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June 12, 2014


June 12, 2014


Electronic government of Uzbekistan: The State on the Internet2


Employment as a basis of wellbeing. 3

infrastructure.. 5

Railroad Gains Momentum.. 5

museums. 6

Sharks – in the Woods. 6



Press-service of MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan




Electronic government of Uzbekistan: The State on the Internet

Dozens of states have been developing e-government systems for over 20 years already. This process started in the early 1990s in the developed world, in the United States and the EU first. Governance has proved to be more efficient with e-governments based on the principle that they must operate better and cost less. Uzbekistan, new to e-government practices so far, has committed itself to working hard at improving them in spite of difficulties.

Both local and foreign experts point out that Uzbekistan has made remarkable progress in developing its information technology sector for just a short period since independence. The republic was the ninety first out of 190 and the sixth out of the CIS republics – with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan behind it – in the UN biennial global e-government ranking. It must be noted that the ranking was presented in 2012, since when Uzbekistan has taken colossal steps in developing its e-government. Therefore, experts believe our country will rank higher in the following UN survey.

In the early 2013, during his traditional speech on the previous year’s development results and prospects, the President of Uzbekistan gave a boost to the next round of e-government development in Uzbekistan. “We must be aware that without a radical – I would say an explosive – progress toward wide introduction of information and communication systems in all the sectors of the economy and our everyday lives, our future looks dim. Not only we must, as soon as possible, heal the backwardness in the field of information services, but also enter the group of advanced countries with a high level of information and communication technologies employed,” said the President.

Shortly before the speech, Uzbekistan’s Agency for Communications and Information had been reformed and renamed the State Committee for Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies. As the country’s main information technologies coordinating authority, it was charged with controlling the implementation of the program of further introduction and development of information technologies and is to inform the government of its progress regularly. The e-government development package as well as the measures to increase the efficiency of the state services for citizens and businesses became areas of a major concern for the committee with regard to the program.

Experts understood that it was impossible to build an e-government system with no legal framework providing for efficient interaction between the government, business and society. That was why Uzbekistan began to develop a number of laws and regulations as well as law observance control mechanisms related to such interaction. The major document prepared during this legislative process is the e-government draft bill currently available on the website of the State Committee for Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies. While drafting the bill, its developers thoroughly studied the similar laws of the world’s e-government leaders – Austria, Germany, the USA, South Korea, Japan and others. The bill is to be introduced to the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament this year already. It will provide for more efficient ways of rendering the state services, cutting their costs and execution periods, and making the activities of the state agencies more transparent.

The e-government development process was also marked by the launch of the Single Interactive State Services Portal on July 1, 2013 (TSISSP). The portal provides citizens and businesses with all the information they need as well as interactive services. Currently, over 300 state authorities, including district and city administration ones, are connected to the portal. Last week, TSISSP specialists drew up a ranking with regard to the state services. The first three organs in the number of submissions were the Ministry of Internal Affairs (2,056 submissions), Uzarhive Agency (1,052 submissions) and Tashkent City Administration Office (667 submissions). The most popular state interactive services found by the users were application processing, issuance of certificates of presence or absence of criminal convictions, and issuance of archive work experience verification certificates. The best state organs in the submission processing time were the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (5 days), the State Inspection on Supervision in the Electric Power Industry and the archive agency Uzarhiv (both 6 days). By June 2, the portal received 16,155 submissions; 13,436 of them had been acted on, and 2,719 were still being processed. Most of the submissions had been lodged by individuals: 14,333 (89%). Legal entities had lodged 1,822 ones (11%).

Uzbekistan’s major e-government development technical support providers are Electronic Government and Information Security Center. They were established in September 2013. The first organization is engaged in developing e-government strategies, improving the process of the provision of the state services for individuals and businesses, as well as consistent monitoring the process of the introduction and development of information technologies in the republic. The second deals with the threats to the e-government system, prevents and predicts them, and secures the information systems and resources of the state organs. It must be noted that Uzbekistan, having no wide experience of creating its own high technology information systems, had to go for the international expertise in the area. The local experts chose South Korea – an old partner of our country – to get assistance from, which would allow for fast and intensive development of information technologies in Uzbekistan. Currently, South Korean party provides Uzbek specialists with consulting, technical and financial assistance in the e-government projects. Among them stands out the development of the national geographical system funded by a loan obtained from Korea EximBank. The system is to be composed of a satellite geodetic network and a universal computerized system of the state cadastre and real estate register, which will allow for building the necessary database for sustainable use and protection of the natural resources and integrated regional development in the country.

Covering the e-government topic, we must note one of key factors in an e-government performance – people. It is not only the software and hardware but also, and first of all, the officials – their e-skills as well as capability to quickly and efficiently handle the submissions – that form the society’s attitude toward their e-government. In order to secure such workers, Tashkent University of Information Technologies began to conduct PC and Internet user courses for the government employees in April 2014. Besides, training centers providing regular information technology refresher courses for the government officials will start functioning in the country as of September 1, 2014. These centers are to be structural parts of the local higher education institutes. The organizers are planning to bring local and foreign instructors to the centers. The State Committee for Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been charged with looking for the opportunities for attracting highly skilled information technology specialists from South Korea. Korean Inha University in Tashkent is also going to train future specialists for Uzbekistan information technology sector. The university is to have two faculties, with 150 students entering it this year.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)



Employment as a basis of wellbeing

In his address to the January sitting of the Uzbek government that discussed the results of the nation’s socio-economic development in 2013 and priority directions of the 2014 State Economic Program, the President Islam Karimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan pointed out, among other things, that aspects such as the development of the social sphere, creation of jobs and employment of the population have always been and continue to be in the spotlight.

Employment is an essential macroeconomic category, which combines social and economic indicators of society’s condition. Proceeding from this definition, employment, on a national scale, can mean the participation of citizens in working activity, including education, serving in the armed forces, house-keeping, taking care of children and the old etc. In addition, employment also covers their social activity, in which they usually earn their living. Therefore, the bigger the number of people who are engaged in social labour, the lower the jobless level and the higher the standard of life and prosperity in society.

As a rule, the employed encompass those working for a wage or under a contract (agreement), those who are self-employed (such as entrepreneurs, farmers and the like) and those in the service. The level of employment or involvement in working processes depends on a correlation between the number of able-bodied citizens and that of available jobs. A given indicator is also dependable on whether the jobs correspond to the labour force’s capabilities, which, in turn, are conditioned by occupation, specialization, experience, knowledge and skills. In other words, a high level of professionalism, knowledge and qualification is the pledge of employment and demand for such people in the field of economic activity.

Modern science and practice alike distinguish between two types of employment: full and partial employment. Full employment means the complete provision of citizens capable of working with jobs, while partial employment is the possibility to obtain a job or the availability of a real part-time or seasonal job. Partial employment is considered to be a pre-condition or a source of unemployment.

Employment is not a regional problem. Nor is it a problem of any concrete nation. Unfortunately, it faces the world community as a whole, with all countries struggling to tackle it in one or another way. That is why their governments, first of all, determine their position in respect of the labour market, including the reduction of unemployment, creation of new jobs and the achievement of an increase in the efficiency of labour force’s exploitation. The point is, a rise in joblessness levels always and everywhere entails a social and even political tension, thus impairing a country’s image.

It is appropriate to mention here that in a market-oriented economy a certain degree of unemployment is a permissible phenomenon. There was no unemployment only in the former USSR, whose economic system was dominated by state property and centralized control. Underlying its centrally planned economy were the principles of obligingness and generality of work, provision of the entire able-bodied population with jobs in the field of public production, reinforcement of state regulation and control over the processes of reproduction, distribution and exploitation of labour resources.

In a market environment, the formation of employment for a population is based on other principles. The state definitely renounces any claims on monopoly of using labour resources in public production. Another principle is a freely selected employment, or the right of able-bodied citizens to voluntary employment, if they have other legal sources of income. The right to use his capacity to work (labour force) at his own discretion belongs exclusively to its owner, i.e. a worker himself. So market relationships substantially transform the employment policy, the forms of its implementation and the principles of its formation. Jettisoning the former rigidly regulated system of employment, the market economy fosters the emergence of a highly flexible and manoeuvrable one.

However, in the market economy, where both the free hire and voluntary offer of labour force, including the selection of job or form of employment, are determined by each citizen, the state cannot help interfering into the processes such as the exploitation of a population capable of working and regulation of demand for labour force. This problem, perhaps, is particularly significant in Uzbekistan, characterized by a more complex demographic situation, compared with many other countries, notably European ones. But its solution can, by no means, involve the application of administrative methods or, bluntly speaking, methods of compulsion. The right of each citizen to work and to freely select a job is given statutory underpinning, by being enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Since the first days of the Republic’s independence, the human factor was assigned primary importance in all socio-economic changes and reforms. In his works and speeches, the Uzbek leader has repeatedly observed that the economic reforms are implemented in the country not for the sake of reforms, but in the interests and to the benefit of people, their present and future prosperity. Apropos, the national model of economic development, known in the world as the “Uzbek model”, is permeated with this factor. The strengthening of the human factor is also helped by a comprehensive normative-legal framework created in Uzbekistan, including the Laws “On employment” and “On the provision of pensions to the population”, the Labour Code and other legislative documents, which are designed to realize the state social policy aimed at raising the level of employment and the living standard of the population.

Take the Law, “On employment” as one example. Its enactment has tackled three important problems: elimination of the state’s obligation to ensure the population’s mass employment, by lifting the requirement for all able-bodied citizens to participate in working activity; organization of employment services and determination of their functions; and the creation of the Employment Fund to finance unemployment allowances. Special note should be made of the fact that the state’s participation doesn’t come only to distributing and placing the labour resources in jobs. The measures taken by the state in this field also include:

Registration of the number of labour resources, as well as tendencies in natural and mechanical population increases;

Exposure of any possible disengagement of workers thanks to the presence of alternative property in the industrial sector, as well as in connection with the necessity to tackle scientific-technical tasks and structural shifts in the national economy;

Ensuring that jobs are in balance with available labour resources, in order to overcome, on this basis, a local deficiency or surplus of labour force;

Formation and continued improvement of the national system of training and raising skill levels of specialists;

Provision of social protection to a jobless section of the able-bodied population.

In Uzbekistan, much has already been done in these directions. And the state goes on taking steps to deal with unemployment and its consequences. That is why this problem is not so acute in the Republic as elsewhere. According to available data, in some countries joblessness levels are in excess of 20-25 per cent, whereas in Uzbekistan, this indicator, calculated as required by the International Labour Organization, comes to 5 per cent of the entire economically active population.

However, such a positive socio-economic situation should not serve as a reason for complete satisfaction and complacency. The development of the social sphere, including a rise in employment levels, remains one of the priority directions of economic reforms in Uzbekistan. In the current year, the Uzbek government plans to pump almost 60 per cent of the state budget’s appropriations into the development of the social sphere. Amenably to the Employment Program passed by the nation’s Parliament, about 1 million new jobs will be created in the Republic. At the same time, approximately 500,000 students graduating from domestic vocational colleges are to enter the labour force. Having mastered 2-3 professions, they seek to apply their knowledge and professional skills in various sectors of the national economy, including small business, entrepreneurship, provision of services, management etc. At this stage, it is worth mentioning the participation in this process of indigenous banks and, first of all, commercial ones, which pay much attention to the extension of credits to young people. Last year, for instance, Microcreditbank has allotted 21.4 billion Soum worth of credits to graduating students of vocational colleges towards the creation of their own businesses. This figure is twice as much as that the bank extended in 2012. Remarkably, Microcreditbank, together with Kamolot and vocational colleges, takes part in the implementation of the following projects: “Cooperation between the bank and the college”, “Young entrepreneur – the country’s support”, “My business – idea” and others.

Other banking institutions are following the suit. Their activity not only contributes to an increase in employment levels, but is also conducive to the successful implementation of the February 6, 2014 Presidential Resolution, “On additional measures to realize the state youth policy”. “The youth is the support of society and the future of the country” is not just a motto, but the reality of modern life and economy.

Now is the moment to elucidate one more aspect that has a direct bearing on the question under discussion. What is meant is the female half of society, whose representatives are capable of working. Moreover, they are eager to take part in economic activity. The point is, the Republic boasts a rather effective system of attracting women to labour, without discontinuing their housekeeping. Today, there are a lot of housewives, who, along with the upbringing of children, contribute or, at least, can make a worthy contribution to the family budget. Their army is mushrooming in the country, mainly due to the development of such a convenient form of labour as home-based employment. Last year, for example, over 480,000 jobs have been created thanks to the emergence of many small enterprises, micro-firms and individual entrepreneurs. Another 210,000 new jobs have been created by expanding a network of home-based employment.

What can be deduced from the information recounted above is that nowadays Uzbekistan’s leaders are doing their best to ensure the progressive development of the national economy, an increase in public prosperity and fuller employment of the population. This not only gives rise to confidence in the future, but also makes the Uzbek people take a legitimate pride in their country, whose image in the global community tends to improve year in, year out.

(Source: “Business partner” newspaper)



Railroad Gains Momentum

Efficient transportation and logistical systems are crucial to any economy. Today, when components of many products are manufactured in various parts of the world, and many products are exported to or imported from dozens of countries, it is well-developed transportation networks that are vital to competiveness in particular and economies in general.

Uzbekistan focused on development of its transportation and transit potential in the early 1990s. For the last twenty years, the republic has invested huge amounts of money in the Uzbek National Highway as well as the country’s two largest transportation companies – the national air company Uzbekistan Airways and the state joint-stock railway company Uzbekistan Railways. While developing its transportation industry, Uzbekistan spent a lot on purchasing new aircraft and locomotives. Its fleets are currently among the best ones in Central Asia.

The republic’s railroad fleet is composed of 242 main-line and 258 shunting diesel locomotives, as well as 100 electric ones. Last year, 11 new OZEL electric locomotives built by the Chinese consortium CNTIC-CNRDLRC joined the fleet. These locomotives are notable for the fact that they were designed in cooperation with Uzbek engineers to suit the country’s particularities and are different in appearance and specifications from other electric locomotives used throughout the world. The OZEL locomotives for Uzbekistan were built by Chinese factories in cooperation with Toshiba of Japan. They have passed all the necessary tests and are currently used for cargo transportation in the republic.

“The new locomotives feature the latest technological sophistication. They are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, and meet all the international standards applicable,” said Husniddin Hosilov, chief engineer of Uzbekistan Railways. The company benefitted from using the locomotives greatly. They allowed for a 25% decrease in the repairing labor input, a 40% decrease in the costs of consumable materials, and a 10% decrease in the electricity consumption for their regenerative braking. They can carry 12% more freight and add to the aesthetic qualities of the fleet.

The performance of the locomotives was improved through modification of their initial design. Uzbek specialists gained extensive experience in operating electric locomotives of the previous series and used it, in cooperation with Chinese engineers, to improve the OZEL ones supplied to Uzbekistan. As a result, these locomotives operate better in the mountains – they can run at an altitude of up to 1,800 meters, which is especially important in connection with the construction of a new electrified railroad line Angren – Pop, which will complete the transnational railroad corridor Asia-Pacific – Central Asia – Europe. Part of the railroad line is going to lie through the mountain pass Qamchiq, so the locomotives that will be driven there must meet stricter altitude requirements.

Besides, the modification of the locomotives resulted in an increase in their tractive force from 450kN to 490kN and their power from 6,000kW to 7,200kW. The life of their brake blocks grew by 15% thanks to modern composite materials they are now made from.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


Sharks – in the Woods

Over the past four years as many as five museums in the country have been supplemented by the unique exhibits that demonstrated indicate that many thousands of years ago there was a sea at in the territory of the modern-day Navoi Region, and that there were dinosaurs and many other species that have disappeared from the surface of the earth.

Such replenishment of the State Geological Museum, Navoi regional Regional Museum historical museum of local Local Historylore, the Museum of the History of the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine, as well as and Kyzylkum Qizilqum and Zarafshan Zarafshon and historical museums happened has been made possible dueon to the results of scientific expeditions to the monument Dzharakuduk Jaraquduq that in Mingbulak Mingbuloq district of Navoi region, initiated by the journalists. In these campaigns, journalists gathered unique photos and videos, and representatives of museums replenished their collections of unique exhibits.

“The Museum enriched with bones of sharks, dinosaurs and other extinct animals, the remains of the Petrified Wood,” says Ramzan Egamov, director if of Navoi Regional Museum of Local HistoryNavoi Region Historical and Local Lore Museum. “This will allow us to familiarize more people with the natural monument, which is a strictly protected site, which can be accessed only with the expedition during training and study tours.

Western The western Part part of the Mingbilak Mingbiloq Basin is also unique; it lays 32 kilometers off the Mingbulak Mingbuloq settlement. Senior employees of the Navoi Regional Museum of Local HistoryNavoi Region Historical and Local Lore Museum gave interview to the Uzbekistan Today correspondents of the Uzbekistan Today.

“This system of canyons, over 10 km and in an area of 30 km2square kilometers, geological formation of shore-marine and delta formations of the Late Cretaceous period. In this area petrified wood that holds the remains of extinct animals set is well preserved. More than 70 species of animals on the level of families and more than 200 – generic and species level found in this site.

Dzharakuduk Jaraquduq was studied throughout the XX 20th century , with a few interruptions . The largest contribution to the study of this place was made by Leonid Nessov, a geologist who worked here in from 1975 and through to 1995. According In accordance with to his conclusion, Dzharakuduk Jaraquduq has an exclusively scientific importance as regards the study of the remains of vertebrates , especially mammals. The diversity and number of taxataxons, including endemic , has no analogues in the world, the study of this site is far from being completed. The monument has a sophisticated structure,; the age range of deposits is over 10 million years.

In areas of ‘petrified woods’ height of preserved tree trunks is up to four meters, and the total amount of the surviving fragments of tree trunks is hundreds of copies. In the forests Ceratopsians lived. Shark and ancient turtles teeth found in the rocks, filling the space between the tree trunks.