Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Islamic Republic of Pakistan
27.04.2009 8:51
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Year of Dialogue

►Uzbekistan: family and society

Since early years of independence, the protection of the family, motherhood and childhood has been identified as state policy priorities in Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek people see the family as a reliable hearth to bear and bring up a healthy generation, ensure continuity of generations. Noble aspirations and ideas take roots in a family environment. High spirituality comes with mother milk, family upbringing, guidance of ancestors, and a sense of Motherland.

In his books and speeches, the First President of Uzbekistan repeatedly expressed the deep concept that healthy family bears healthy society, makes the state powerful, and the Motherland prosperous. In this context, he certainly implied not so much physical health, as moral and spiritual. In this regard, the creation of a family is seen as a significant event, which goes beyond personal and private sense, but acquires social significance. It is the family that can make a person happy, equally as unhappy. It is the environment where patriotism and love of the Motherland are brought up since childhood, it is where the love for mother, home, mahalla, and school originates...

That is why the problems of the family and upbringing of a harmonious generation have been a matter of great concern in the republic. They are in the spotlight of state programs that have been successfully implemented in recent years, public organizations, and particularly a unique institution of mahalla, or local community, all of which focus on raising the culture of family relations.

The Action Strategy on Priority Development Areas of Uzbekistan for the next five years has become a new impetus to the development of the family institution and its support in our country. It clearly specifies the further support, development and strengthening of the family, enhancement of its role in bringing up the future generation spiritually mature and comprehensively advanced. The document covers such topical areas as raising the level of social assistance to needy strata of the population, strengthening the status of women in public and political life, reformation of the healthcare system, strengthening of the status of local communities, and addressing employment issues.

All this is inextricably linked with the increase in family welfare, and full protection of their interests.

Special attention is paid to the creation of legal foundations for the protection of the family, motherhood and childhood, guaranteeing mother and child rights, and ensuring stability in the families.

The family has been revered as the highest value in our ancient land from time immemorial. The whole philosophy of the East extolled and exalted it. The family ethics, family relations, respect for the mother-woman, which has been built over centuries, has revived in recent years. The philosophy of human care and hospitality has been strengthened.

It is the family atmosphere that enroots such high human qualities as respect for elders and care for the younger, respect for national customs and traditions, conscientiousness and mercy, which are inherent in the Uzbek people. They have entwined with the flesh and blood of the nation and, what is very important, meet the requirements of today.

What a contemporary family is about? The answer to this question is, to some extent, suggested by a recent sociological survey on this topic, conducted by the Public Opinion Study Center ‘Ijtimoiy Fikr’ in the light of the objectives of the Year of Dialogue with the People and of Human Interests.

The key objective of the study was to identify priority trends in the public opinion on family and marriage issues, the upbringing of children, comprehensively advanced generation, and building of the system of social orientations and attitudes of citizens.

It showed that the family plays an important role for the Uzbek people, and preserves its social and moral significance. Family values ​​remain the key pillar for the residents in the light of socio-political and democratic transformations. According to respondents, the family contributes to further strengthening of the country's security and stability, citizens are aware of the extent of its responsibility for the future of their children and society as a whole.

Citizens see the age of the marrying couples as an important factor for the creation of a strong family. The monitoring of polls has shown an increase in the number of citizens who consider 24-25 years for men, and 21-23 years for women as the optimal age for the creation of a family. Many justly believe that young people should get education, a profession, and become mature and economically independent before creating a family.

According to respondents, the readiness of young people for creation of a family is determined by such qualities as moral maturity and responsibility.

Citizens are aware of the need to prepare young people for family life, and see it as a duty of parents. By their personal example, they should demonstrate what a family should be, how the spouses should treat each other, how to treat children in certain circumstances related to marriage and family relations. Parents should pass on their experience and skills on the creation of a strong and well-to-do family.

As noted by the participants of the survey, the natural mechanism of transferring such skills to the family is insufficient at the modern pace of life. In this context, an important part should be undertaken by educational institutions, local communities, and specialized services of legal and psychological assistance.

The majority of respondents support the provisions of the Family Code, according to which young people must undergo a medical examination and inform each other about their health before marriage.

The participants of the survey demonstrated the unity of views on the importance and necessity of parental blessing when entering into marriage. Absolute majority (99.4%), regardless of age, ethnicity, level of material well-being, recognizes that for a young family, the consent of parents is an indispensable condition and a guarantee of family happiness and well-being of the young people entering into marriage.

The majority of respondents noted that they understand their children well and trust them. They disagree with the statement that modern parents and children share different views and attitudes. The study showed a continuity of family values in the families of our compatriots. The views of the older and younger generations coincide on the most significant values.

At the same time, the survey revealed that some parents, for various objective reasons, do not always treat the upbringing of their children with due attention and responsibility. A quarter of survey participants admit that their children miss school classes, explaining that by the lack of motivation to learn or by family situation. Every tenth parent does not concern herself with how his child spends his free time, for what purposes he uses his mobile phone, explaining her position by trust.

The results show the need to take measures and create additional interest clubs at schools, organize sports and other sections, reading rooms and libraries, hold various events in educational institutions that would help to better organize an effective leisure for the younger generation, distracting adolescents from the negative influence of the street, Internet, alien views and judgments.

In Uzbekistan, the mahalla is revered as a hearth of upbringing, which carefully passes national traditions, way of life and thinking on from generation to generation. The further strengthening and enhancement of the role and status of the institution of mahalla in all areas of society has been a matter of special concern under the supervision of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. These objectives are also defined in the Action Strategy.

The study of the role of mahalla in the life of citizens of Uzbekistan and its impact on the family life ranks among the objectives of the study. When asked on "What is the role of local communities in your life and life of your family?" the survey participants noted that it plays a "big and significant role” in their lives. The monitoring revealed a steady tendency to increase in the number of citizens who consider it a must to agree the way of life of their family, the nature of the relationship between its members with the norms and rules of conduct adopted in their community.

The information suggests a high status of the institution of mahalla in the society, and the significant role of this unique body of citizens’ self-government in the life of each family.

The survey showed that the absolute majority of the population (90.7%) is negative about divorce. Among the main reasons leading to the disintegration of the family, citizens most often refer to the unwillingness of young people for family life, lack of sufficient life experience, inability or unwillingness to compromise, to concede and neutralize conflicts, temporary financial difficulties, and mismatch of interests among spouses.

According to respondents, the mutual love of young people entering into marriage is an important factor that contributes to the creation of a strong, prosperous and harmonious family based on mutual respect, trust and support. People believe that compliance with national traditions, customs and norms of behavior adopted in Uzbekistan, which are passed on from generation to generation, help to build happy and strong families.

The absolute majority of respondents share the view that the current changes in our country contribute to the creation of favorable and harmonious relations in families, strengthening of financial state in young families, and upbringing of the younger generation in the spirit of national and universal values.

A sociological study has proved that there are many happy families in Uzbekistan, as also confirmed by the annual World Happiness Report. It notes that the level of happiness is a measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. The results of the rating are based on the answers of 3,000 respondents in each of 155 countries, who were asked to assess their state on a scale from 0 to 10 points in several categories. In the report, Uzbekistan ranked the highest among the CIS countries, and 47th among 155 countries on the globe.

What does a person need to be happy? The answer is quite simple: a happy, strong family, decent work, comfortable housing.

The Actions Strategy assigns a big part to the social sector to ensure that the lives of compatriots become better and more comfortable. The first fruits of its implementation can be seen by the example of residents of any region of the republic, whose life is now better organized. Social infrastructure has been entering the appropriate level, along with the construction of numerous standard design apartment buildings and housing. People are happy with the changes, they now have more opportunities to get a good job, get a quality education, and improve their living conditions.

There is hardly a greater happiness than having a modern and cozy home. It is a cherished dream of mostly young families. Young couples, walking along the renovated avenues and streets of Karshi with more than a dozen of new apartment buildings, dream of having their own apartment.

It is great that many of them do not have to wait long. This August, they will be able to buy an apartment on favorable terms. Another 315 families will celebrate a housewarming parties in 40 five-storey houses that are currently under construction in the regional center.

Residents in rural areas also hope for the new housing. In accordance with the Presidential Decree ‘On the Program of Construction of Affordable Housing on the Updated Standard Design in Rural Areas for 2017-2021 years, another 32 will be added to the existing housing estates in districts of Kashkadarya region. It is planned to build there 1,500 houses to any taste.

For example, 236 apartments are available in two or three-story apartment buildings. 410 families will own individual single-storey houses with their own two are plots of land. Big families might like four-room two-story houses with four are plots of land. If this is still not enough, there are 417 individual houses with six are plots of land.

Some residents expect for the completion of construction, while the others move into new homes. For example, residents of the Yakka-Yogoch area in the Karshi district were among the first to celebrate housewarming. There are two-story apartment houses and individual houses with land plots.

The construction of 90 service houses for representatives of government agencies and military workers is currently underway in the region on 11 blocks.

Sometimes, families face disagreements and disputes that seem intractable. In such cases, they need an advice of a wise and respected person, a competent specialist.

Citizens’ self-government bodies run reconciliation commissions in order to strengthen families. Community residents may address them for advice in a difficult situation. The authoritative residents as part of commissions help to settle conflicts and provide psychological support.

Enthusiasts of citizens' assemblies have shared their experience and skills at workshops on ‘The role and place of reconciliation commissions in strengthening families’, which have been held these days in all regions and cities of the republic.

In Andijan region, for instance, reconciliation commissions function in all 868 citizens’ assemblies of local communities. In the first quarter of this year, they received more than 5,000 appeals. Members of the commissions managed to achieve a positive resolution in 4,500 cases of family troubles between young spouses, neighbors, parents and children. The rest of the family disputes are considered in court.

At the workshops, workers of citizens' assemblies, experts of the Women's Committee, law enforcement bodies discuss the ways of strengthening interaction in their work with families. In particular, they focus on the functions of reconciliation commissions in the implementation of public control; study the spiritual and moral situation in families. It is seen important to improve the psychological climate in them, as well as establish friendly relations and mutual understanding between neighbors.

In this regard, a certain effect is provided by ‘Councils of Mothers-in-Law’, which are organized under citizens’ assemblies in many communities. Respected women share advice and experience, help young daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law find a common language.

“Today, reconciliation commissions operate in each of 770 citizens’ assemblies of Namangan region,” says the chief specialist of the regional department of the Mahalla Foundation Ms Nazarova. “By common efforts of elders, heads of exemplary families, teachers, doctors, and lawyers, we try to ensure harmony and unity in families. To a large extent, this was facilitated by the recent monthly campaign that was aimed at making their work more effective. During the campaign, we managed to return more than two thousand families to a peaceful life, where unhealthy conditions reigned for various reasons. More than a hundred young couples, who were on the verge of divorce, have reunited. We work regularly with dysfunctional families.”

A similar workshop in Bukhara was opened with a video about the best practices of exemplary reconciliation commissions.

“A strong family is built on mutual respect,” said Ms Asadova, chief specialist of the municipal department of the Mahalla Foundation. “Every family member should know his or her rights and duties. In this case, the family foundation is strong. Much depends on woman’s wisdom. She is the keeper of the family hearth; the prosperity, the upbringing of children, good relations with neighbors and relatives depend on her.”

The number of marriage unions in our country has exceeded seven million. Nearly 300,000 marriages are registered in the republic each year. Uzbekistan ranks among the countries with the lowest rate of divorce. The place and role of the family in public life has been enhancing owing to social protection through the consistent implementation of state programs. Social sector has been streamlined in accordance with the Action Strategy,  which is annually invested by about 12% of the country's GDP.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

 

►Active Dialogue with the People

How successful is the work with the appeals of citizens today in state bodies? Which structures most often receive complaints from the public? What difficulties do the people face when they receive the answers? How satisfied are they with them?

These and other questions were answered by the participants in a sociological survey conducted by the Center “Ijtimoiy Fikr” for the Study of Public Opinion. Respondents were the residents of all regions of the republic, men and women of different ages, different professions, education level and nationality.

The purpose of the survey was to find out the opinion of the country's residents on the work of state bodies with citizens' appeals in the first quarter of this year as a part of the Strategy for Actions and the state program "Year of dialogue with the people and human interests".

The survey showed that the absolute majority of respondents (84.3%) supported the new system of active and open dialogue with the people initiated by the head of our state, a qualitatively new format of the work with the appeals of individuals and legal entities in the form of the functioning the institution of the people's reception.

According to the received information, 34.6% of the respondents have recently applied to the government or economic management authorities to resolve various issues. At the same time, more than half of the survey participants addressed their requests on the protection or provision of their rights to the hokimiyats (local administration) of various levels. This gives grounds to believe that these structures are trusted by the population. 28% of the study participants sought the assistance in the mahallas, judicial, law enforcement and supervisory bodies, pension fund, social security departments, ministries of health, public and higher education.

In the course of the survey, it was revealed that the issues related to the communal sphere and private homeowners' partnerships (PHOP), timely supply of the electricity, drinking water, gas and heating were topical for the 32.4% of the citizens. The people also turned to state authorities and economic management bodies on the timely payment of pensions and benefits, land use issues, obtaining bank loans, high-quality medical services, due to dissatisfaction with the court decisions.

The obtained results showed that more than half of all respondents - 61.4% applied to the relevant organizations in the form of a written application through the reception, and 16.7% of the survey participants used the Single Portal of Interactive Public Services, 13.1% sent applications or complaints directly to the websites of the ministries and departments.

At the same time, the most common form of citizens' appeals is a claim statement - 75.4% of respondents used this option. Each fifth participant of the poll filed a complaint. In the course of the survey, 82.1% of the respondents said that when reviewing their appeal, the head or deputy head of the organization personally talked with them in the process of discussing the issue concerning them.

More than a half (53.9%) of those applying to the administrative bodies received replies to their applications within the fifteen-day period that was established by law. 13.3% of citizens noted that the response to their appeal came within one month which was allowed by law in exceptional cases when an additional verification was necessary to consider the application. In the opinion of 67.8% of the respondents, after their appeals, the concrete steps have been taken to address the problem. It was also revealed that almost every second respondent was satisfied with the results of the appeal, one in five (more than 20%) was partially satisfied, from 5% to 10% of respondents were not satisfied with answers.

In short, the conducted sociological survey showed that an active and open dialogue with the population initiated by the head of state ensures social justice and the achievement of the strategic goals of the all-round development of the country.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

►All our noble deeds are aimed at further improving the well-being of the people

On March 10, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has arrived in Bukhara to review creative works in the region, the process of reforms implementation, large projects and to have a dialogue with people.

The Head of our state, in his pre-election manifesto, had laid out huge tasks and plans on developing Bukhara region along with other regions of the country. The agenda of the trip to Bukhara region includes inspection of implementation of these plans, creative works under realization, prospective projects and a dialogue with people.

Bukhara is one the oldest cities in the world, having played a huge role in the development of human civilisation.

During the years of the independence under the leadership of the First President of our country, grandiose creative works have been carried out in Bukhara. “Bukhoro madaniy markazi” (Bukhara cultural centre) memorial complex and its component, the “Eternal Bukhara” monument have become a favourite sight-seeing place of Bukhara residents and guests.

Even bigger works have been carried out in recent years. In 2016 the sustainable rates of economic growth of the region were secured, the gross regional product increased by 7,9%. The industrial output increased by 7,3%, construction works by 9,2%, services by 15,2%, agricultural output by 7%. The share of small business and private entrepreneurship in the gross regional product reached 67,9%. Within the Program of localization, 19 projects have been implemented and products for 107,8 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 13.03.2017, 1$= 3452.30 soums) have been manufactured.

A construction of the Kandym gas processing complex, comprising of a plant with a capacity of processing 8,1 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, 114 wells, 11 special lots and 4 collection points, has started in the region. Besides, this project, envisaging construction of a gas pipeline with a length of 370 km, 160 km of roads, will elevate the development of gas fields of Uzbekistan to a new level. This complex, one of the largest in Central Asia, will employ over 2 thousand workers.

In 2016 on the eve of the Independence Day the first fast-speed Afrosiyob train completed its journey on the Tashkent-Bukhara route. This has widened the comfort and opportunities for the population and the trust of our compatriots in the future has strengthened.

***

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the architectural complex of Bakhouddin Naqshband, one of our greatest thinkers.

In times of the old regime, this sacred place was left in ruins. During the years of independence, wide-scale works have been carried out to revive national, cultural and spiritual values, to restore historical monuments. At the initiative of First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov this shrine has been repaired in 1993 on the occasion of the 675th birth anniversary of Bakhouddin Naqshband. As a result of complete restoration, the original appearance of tombs, mausoleums, mosques, terraces and madrassas was recreated, the whole complex acquired an attractive look.

According to custom, the Qur’an verses were recited.

The President of our country gave appropriate instructions to the responsible officals to turn this memorial complex into an even more pleasant abode.

The contribution of Bukhara to the development of world civilization and Islamic culture is immeasurable. This land was home to many outstanding scientists and thinkers, theologians. A special department of the Tashkent Islamic University should be established in order to facilitate deep study and wide propaganda of the rich cultural heritage of these ancestors, the Head of our state said.

***

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev went to see the conditions, created for passengers at the Bukhara railway station.

Wide-scale reforms, huge creative works are being carried out in accordance with long-term prospective programs and projects. As a result of this, new railway lines have been constructed and the old ones have been reconstructed and electrified. New routes have been established and the existing railway stations have been repaired.

This railway station has been constructed and commissioned based on the resolution of First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on 6 March 2015 on the program of modernization and development of engineering-communications and road-transport infrastructure in 2015-2019.

The station has VIP and different service halls, medical, mother and child, recreational rooms, a library, a buffet, retail branches. 4 ticket offices and a fountain have been built outside the station.

The station, with 2,9 ha area, may serve over 500 passengers at a time, or over 2 thousand passengers daily.

The Head of our state reviewed the construction process of the Bukhara-Miskin railway line. This railway line is over 250 kilometers long and costs 283 million US dollars. 8 railway stations and crossings will be built on the Bukhara-Miskin railway line.

On 6 November 2015 a purchase contract between Uzbekistan temir yo’llari JSC and Patentes Talgo, S.L.U. (Spanish) of 2 fast-speed electric trains was signed.

Our President inspected the capacities of this Afrosiyob electric train and the conditions, created for passengers.

This modern electric train has better capacities than previous ones. The new train may carry 287 passengers compared to 215 passengers in previous ones, achieved via addition of two economy class cars.

Soon the second train will also arrive in Uzbekistan. Their operation will allow to create jobs for 15 train drivers and 50 conductors.

***

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has inspected many projects directed towards creating new jobs and raising the population’s wellbeing, as part of a visit to Bukhara Region.

The Head of State visited the Bukhara Brilliant Silk Uzbek-Chinese joint venture in the town of Bukhara.

This joint venture was established in 2010. It is equipped with modern technologies, and it processes silk cocoons and produces fabrics of various colours and sizes. Demand on the market and customers’ requirements are taken into account here. Now many fabrics such as “Spring”, “Rain” and “Stars” are produced here. These are of unique quality and do not fade even if exposed to water and rays of sunlight.

These products are being supplied to customers in Farghona, Samarqand and Khorazm Regions and the city of Tashkent. Negotiations are being held with the joint venture’s foreign partners on products’ export.

Today there is demand abroad for silk fibres of the Bukhara Brilliant Silk joint venture. Last year, this enterprise exported 2.5 million dollars worth of products to Iran, Vietnam, Turkey and India.

The President said that the number of such enterprises should be raised and that it was necessary to improve the system of training qualified specialists for these enterprises.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev examined the Indorama Indust Ltd Uzbek-Singaporean joint venture project to be implemented by the Ozbekyengilsanoat joint-stock company at the former Bukhoroteks JSC. Once this enterprise which specializes in processing cotton fibre produced in Bukhara Region comes into operation, nearly 400 jobs will be created. The installation of modern energy-saving technologies made in Switzerland are envisaged here.

Today modern cotton-processing enterprises are being established in all towns and districts of the country. This expands possibilities to process locally produced cotton fibre right here, to produce manufactured goods and to create new jobs.

The President also inspected the 2017-2018 programme drawn up by the Ozbekyengilsanoat joint-stock company to process cotton fibre in Bukhara Region.

Today 20.6 per cent of the cotton fibre produced in Bukhara Region is processed industrially in the territory of the region. Under a new project being drawn up here, 13 big industrial facilities will be built in 7 towns and districts of the region. This will make it possible to process 65 per cent of the cotton fibre produced in the region. And as a result nearly 5,000 jobs will be created.

Funds of the country’s commercial banks and foreign investment are to be attracted for the implementation of this project.

A presentation of a new project of creation of mulberry plantations through the effective use of land also took place. On the world market, demand is high for silk fibre produced in this country.

The Head of State gave instructions to further develop this sphere and to create more mulberry plantations.

Looking at a project of putting into operation the Bukhoro cotton textile enterprise in the town of Bukhara, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the sale of cotton in the form of fibre would not bring in much profit and that it was necessary to process cotton fibre and to produce more manufactured goods for export.

1,000 new jobs are to be created at this enterprise, and 6,500 tonnes of yarn, 10,000 square metres of cloth (denim) and 1.5 million garments will be produced here.

Detailed information was also presented about creating in the town of Bukhara a cotton-textile cluster incorporating processes ranging from the production of cotton to the manufacturing of textile products, about the Merganteks LLC in Olot District and about a multi-functional enterprise specialising in yarn production in Peshku District.

***

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has participated in a presentation of a programme for the further development of Bukhara Region’s tourism potential. This presentation took place in the Ark of Bukhara fortress.

It is envisaged to spend 18.5 billion soms on measures to ensure tourists’ security, to develop such types of tourism as religious tourism, ecotourism, medical tourism, business tourism, agritourism, cultural tourism, industrial tourism, culinary tourism and sports tourism, to expand cooperation with the UNWTO and prestigious international and national tourism organizations, to rapidly develop tourism industry facilities, to build road-transport and engineering-communication infrastructure and renovate such existing infrastructure.

The country’s President gave necessary instructions to improve the system of training specialists for the tourism sector and regularly upgrading their qualifications.

It is today’s requirement to make competitive tourism products and services and to work out a strategy for promoting them on internal and external markets.

Bukhara is called an ancient and eternal city for a good reason. There are ancient shrines and artefacts here, and Uzbeks’ unique values and incomparable traditions have been observed here for centuries. Foreigners’ interest and that of historians in these have always been high. This should be put to good use.

Necessary instructions were given to build a small ring road going round Bukhara’s ancient shrines, to create marble pavements, to modernize the system of street lighting, to build hotels and to plant trees and flowers around them and to create all conveniences and opportunities for local and foreign investors.

The President inspected the Bukhara history museum construction project.

This museum is to be built in an area of 1.2 hectares, and 68.3 billion soms of budgetary funds are to be allocated for this construction project. Once the museum is built and put into use, rare exhibits being kept in the Ark fortress will be moved there. More than 60 jobs will be created.

The necessary instructions were given to equip the museum to world standards and to ensure security for visitors there.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev examined the current state of cultural heritage sites and projects for their preservation.

There are 660 cultural heritage sites in Bukhara. Most of them are examples of ancient architecture, monumental works of art and archaeological sites.

Instructions on the maintenance of the cultural heritage sites were given to specialists of this sphere.

(Source: UzA)

►Human Interests in Priority

A national program on the implementation of Strategy of Actions on Five Priority Areas of the Development of Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 in the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests has been approved. 37.7 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 22.02.2017, 1$= 3356.87 soums) and 8.3 billion US dollars will be allocated to its implementation.

As previously reported, the Actions Strategy on Five Priority Areas for 2017-2021 was developed and approved in Uzbekistan. The roadmap of the country's development for the next five years envisages a package of large-scale measures to streamline the state and public construction, ensure the rule of law and further reform the judicial system. The priorities also include the development and liberalization of the economy and social sector. Provision of security, inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance, implementation of balanced, mutually beneficial and constructive foreign policy are among the pivotal tracks of development of Uzbekistan.

A commission on the implementation of the Action Strategy is headed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It incorporates sub-commissions on each direction of the Strategy. They are entrusted with the fulfillment of the objectives, as well as with direct development of the drafts relating to annual state programs.

The Action Strategy will be implemented in five stages, each of which will imply a certain annual national program in accordance with a title of the year. The adoption of the Year of the Dialogue with the People and Human Interests has become the first step of the Strategy.

The Action Strategy and the National Program are built on conceptual issues of socio-political, socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian development of the country, as decflared by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the election campaign, numerous meetings with the public, business community and government agencies.

Entitled as ‘Streamlining State and Public Construction’, the first direction of the national program envisages strengthening of the role of the Oliy Majlis in the state power system, radical improvement of legislative activity, and scale up of the role of political parties in public life.

In 2017, it is planned to develop important bills on parliamentary control and business ombudsman, and discuss them in the Oliy Majlis. That would significantly strengthen the role of the Oliy Majlis in the system of state power, expand its powers in addressing urgent problems of internal and foreign policy, as well as in the implementation of parliamentary control over the executive power. Amendments and additions to the Law on Ombudsman will be the follow-up of this work. There are plans to streamline the Law ‘On political parties’. The changes are called to further improve the performance of their regional, municipal and district branches, thereby enabling them to be deeper involved in addressing pressing problems of the electorate and in public life.

The reforms will introduce some new posts. The Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan will appoint its permanent representative in the Oliy Majlis, and factions of political parties will delegate secretaries to the Legislative Chamber to enforce the decisions made.

An E-Parliament will further intensify the communication of the population with senators and members of the Oliy Majlis.

 It is planned to improve state governance, primarily reform the civil service, reduce state regulation of the economy, develop modern forms of mutually beneficial cooperation between the public and private sector, and the Electronic Government system.

Ensuring of effective dialogue with the people is one of the primary and urgent objectives of the national program. It envisages the improvement of public control, further development of NGOs, the media, as well as strengthening of the role of local communities in the society.

Important steps were made in this direction last week - the President approved a Decree ‘On further improvement of the institution of mahalla’. It aims at making the performance of self-government bodies more effective, at the transformation of the institution of mahalla into the people's structure that would be optimally close to the population, exercising the right for incorporating into an association that would represent the common interests of citizens' assemblies, strengthening their logistical capacity, as well as at the further expansion of their interaction with state authorities and civil society institutions.

The second direction of the national program is aimed at ensuring the rule of law and true independence of courts. It is planned to establish a Supreme Judicial Council to ensure the independence of judicial decision-making, establishment of a professional judiciary corps, and take measures to protect the rights and lawful interests of judges.

In this context, it is planned to implement a range of measures to raise the status, the level of financial incentives and social security for judges and court staff, strengthen the logistical capacity of courts. Under specific regulations, the judges will be elected for five years at the first appointment, with the possibility of re-election for another ten years in case of impeccable performance.

There is a need to take effective measures to prevent improper influence on judges through the institution of specialist rotation.

Certain attention will be paid to the full implementation of the principles of independence and impartiality of the court, adversarial and equal trial. Expansion of application of the institution of Habeas Corpus will be continued, and judicial control over the investigation will be enforced.

It is planned to further differentiate courts and strengthen their administration by establishing administrative courts, regional appellate courts in the system of economic courts, and institute a post of assistant judge.

There are plans to streamline the procedural legislation in order to avoid red tape and unjustified delays in consideration of court cases, expand powers of higher courts in terms of elimination of shortcomings and making a final decision for subordinate courts.

In this context, it is envisaged to take measures and build a direct dialogue between the people and executives of all law enforcement and regulatory agencies, state and economic management bodies, local authorities, ensure their availability to the public, timely reception of complaints and appeals on violations of rights and freedoms of individuals and legal entities.

Special attention will be paid to the crime prevention system, fundamental improvement of work of internal affairs agencies to combat crime and maintain public order. The authorities rank the enhancement of effectiveness of cordination of combating crime and crime prevention among key priorities. Much needs to be done to improve the performance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its territorial divisions. It is planned to adopt a target program on the improvement of the ministry.

An action plan to combat extremism, terrorism and criminal offenses will also be a guide to action.

Improvement of organizational and legal mechanisms for combating corruption and enhancement of effectiveness of anti-corruption measures is considered as an independent direction. It is planned to adopt the whole range of regulations to streamline this sector.

The improvement of the legal culture and legal awareness of the population, organization of effective interaction between state structures, civil society institutions, and the media was defined as a separate area of action.

There is a need to develop a concept of further improvement of criminal and criminal procedural law for 2018-2021, streamline the education system, select and arrange the staff at judiciary and law enforcement supervisory bodies, constantly analyze complaints and regularly publish the results of the monitoring, develop barrister system, and reform notary and registry office system.

Development and liberalization of the economy is a pivotal section of the national program. It is envisaged to ensure stability of the national currency and prices, gradually introduce modern market of currency regulation mechanisms, expand the revenue capacity of local budgets, expand foreign economic relations, introduce advanced technologies of production of export-oriented products, develop transport and logistics infrastructure, increase the investment appeal of entrepreneurship, improve tax administration, introduce modern principles and mechanisms of regulation of banking, develop diversified farms, as well as rapidly develop the tourism industry.

In pursuance of the objectives that have been set, the banking sector was assigned to seek for the ways to introduce various loan products with the use of plastic cards in purchasing goods (works, services) for consumer needs.

Banks will also be engaged in expanding the practice of introduction of a variety of bonus, discount and promotional programs jointly with trade and service organizations in order to promote and catalyze interest among plastic cards holders.

The President has already issued several regulations aiming at protecting the interests of private property and entrepreneurship. The acts introduce a new form of business registration through the ‘single window’ system, allowing document processing within few minutes. Meanwhile, there are new solutions to come to strengthen the protection of private property, financial market, to modernize agriculture, develop the jewelry industry, and prepare certain national companies for initial public offering (IPO) on reputable foreign stock exchanges.

 In 2017-2021, it is planned to implement sectoral programs that envisage 649 investment projects totaling $40 billion. As a result, the production of industrial goods will increase 1.5 times, its share in GDP will grow from 33.6% to 36% , and share of processing industry - from 80% to 85% over the next five years.

Development of the social sector provides for the increase in employment, improvement of social protection and public health protection system, development and modernization of road transport, engineering, communications and social infrastructure, improvement of electricity and gas supply, quality of social assistance to vulnerable groups, rise of the status of women in public and political life, healthcare reformation, provision of availability of pre-school educational institutions, improvement of quality of secondary, specialized and higher education.

Employment programs should be unconditionally implemented through the creation of 256,400 jobs under 25,000 investment projects on integrated development of territories. It is planned to create 46,800 jobs and allocate loans to 10,000 graduates of educational institutions for starting a business in the regions with the highest unemployment rate.

The document provides for support of the older generation, and streamlining the procedure of allocation of social allowances. The priority will be given to the improvement of health of veterans. Previous privileges will be supplemented with new ones.

In particular, the veterans of the war of 1941-1945 will have a right for compensation for unused opportunity of resort therapy once a year. A network of health resorts providing service to the elderly will be expanded for their convenience: it is planned to build three new resorts.

 The reformation of the health sector will be continued. It is planned to revamp 78 regional medical associations, seven municipal and two regional diversified medical centers. Development of emergency medical services will be of special focus. The service will be supplied with 1,200 specialized vehicles, and each district will receive two reanimobiles.

15,000 affordable houses, 415 km of water ways, 316 km of gas pipelines, and 291 km of internal roads will be built in rural areas. 86 new bus routes will be introduced, and 537 modern buses will be purchased as part of improvement of quality of public transport services.

Education sector also expects a broad range of activities on reconstruction, refurbishment and equipping of all educational institutions. The emphasis will be placed on the development of pre-school education, which is a focus of the recent national program.

 From now and on, construction and installation works will be funded by the Fund for Reconstruction, Overhaul and Equipping of Schools, Colleges, Lyceums and Medical Facilities. A new five-year program will be the follow-up of the completed program on higher education development.

The fifth direction comes to ‘Ensuring Security, Inter-Ethnic Concord and Religious Tolerance’, and pursuance of balanced, mutually beneficial and constructive foreign policy. It envisages measures on protecting constitutional system, sovereignty, territorial integrity, improvement of information systems, legal and regulatory framework in the field of cyber-safety. A large range of measures is aimed at the organization and development of the public emergency alert system, and mitigation of the Aral Sea disaster.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev approved the national program ‘On the development of the Aral Sea region for 2017-2021’, which envisages measures on improvement of environmental and socio-economic situation, living conditions of the population, and effective implementation of investment projects on mitigating the environmental disaster. In particular, more than 8.4 trillion soums has been allocated for the recently adopted national program ‘On the development of the Aral Sea region’.

In addition to the tax benefits, residents of the Aral Sea area have been provided with a new kind of social allowance in the form of one-time financial assistance from two to five times the minimum wage. It is appointed by the decision of the Commission of Rural (Mahalla) of Citizens' Assemblies to needy families, especially lonely citizens, pensioners, families with disabled breadwinner and other low-income categories of the population.

There are plans afoot to develop a concept of policy priorities in the field of international relations, and a concept of public policy in religious sector. It is also planned to draft road maps for the development of cooperation with foreign partners in politics and diplomacy, drastic development and expansion of trade, economic, investment, technological, financial and technical cooperation with foreign partners of Uzbekistan for 2017.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

►Close dialogue with people is an important factor in ensuring human interests

On 20 January President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the Republic of Karakalpakstan to review the pace of social-economic reforms, creative and improvement works, aimed at further increasing the level and quality of life of the people and for a dialogue with people. 

It should be underlined that the Republic of Karakalpakstan was among the first of the regions our country to be visited by Shavkat Mirziyoyev as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which, indisputably, demonstrates a deep respect and attention of the head of our country to the Karakalpak people. 

At the pre-election meeting in Shumanay district of the Republic of Karakalpakstan on 10 November 2016, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said: “I consider myself a son of not only the Uzbek people, but also the Karakalpak people!”. Furthermore, speaking about the planned wide-scale works on comprehensive support of the residents of this region, in particular, he noted: “Henceforth, we will visit each district and the city, even the most remote rural areas and villages. We will listen to the concerns of the people, develop programs, aimed at solving their problems, establish strict control over their execution”.

We may conclude that today's trip to the Republic of Karakalpakstan was another practical realization of these noble goals and objectives, planned for the Year of dialogue with the people and human interests. 

As a result of opportunities, created by the state in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the sectors of the economy, industry, construction, information and communication technologies, small business and private entrepreneurship are dynamically developing. Currently, about half of the gross regional product, 75 percent of exports fall to the share of private sector. 75 per cent of the working population are employed in this sector. 

However, the difficult conditions in the region, the environmental disaster in the Aral Sea region require an urgent attention to a number of important issues such as the provision of drinking water, quality health care, protection of maternal and child health, special attention to institutions of family and mahalla, enhancing the role of women and youth in the society. 

In this regard, the head of our state met with people, visited families, got acquainted with the conditions of their lives. Sincere dialogues with people took place.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited a central hospital of Hojayli district. The hospital, equipped with modern medical apparatus, along with 11 rural medical centres and 4 polyclinics of the district, provide medical services to over 130 thousand people. 

Health is the most valuable wealth. A specialist, rendering medical aid to people, is a representative of one of the most honoured professions. 

Shavkat Mirziyoyev learned about the conditions at the hospital, inspected reception area, X-ray and diagnosis rooms, and others. During the talks with doctors, they exchanged views on the issues of training qualified medical staff, effective use of medical equipment, increasing the quality of services, the necessity to take into account the climate conditions of each region in constructing hospitals. 

The Head of our state went to the “Muruvvat” women’s care home. Talking to the doctors and nurses, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the state will continue to provide support in further improving the conditions at medical institutions. 

Improving infrastructure of schools, educating qualified students and future professionals, who are capable to contribute to prosperity of the Motherland was on the focus of a dialogue with teachers of the school №69. 

Shavkat Mirziyoyev also went to the construction site of the agro-industrial centre. This complex, which will be put under operation in 2017-2018, sits on the area of 11 ha. The buildings for storage, processing, packaging of agricultural products as well as a terminal, loading-unloading area, refrigerators, greenhouses, buildings for customs clearance, a hangar, a hotel, catering and sports complexes will be constructed here. 

The issues of developing housing infrastructure in Hojayli were also discussed on site. The Head of our state gave instructions to construct and commission 40 multi-storey apartment houses until the end of the year, so that people will have sensed the launched transformations. 

Shavkat Mirziyoyev also went to the “Karakalpakstan” rural medical centre. During the talks with doctors, it was noted that the activity of workers of medical sphere has a special place in strengthening the trust of population to governmental institutions. Along with the questions of equipping rural medical centres with modern medical devices, their provision with medicines and other medical means were also discussed. 

The President of our country visited the children’s school of music and arts named after Jumaboy Bozorov in Shumanay district, catering to 211 pupils. Classes are held here in more than ten specialities - national musical instruments, piano, choreography, visual arts and others. Despite the short period since the opening of the school, its pupils have repeatedly become winners of a number of competitions, in particular, won the first place at competitions on a national scale twice. 

The teachers and pupils of the school underlined that the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov attached a special attention to educating the younger generation as physically and harmonically developed individuals. President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev consistently continues these good deeds. 

The Head of our country also visited the Qanlikol district branch of the Agroservis MTP LLC, where the thorough preparations for spring fieldworks were discussed. The need for gradual decrease of cotton fields and development of cattle breeding in the district was accentuated. 

During a conversation at the Qanlikol pedagogical professional college, the President of our country underscored the necessity to change the spheres of education at the college in line with the requirements of the time, training demanded cadres for social-economic spheres of the district. It is necessary to carry out translation and publication of the fiction and non-fiction literature in Karakalpak, their delivery to educational institutions. 

The Head of our state also inspected the works at the Kungrad-Muynak water pipeline network. With commissioning of this 101 km long network, 7 thousand cubic meters of water will be carried daily and over 25 thousand people will be provided with drinking water. 

A meeting with representatives of the Republic of Karakalpakstan took place in Nukus. A special attention was attached to the issues of social-economic development of Karakalpakstan, creating worthy conditions of life for people. 

The visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev is continuing.

(Source: UzA)