NEWS AND EVENTS
June 17, 2016
DEPUTIES GATHER TO DISCUSS THE FULFILLMENT OF STATE BUDGET
On June 1st, the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan convened a regular sitting. It was completely devoted to the discussion of a report on the execution of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations in 2015 and the first quarter of the current year.
Among those participating in the event were heads of corresponding ministries and departments, experts in the field and representatives of the mass media.
The fulfillment of the country’s major financial document in the period under review, as required by the recently approved Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “On parliament control”, was preliminarily canvassed by all factions of the political parties active in the Republic, a deputy group from the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan and a number of committees from the Lower Chamber in conjunction with representatives of the Uzbek government, heads of the Finance Ministry and other interested departments. All the additional materials and required information were carefully considered and many constructive proposals expressed as to how to ensure the further improvement of mechanisms behind the fulfillment of the nation’s main financial document.
During the morning session the deputies deliberated over the execution of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations in 2015. The Republic’s Finance Minister, R. Azimov made a report on this question, with a co-report being made by A. Shadmanov, Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Economic Reform of the Oliy Majlis’ Legislative Chamber.
It was pointed out, in particular, that in the period under review, the state budget was executed strictly in keeping with the parameters approved earlier by the country’s Parliament. The targeted implementation of the pivotal priorities specified by the Uzbek leader in the Socio-Economic Development Program of Uzbekistan for 2015 at the January 2015 sitting of the Cabinet of Ministers, contributed markedly to a steady growth of the national economy and macroeconomic stability. The growth rates of GDP were estimated at 8 per cent, production volumes of manufactured goods – 8 per cent, agriculture – 6.8 per cent, retail commodity turnover – over 15 per cent and the volume of paid services – 10. 8 per cent. In the period under review, the state budget of Uzbekistan was executed with surplus. As for inflation, it stood at 5.6 per cent, or within the limits of prognosticated figures.
According to the deputies who took part in the sitting, all these accomplishments facilitated some positive structural improvements and qualitative changes, generating a positive trend in the national economy and being conducive to the implementation of efficient monetary-crediting and tax-budgetary policy, which, in turn, boosted the population’s employment and income.
Last year, the Uzbek government focused its attention on issues surrounding the further development of the social sphere and a steady rise in the population’s standard of life. In 2015, for example, the aggregate income per capita in the Republic increased by 9.6 per cent and the average wage of budgetary employees, pensions, social allowances and stipends grew by 21.9 per cent.
While talking over the report on the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations in 2015, representatives from all factions of the country’s political parties and the group of deputies from the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan addressed the sitting.
Being guided by the interests of their electorate, as well as by the aims and tasks of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, deputies from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People of Uzbekistan accentuated the significance of efforts to back the development of small business, to ensure the freedom of entrepreneurial activity and to further reduce the state’s presence in the national economy, which constitute the priority directions of market reforms carried out in the country. The small business’ share of GDP went up from 31 per cent in 2000 to 56.7 per cent last year. For the time being, the sector accounts for a third of total manufactured output and 98 per cent of farm produce. On top of this all, the sector employs more than 77 per cent of the Republic’s able-bodied citizens.
Within the framework of a program designed to support small business and private entrepreneurship, production volumes in the sector grew substantially over the past 5 years, which led to an increase in the amount of unified tax payment as a share of the state budget. The intensive development of small business in Uzbekistan was largely due to a systematic reduction of tax burden and a larger volume of bank credits allotted to private entrepreneurs. This encouraged the development of many other industries of the national economy. The speakers devoted special attention to the creation of a highly propitious economic environment on the basis of market requirements and efficient utilization of production and resource potentialities available in the Republic’s territories. As well as that, they highlighted the development of high-tech small industrial enterprises specializing in the processing of agricultural produce.
The faction members also observed that a package of measures to erect and reconstruct land-reclamation facilities, including open and covered horizontal drainage systems, meliorative pumping stations and other important land-reclamation and hydro-technical installations, resulted in an increase in procurement volumes, a higher-level industrial processing of farm produce and the development of a ramified storage infrastructure.
Members of a faction from the Milliy Tiklanish Democratic Party, following its program objectives and tasks, emphasized that when executing the main parameters of the state budget, attention of all government, administrative and economic bodies was concentrated on the consistent implementation of reforms intended to ensure the stage-by-stage development of market relationships on the basis of the “Uzbek model” of development, diversification and structural transformation of the national economy and the inculcation of brand-new advanced technologies in the manufacturing industry. Taken together, these components will help to raise the Uzbek economy’s competitiveness in the international arena. It testifies to the systemic realization of priority directions and tasks set by President Islam Karimov in the National Economic Program for 2015, as well as to the creation of conditions guaranteeing high rates of economic growth in the Republic.
The Uzbek government augmented the amount of expenditure for the preservation and maintenance of the country’s historical-architectural and humanitarian heritage. The wherewithal earmarked from the state budget for these purposes serves to ensure the opportune implementation of numerous restoration and conservation projects for cultural and architectural monuments that constitute the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. In this connection, the faction members called to strengthen the parliament control over the spending of money funds appropriated from local budgets. Special stress was laid on the necessity to continue realizing systemic measures, which are designed to promote indigenous produce to the world market, as well as to render assistance to domestic manufacturers turning out import-substituting goods.
At the sitting, the deputies also put forward several constructive proposals concerning the implementation of provisions stipulated in the Budget Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the observance of financial discipline and the achievement of an increase in the responsibility of officials from budgetary and state-funded organizations in a given sector.
Representatives of a faction from the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan noted that last year the government focused attention on ways to further develop the social sphere, to steadily increase the population’s income and living standard. In the period under review, the volume of funds poured from the state budget into the social sphere and the social support of Uzbek citizens reached 58.8 per cent of the total amount of expenditure.
Deputies from the People’s Democratic Party mentioned the targeted use of budgetary resources directed last year to the social sphere, social protection measures, formation of receipts at the State Employment Assistance Foundation and the targeted use of its funds. In 2015, 4.4 billion Soum worth of pecuniary aid was provided by the Foundation through personnel retraining programs, attraction of unemployed people to social paid work and payment of unemployment allowances. Given the fact that sometimes budget and state-funded organizations use budgetary resources inefficiently or not for purposes the latter are intended for, the deputies offered a number of recommendations as to how to raise the responsibility of state and administrative bodies in the center and in the regions alike for the targeted and rational spending of budgetary resources, as well as to further reinforce the control over the execution of norms and provisions specified in the Budget Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to faction members of the Social-Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, in 2015 the country succeeded in creating a solid foundation on which to ensure the further balanced development of all sectors and industries of the national economy. This spectacular achievement was due to the systemic realization of the National Economic Program. At the same time, the state budget was executed with surplus and in keeping with the parameters approved by both Chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
It was particularly noted at the sitting under discussion that a great deal of attention is paid to the development of science and research, which is testimony to the goal-oriented effort to create an innovative sort of economy in the country. In 2015, to cite an example, the amount of funds directed from the state budget to science was 15.0 per cent bigger than in the similar period a year ago. At the same time, 137.4 billion Soum (currency rates of CB RU from 17.06.2016, 1$= 2933.99 soums) was earmarked to finance the directions prioritized in corresponding state scientific-technical programs.
Significant amounts of funds were also appropriated towards the elaboration of innovations and maintenance of institutions and unique installations that provide different services to the sector, as well as towards the coverage of other expenses associated with its development. All these steps are fully in line with the program aims of the Party, which has always advocated the devotion of more attention to science and the active introduction of its achievements in production and everyday life.
Additionally, the faction members put forward proposals on how to optimize the financing of priority directions specified in state scientific-technical programs, fundamental and applied research in different fields and innovative works.
Members of a deputy group from the Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan emphasized that the preservation of the environment and the improvement of the population’s health are prioritized in the Republic’s state policy. That’s why, since the first days of independence the country has been pursuing a course of rational exploitation of natural resources and conservation of the environment for the present and future generations.
At the sitting, members of this deputy group appreciated at their true value a package of measures taken in the Republic to tackle a whole complex of environment-preservation and health-improvement issues. The state budget’s expenses on the conservation of the environment was estimated at 699.9 billion Soum in 2015, including 18.6 billion Soum – on the preservation of water and land resources, 7.1 billion Soum – on the protection of animals and plants and 7.3 billion Soum – on the protection of biodiversity in Uzbekistan.
Taking into account all opinions and proposals expressed in the course of discussion, the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan issued a corresponding resolution on the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers’ report on the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2015.
In the second part of the sitting, the deputies considered a report on the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the first quarter of the current year. The report was made by M. Mirzaev, deputy Finance Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In his address to the January 15th enlarged session of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Uzbek President outlined a range of main priorities in the National Economic Program for 2016. These include the indisputable continuation of systemic democratic and modernization-related reforms, the deep restructuring process in the national economy, above all in the manufacturing industry and agriculture, and the outperforming development and protection of proprietary relationships and private property, entrepreneurship and small business, while ensuring the macroeconomic stability.
It was pointed out at the sitting that the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations in the period under review was carried out in accordance with the parameters approved by the Oiliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the basis of the Budget Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The participants stressed the fact that continuing the realization of the approved strategy designed to guarantee high growth rates in the national economy and mobilization for this purpose of all available reserves and potentialities augmented the country’s GDP by 7.5 per cent. At the same time, a further strengthening of the nation’s macroeconomic strategy was accompanied by low inflation.
Production volumes of industrial output grew by 7 per cent, farm produce – 6.7 per cent, services – 12.1 per cent and retail turnover – 12.8 per cent.
The beginning of the current year has seen the commencement of construction of as many as 13,000 comfortable individual houses in rural areas under territorial programs of socio-economic development in the regions. All the required engineering communications and social infrastructural facilities are being built too. The systemic measures taken by the Uzbek government contributed to the creation in the period under review of more than 8,400 new small businesses, up 5.5 per cent on the same period a year ago. The volume of bank credits allotted to small businesses increased 1.3-fold compared with the first quarter of 2015.
The implementation of a broad range of goal-oriented measures has led to the creation of over 167,000 new jobs, with the rural areas accounting for 57.7 per cent of this number.
The “Year of Healthy Woman and Child” State Program is actively realized in the country, with a view to strengthening the protection of family, motherhood and childhood, and raising the level and the quality of medical care provided to mothers and children. To finance the implementation of its projects, some 1.3 trillion Soum has been appropriated in the first quarter of the current year from all sources of funding.
Representatives of all political parties and the deputy group from the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan took part in the comprehensive discussion of the report on the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the first quarter of 2016. All of them stressed the need of indisputable and precise fulfillment of the state budget by all government, administrative and economic bodies in the current year.
The Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan passed a resolution on the approval of the report on the fulfillment of the state budget and budgets of the state special-purpose foundations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the first quarter of 2016.
Information Service Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis Republic of Uzbekistan
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)