The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan convened for an extended meeting on January 15 to discuss the outcomes of socio-economic development in the country in 2015 and the crucial priorities of economic program for the year 2016.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov delivered a keynote speech at the session.
The head of our state noted that despite the ongoing world financial and economic crisis, stable and sustainable high rates of economic growth and macroeconomic balance have been achieved as a result of consistent and systemic implementation of crucial priorities of the economic program for 2015 and well thought-out Program on ensuring deep structural transformations, reliable protection of the interests of private property and small business.
He underlined that the achievements and prospects of economic development of the country, highly recognized by authoritative international financial and economic organizations and think-tanks, once again confirm the high efficiency and success of the chosen development strategy, acknowledged in the world as “the Uzbek model” of reforms. In accordance with the report of the World Economic Forum, Uzbekistan is among the five countries with the fastest growing economies in the world based on development outcomes for 2014-2015 and forecasts for 2016-2017.
The gross domestic product of the country in 2015 grew by 8 percent, production of industrial goods increased by 8%, while that of agricultural products swelled by almost 7 percent, construction and assembling works by almost 18%. The national budget was executed with surplus at 0.1 percent of the GDP. The surplus in foreign trade turnover has been secured. The inflation rate has not exceeded forecast parameters.
A set of systemic measures on radical change of ownership structure, decreasing the presence of the state in economy, altering the principles and approaches of corporate management has been realized. Modern management structures have been introduced in all joint stock companies.
A package of legislation on strengthening the guarantees and protection of lawful rights of private owners and entrepreneurs, on simplifying and facilitating creation and operation of entrepreneurship subjects via Unitary centers on providing public services (one-stop-shops) has been adopted. Thanks to taken measures, the share of small business in gross domestic product has increased to 56,7 percent or 1,8 times in comparison to the year 2000.
Active implementation of measures and investment projects on structural transformations, modernization, technical and technological renovation of spheres, as well as formation of modern infrastructure ensured disbursement of investments for 15,8 bln. US dollars 9,5 percent more than in 2014. Over 3,3 bln. US dollars or 21 percent of total investments were foreign investments, of which 73% were direct foreign investments. The spheres, oriented towards production of highly technological finished goods have demonstrated accelerated development. 158 large production facilities have been commissioned.
The agricultural sector has been undergoing deep structural changes. A rich harvest of over 7 mln. 500 thousand tons of grain and over 3 mln. 350 thousand tons of cotton has been grown. Fruit and vegetable growing, horticulture, viticulture, animal husbandry, as well as industrial processing of their outputs have been dynamically developing.
The services sphere has also demonstrated dynamic growth. The volume of paid services increased by 10,8 percent, retail turnover- by over 15 percent. The share of services sector in the gross domestic product has reached 54,5% compared to 49% in 2010.
The banking system has been further strengthened, the capitalization level of the banks has been increased and their investment activity has widened. Total assets of the banking system has increased by 23,3% in comparison to the year 2014 and reached 7,8 trillion soums. (currency rates of CB RU from 18.01.2016, 1$= 2821.43 soums)
Sustainable high growth rates of the economy and services sector have created a firm foundation for further increase of peoples’ incomes, improving the welfare of the population. The salaries of employees of budget organizations, pensions and scholarships have increased by 21,9%, total real income per capita – by 9,6%. The share of incomes from entrepreneurial activity has increased to 52% in comparison to 47,1% in 2010. Over 980 thousand jobs have been created, of which over 60% in rural areas, over 480 thousand graduates of professional colleges have been employed.
The State Program for “The Year of attention and care the senior generation” has been executed, for which over 2 trillion 246 bln. soums and 225 mln. US dollars have been directed from various sources.
In his report, President Islam Karimov offered a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the existing unaddressed problems and expounded on the policy tasks directed at further reforming, deepening structural transformations and diversification of the economy, as well as the most critical priorities for 2016.
The government, ministries, other agencies, economic associations and hokimiyats of all levels got tasked with the adoption of necessary measures dedicated to continuing implementation of commenced democratic reform and modernization of the country, deep structural transformations, fir of all in the industrial and agricultural spheres, ensuring macroeconomic balance, anticipatory development and protection of private property, entrepreneurship and small business, accelerated development of engineering-communication and road infrastructure, social sphere, further increasing the welfare of the population.
The most important tasks were identified to radically increase competitiveness of the economy, strengthen support of exporting enterprises, all-round stimulation of small businesses and farmers to export. A set of additional measures on wide introduction of modern information and communication technologies in the spheres of the economy and radical acceleration of creation of the “Electronic government” system.
Special significance was attached to ensuring the realization of policy measures to further the goals and tasks for this year determined in connection with its announcement as the Year of Healthy mother and child, including measures to further strengthen the protection system of the family, motherhood and childhood, formation and consolidation of material-technical base of and human resources potential of perinatal and screening centers, nursing services, increasing the level and quality of treatment of young mothers and children, creation of healthy spiritual environment in the family.
Heads of Cabinet of Ministers complexes, ministries, other government agencies, organizations and regional hokims spoke to address the issues on the agenda. The discussions at the government meeting produced a decision that included practical measures to secure the realization of crucial priorities in the economic program of the country for the year 2016.
National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz plans to complete the implementation of projects worth US$624.1 million in 2016.
According to Gazeta.uz, the investment program for 2016 approved the schedule for the nine projects.
Uzbekneftegaz will complete the project on modernization of Mubarek Gas Processing Plant worth US$264.4 million. The project envisages construction of three gas desulphurization units with capacity of 6 billion cubic meters per year.
The company also intends to implement additional infrastructure development project of the two fields in Kashkadarya region. The cost of the project is US$294 million.
Uzbekneftegaz plans to build a network of centers for the installation of LPG equipment for motor vehicles and to introduce energy-saving equipment in enterprises and crafts company.
The South Korean company Young Shin Tech has been planning to establish a production of automobile gas tanks in Uzbekistan
Uzbek and South Korean sides have already signed a memorandum of understanding on the project. The new plant will produce car cylinders driven by propane and butane. In the future, the products will be exported to the neighboring CIS countries.
An Uzbek-Italian joint venture Avtosanoat – Landi Renzo on the production of equipment for the transfer of engine compartment to compressed natural gas was opened in Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone in mid 2014. Its annual production capacity exceeds 25,000 sets.
By the end of 2017, Uzbekistan is planning to transfer a total of 74,000 cars to gas. The government has estimated that this measure would reduce air pollutant emissions by 5,000 -8,000 tons per year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The total cost of the project exceeds 60 billion soums. (currency rates of CB RU from 18.01.2016, 1$= 2821.43 soums)
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov will pay a visit to the United States of America on 19-21 January 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan said.
The foreign policy body of Uzbekistan said that the delegation of Uzbekistan led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov will visit the USA on 19-21 January 2016.
Within the visit, the Uzbek delegation will attend next round of the Uzbek-US political consultations in Washington. The delegation will also hold talks and meetings at the US State Department and other bodies.
Uzbekistan had celebrated a symbolic date, the Day of Defenders of Homeland. On January 14, twenty-four years ago, right after gaining independence, all military units in the territory of Uzbekistan were placed under the jurisdiction of a sovereign republic, and a national army was instituted.
From ancient times to the present day the attitude to the defenders of the Fatherland has been reverent and respectful. The peaceful labor of the farmers, tranquil and happy family life, and carefree smiles of children depended on those who safeguarded the borders of their native land, displaying courage, fortitude and heroism. On January 14, we pay tribute and express gratitude to the military and veterans of the Armed Forces, to all the defenders of the Motherland.
Providing a peaceful and tranquil life in our country from the first days of independence has become a priority of public policy. The August 31, 1991 the Law “On State Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan” states that our country pursues its own military policy. This was the legal basis for the formation of the Armed Forces. September 6, 1991 was formed the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which allowed to solve such important problems as the formation of a national army, the development of military education, the organization of conscription for military service, the deployment of troops, security and maintenance of military equipment and weapons.
The guarantee of peaceful and tranquil life has been a public policy priority in Uzbekistan from the first days of independence. Adopted on August 31, 1991, the Law ‘On state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan’ stipulates that the republic pursues its own military policy. The act has become the legal basis for the formation of the Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Uzbekistan was founded on September 6, 1991 to address the pivotal issues of formation of a national army, development of military education, organization of conscription for military service, deployment of troops, provision and maintenance of military equipment and weapons.
Yet at the dawn of independence, the Uzbek Parliament adopted a military doctrine, which was discussed by all segments of society. The people approved its defensive nature and principles.
Armed forces, their combat power and readiness to suppress the forces of any aggressor are seen as the most important component of the national defense. In a historically short period of time Uzbekistan has carried out a huge work on military construction. Today, the republic is defended by up-to-date, small in numbers, mobile, and well-armed national army, which is capable to safely defend the country’s security, inviolability of its borders, peace and tranquility of the people.
This was emphasized at a solemn meeting on the occasion of the Day of Defenders of Homeland and the 24th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the Turkiston Palace. The congratulatory message of the President of Uzbekistan and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Islam Karimov to the defenders of the motherland on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Armed Forces was read by Defense Minister Kabul Berdiyev. The message put the spotlight on the major missions for the national army in view of the current situation in the world and the region.
Any, even the most advanced army is strong primarily by the level of professional of its soldiers, their spirit, will power and love for the Motherland. Having chosen the defense of the country and the people as their lifework, the officers make up an army backbone, its core. Therefore, Uzbekistan has always been focused on training of military staff, and constant improvement of the military education system.
Every year the higher military educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense graduate highly skilled officers in nearly thirty directions. Until 1993, there were only three higher military education institutions in Uzbekistan: in Tashkent, Samarkand and Chirchik. Given the need for officer staff of various specialties, all of them switched to a multi-disciplinary training system, and the learning process was completely adapted to the requirements of the National Staff Training Program.
Later on, new higher military educational institutions were founded: a special department was opened under the Tashkent University of Information Technologies in 1993, Djizak Higher Military Aviation School – in 1994, Academy of the Armed Forces – in 1995, and Military and Medical Department under the Tashkent Medical Academy was opened in 2012.
The faculty of the Academy of the Armed Forces was entrusted with an important mission of training and retraining of officers, senior officers, as well as coordination of military scientific and practical research in defense construction, and improvement of quality of military education in the country.
The educational process is built on the programs tailored to the priorities of reformation of the Armed Forces and modern trends of development of military art and educational standards. The learning process is based on highly innovative pedagogical technologies and interactive teaching methods, as well as international experience with the use of the Internet. Students get specific knowledge and skills on military specialty, develop the strategic thinking, learn making right decisions and implementing them in different situations.
In order to ensure the continuous increase of the level of education, the Academy established the higher courses for retraining and advanced training of officer staff of command chain, where they get profound knowledge of possible military threats, causes of modern wars and local conflicts, as well as excellence of military development in foreign countries. The courses also provide educational and methodological manuals.
With regard to training military professionals, it is important to mention sergeant training schools that have been functioning in military districts since 2000, offering modern methods of junior commander training. It is their merit that today’s non-commissioned officers make up the backbone of the national army, ensuring a high level of combat training of the military staff, and maintaining a healthy moral atmosphere and high military discipline in the units.
The further development and streamlining of operational and combat training of troops and authorities remains among the main objectives of defense construction. Modern military exercises are optimally close to combat conditions, allowing a critical analysis of the whole system of training of troops, assessment of the capabilities of each battalion and platoon, and the feasibility of a method of combat missions in terms of interchangeability of units and learning of related specialties by the personnel.
THE SCHOOL OF LIFE FOR THE YOUTH
Uzbekistan has accumulated a considerable experience in the organization of effective work with all categories of military personnel and pre-conscription youth in the course of formation of the national army. Military service implies a special meaning for the younger generation, it is regarded as prestigious. Its attractiveness is conditioned primarily by the fact that it has turned into a school of life for the young people, cultivating the courage, fortitude, a high sense of patriotism and selfless love for the Motherland.
Over the years of independence Uzbekistan has grown an entire generation of comrehensively trained young men, who are hardened army, and are ready to defend the Fatherland at any time.
The terms of military service have been radically changed: the period of service was reduced from 18 to 12 months in 2003. Today, the call-up for the compulsory military service is held once a year – in February and March. There is also a completely new kind of military service – the mobilization conscription reserve.
Today, young men are called for the military service by means of competitive selection jointly with the State Testing Center. Thus, Uzbekistan has ranked among the countries that form their armed forces by highly trained recruits with a high level of knowledge and good physical training.
“From the first days we have been cuntivating a sense of responsibility and patriotism in the recruits, helping them to adapt to army conditions,” says a sergeant Azat Usmanov, who passes a military service under contract in North-Western Military District. “There are all the conditions at our unit to become a real man. The benefits for the defenders of the motherland have significantly increased the interest of young people for the military service.”
For example, having passed a compulsory military service, each soldier receives a lump sum allowance, and those who distinguished themselves during the service and successfully passed a test receive the recommendations of commanders, which give them the right for incentives during enrollment in higher educational institutions of the republic as 27% of extra points of the maximal score.
Taking advantage of these opportunities, hundreds of young people have entered higher education institutions in the specialty they had chosen. Very importantly, today they show an example to their peers in education and social work.
“After completing my military service, I received a recommendation of the command,” says a student of the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Reclamation Shukhrat Shukurov. “The benefits have helped me to enter a college and become a student. Given the fact that I have passed a service in the Armed Forces and my active participation in the social life of the institute, the Public Youth Movement Kamolot pays 35% of my contract fees, which is a significant help. Today I’m eager to get in-depth knowledge and learn the profession I have chosen, and then continue working for the good of our country.
SOCIAL PROTECTION IN PRIORITY
Social protection of the military is seen an important aspect of ensuring a reliable defense of the state. It is a platform for integrated programs on providing the homeland defenders with housing, all sorts of medical services, increased allowance, as well as incentives for discharged militaries. The measures taken have greatly improved the financial, social and living conditions of the militaries and their families.
It is worth to mention thousands of families of sergeants and officers of the Armed Forces, who received the keys to new apartments with all amenities in the residential houses that have been built across the country over the last few years. For example, 48 military families have recently celebrated housewarming parties in a modern apartment house, which was built in one of the military towns of Namangan region. Provided with two- and three-room apartments and a children’s playground, the building has all conditions for a happy life.
The living conditions of the defenders of the homeland in the field of service significantly differ from those in the past. For example, the compulrosy service militaries are provided with well-furnished accommodation, spacious classrooms for learning, information and resource centers, sports facilities, recreation rooms, medical rooms, and much more.
Once devoted his life to the courageous profession, every citizen of Uzbekistan knows well that his family is guaranteed with wellbeing, and none of his problems is ignored. This is an obvious proof of high prestige of military service in the republic.
THE GREATEST WEALTH
This year, the Day of Defenders of Homeland has been marked under the slogan ‘You are my support and pillar, you are my pride, sacred Motherland’. State and public organizations, military units, cities, villages and communities have held numerous related meetings, spiritual and educational activities.
The Ministry of Defence of the Republic arrenged a video conference with the participation of compulsory service militaries in Bukhara and Jizzakh regions, and their parents.
In the course of communication, parents asked their sons about the life and conditions in the army. The defenders of the motherland proudly told about their service, about the opportunities of the physical and intellectual development.
“For us, the military, this video dialogue is a kind of report for our family and friends,” said a common soldier Juraboy Khusanov of Jizzakh region. “We are very glad to justify their confidence.”
During the video conference, Yunus Navruzov of Alat district, Bukhara region, a father of a common soldier Muslimbek Navruzov, shared their impressions:
“The present day youth can be envied: the young men are well aware of who and why they protect. I was delighted at my son saying that after the military service he wanted to enter a higher military education institution and continue working in the Armed Forces.”
The Karshi Youth Center has hosted a meeting of the military and the winners of Zulfiya State Award, which was entitled ‘A great honor of being a defender of the homeland’.
At the event, the winners presented their works to the audience.
“The government has created many benefits for compulsory service militaries, including privileges during their enrollment in higher education institutions,” noted a teacher of Karshi Engineering and Economy Institute, winner of Zulfiya State Award Khurshida Kholikova. “Many students of our institute have taken advantage of this privilege. Their quest for knowledge, dedication and discipline serve as a model for their peers.”
The Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan provided financial assistance to 270 families of the militaries who were killed in the line of duty, under the rally ‘Trade Unions for the Military’. Trade unionists visited those families, and expressed gratitude to the parents for raising brave and courageous sons of the Motherland.
A meeting in a military unit on the territory of Ferghana brought together the compulsory service militaries and their families, representatives of the public, artists.
The speakers reported on the results of large-scale reforms in the military field. They expressed gratitude to the parents for bringing up the sons who have devoted their lives to the defense of the Motherland and selflessly served in the Armed Forces.
“A peaceful life in the country is the greatest wealth of our people,” said the chair of the regional branch of the Union of Writers of Uzbekistan Enahon Siddikova. “This is a great tribute of our Armed Forces. It is natural that we honor the militaries and talk about the spiritual power of the national army on the eve of the Day of Defenders of Homeland.”
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
BBC published an article of Tim Johnson on his impressions on his visit to ancient Samarkand.
The article said Samarkand, the desert city that was the capital of Tamerlane’s global empire, is both imperial and exotic, full of palaces and mosques, madrasas and mausoleums, soaring minarets and massive domes, all of them appointed with ornate blue tiles and hundreds of years of history.
Shah-i-Zinda necropolis was built between the 11th and 19th Centuries. It houses the graves of Tamerlane’s relatives and, according to legend, the cousin of the prophet Mohammed.
The Bibi Khanum mosque, which Tamerlane built after his campaign in India at the close of the 14th Century, originally featured as many as 450 marble columns and was constructed with the help of almost 100 elephants.
Even though Tamerlane – or Timur as he’s usually known in Uzbekistan – established an empire that stretched from present day India to Turkey, and Russia to Saudi Arabia, the heart of his dominion was the Registan (or “sandy place” in Persian) in Samarkand. This square today it hosts major events, including music festivals.
Samarkand is a city of domes, some of which are more beautiful when viewed from the inside. Spread across its skyline, these domes are soaring testaments to Tamerlane’s architectural legacy, which helped the city become a Unesco World Heritage Site.
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