therefore they choose five-wool, that is, variegated mares and are allowed at the foot of the mountains for mating with mountain stallions. From these mares, foals with bloody sweat are born and are therefore called colts of the breed of celestial horses.
One can scarcely deny the importance of the ‘heavenly’ origin of the Argamaks, but it should be remembered that the main reason behind the thirst for these horses was the need to wage wars against the Huns, who by that time caused considerable harm on the borders with the Celestial Empire. The Huns, like all nomads, had an excellent armed cavalry – cataphracture, which the Chinese riders could not match with small and less enduring horses. Therefore, considered at that time one of the best breeds, the Central Asian Argamaks came to be essential for the Chinese.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
The General Assembly of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan elected a new governing structure for sports organizations on January 16.
The Head of the Football Federation of Uzbekistan Umid Ahmadjonov was appointed the President of the National Olympic Committee. In this position, he replaced Alisher Sultanov, who lead the Committee since January 2017. Thus, Umid Ahmadjonov will now lead simultaneously the National Olympic Committee and the Football Federation of Uzbekistan.