Cabinet of Ministers Convenes for Session
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan convened for a session on July 16, 2014, to summarize the outcomes of the socio-economic development of the nation for the first half of the current year and work out additional measures to secure the realization of dimensions and critical priorities in the economic program for the year 2014 outlined by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov Tashkent at the government meeting that took place on January 17.
The session participants comprehensively deliberated on and thoroughly analyzed the major macroeconomic indicators of the country’s development along with the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the strategy of modernization, diversification and amplification of the competitiveness of the economy, primarily owing to the further perfection of the investment and business climate, acceleration of the execution of adopted programs of modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of the economy’s leading industries, boosting the financial stability of the enterprises in the manufacturing sector of the economy, as well as the steadfast elevation of the wellbeing, standards and quality of life of the population.
It was noted that thanks to the consistent and goal-oriented realization of the most vital dimensions and priorities of the program of socio-economic development of the country, mobilization of the available sources of growth, notwithstanding the increasing risks and controversies in the evolution of the global economy, Uzbekistan has been securing the macroeconomic stability and sustained high growth rates in its economy. As the figures of the first half of the current year indicate, the GDP has grown by 8.1 percent; the volumes of manufactured industrial products have increased by 8.1 percent, of construction works by 17.4 percent. The National Budget has been executed with a surplus of 0.1 percent of the GDP. The inflation rates have not exceeded the forecast parameters.
Keeping with the implementation of measures to stimulate the domestic demand, to cardinally bolster the production of consumer goods and the advanced development of the services sector have helped ensure growth in the volumes of manufactured consumer products by 10.8 percent, of retail turnover by 13.7 percent and paid services by 9.7 percent. The share of services sector in the gross domestic product has increased to reach 52.7 percent, in contrast to the 52.4 percent in the first half of the year 2013.
The efforts being undertaken to encourage the export potential and support the exporter enterprises, to engage in the export activities of those enterprises who have never been exporters of their goods, have allowed to ensure enlargement in the volumes of exports by 8 percent and secure a considerable surplus in foreign trade.
The agricultural sector of the country has been advancing with dynamic rates. Energetic have been the measures taken to refine the rural areas and create comfortable living conditions for the rural population. The growth in agricultural production volumes has been ensured at 6.9 percent. A record volume of grain yield – more than 8 million tons – has been cultivated and harvested. In new rural quarters of housing construction, 4,486 individual standard-design homes out of the projected 11,000 for the year 2014 have been commissioned for use.
Owing to the systemic implementation of the annual program to create new jobs and uplift the employment of the population, 506.4 thousand new jobs have been created since the start of the year, more than 303.2 thousand of which – or 59.9 percent – have been opened in rural areas.
As part of the National Program “Year of the Healthy Child”, endeavors are in progress to guarantee the protection of maternity and childhood, to boost the quality of education, to provide for an extensive engagement of the youth in sports and raise their physical culture, funding for which was carried out from all the sources, with 3.1 trillion soums assigned for these objectives.
At the Cabinet meeting, the heads of ministries and other government agencies, management associations and local bodies of the executive have been tasked with the elaboration and realization of a complex of additional measures to secure the achievement of all the principal macroeconomic indicators established for the year 2014 and forecast parameters of the adopted integrated programs in the development of economic sectors and regions of the country.
During the discussion of issues on the session agenda, a particular significance was attached to the detailed analysis of the productivity and effectiveness of the implementation of roadmaps intended for a financial rehabilitation of unprofitable, economically abortive and low-profit enterprises. The roadmaps were elaborated in accordance with assignments and tasks defined by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the government session on January 17, 2014.
It was stressed that owing to the active realization of approved roadmaps for the financial improvement of 144 unprofitable, economically abortive and low-profit enterprises, 109 of such ventures have been helped out of the unprofitability and financial instability. Goods produced and services rendered at the enterprises being restructured reached a total of 3.1 trillion soums, including the exported products worth around 118 million US dollars. 1,330 units of obsolete equipment have been upgraded at major industrial enterprises, and the cost price of the produced goods has been decreased by an average of 8.9 percent.
During the deliberations, leaders of a number of companies, major enterprises and regional hokimiyats (administrations) have been tasked with concrete objectives to secure – at a worthwhile level – the organization and oversight of the timely and effective implementation of approved measures dedicated for the financial rehabilitation of unprofitable, economically abortive and low-profit enterprises. Additional measures have been worked out to further improve the state of mutual settlement of accounts among enterprises, to cardinally reduce their accounts receivable and payable.
The meeting participants carried out a comprehensive and profound analysis of the state of affairs in securing the commissioning of critical initial startup facilities projected for the year 2014 as part of the adopted programs of modernization, technical and technological renewal of the sectors of manufacturing industry. It was stressed that the dynamic investment policy being pursued and measures being taken to accelerate the commissioning of crucial high-tech and modern facilities and production capacities, to enhance the processes of modernization, technical and technological renewal of sectors and spheres of economy have facilitated the growth in the volumes of drawn investments by 10.8 percent, including direct foreign investments by 28.8 percent. From the start of the current year, the implementation of 64 projects totaling 680 million dollars included in the 2014 Investment Program has been complete. 1,651 new production facilities have been commissioned.
The attention of the heads of ministries, other government agencies, economic associations, enterprises and local bodies of the executive branch has been drawn to the necessity of adopting practical measures that provide for the acceleration in the realization of investment projects to establish new high-technological production capacities, modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of enterprises, construction and reconstruction of infrastructure and social facilities. In addition, key issues and organization measures were defined to elaborate a draft investment program for the next year, with securing its correlation with the approved mid-term integrated programs for the development of the regions of the country, sectors and segments of the economy.
A thorough attention was paid at the session to the critical analysis of the course of realization of adopted policy measures to perfect the investment climate and business environment. It was pointed out in particular that in accordance with the normative acts adopted by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in April, 22 licensing procedures have been canceled, while the time frames of official registration of 21 licensing procedures have been reduced 2.1 times. So have been the sizes of fees when registering licenses and documents of licensing nature in 11 types of activities by an average of fourfold. Procedures in the official registration of 31 licensing tracks have been simplified owing to the abolition of extra requirements for the presentation of documents or the endorsement from authorized bodies. The transition of the most popular 23 types of public services into the interactive form through the internet is projected to be complete by the end of the year.
For the startup of minor production capacities, 86 government assets for a total sum of 25.5 billion soums have been sold to small business and private entrepreneurship entities, while 19.4 thousand unused facilities of government property have been rented. Banks have provided loans worth 4.8 trillion soums, or 1.3 times as much as it was the case in the first half of the year 2013. The improvement of the business environment has to a considerable extent helped secure a substantial increase in the contribution of entrepreneurship to the growth in the gross domestic product of the country and the stability of the national economy, solution of issues in the employment and the elevation of the material wellbeing of the population, especially in rural areas. The measures taken have ensured the growth in the share of small business in the manufacturing industry from 27 to 28.4 percent and the employment rates from 75.8 to 76.4 percent.
The heads of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, hokimiyats of regions and the city of Tashkent, of the Ministry of Economy, the State Committee for Architectural Construction “Davarkhitektqurilish”, the “Yergeodezkadastr” State Committee and the State Committee for the Promotion of Competition have been assigned to adopt a complex of measures directed at accelerating the dislocation of entrepreneurship entities in minor industrial zones being created at the base of released lands of facilities of government property, for the organization of new production capacities in them, of public services facilities with the adoption of investment commitments to create new jobs in accordance with the 2 July 2014 Resolution of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on additional measures to sell the facilities of government property to entities of small business and private entrepreneurship.
To discuss issues on the session agenda, heads of ministries and other government agencies, economic associations, major enterprises of the nation and regional hokimiyats delivered reports. Following the discussion of issues included in the agenda of the government of the country, corresponding decisions have been adopted defining concrete actions directed at the unconditional provision for the realization of vital priorities in the program of socio-economic development of the nation for 2014.