May 18, 2015
Congratulatory notes with sincere greetings and warm wishes to Islam Karimov on his election as President of the Republic of Uzbekistan during the vote that took place on 29 March 2015 are continuing to arrive from heads of state and government, international organizations as well as renowned public figures of foreign nations.
Greeting letters have come from:
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission of the European Union Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India
Benigno Aquino, President of the Republic of the Philippines
Vladimir Yakunin, President of the Russian Railways Open Stock Company
Ray Conner, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Boeing, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Civil Airplanes
Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, United Arab Emirates
Susumu Hosoi, President and Representative Director of Isuzu Motors Limited
Greeting letters continue to come from government officials and public figures.
(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
President approves measures to ensure the protection of private property and remove business barriers to their rapid development
On May 15 the President of Uzbekistan signed a decree “On measures to ensure reliable protection of private property, small business and private entrepreneurship, remove barriers to their rapid development.”
Adopted decree is aimed at creating more favorable economic and legal conditions and incentives to dramatically increase the role and place of private ownership in the economy, eliminate existing barriers and restrictions in the organization of business, for sequential growth of the share of private property in the gross domestic product, including with the participation of foreign capital.
The decree approved a comprehensive program of measures which implies the implementation of 33 concrete measures in four key areas during the current year to further ensure reliable protection of private property, small business and private entrepreneurship, elimination of barriers to their rapid development.
Particular attention in the program of measures is paid to creation of necessary conditions and opportunities for the accelerated development of private ownership and private entrepreneurship, further simplification of the procedure for their establishment and operation, providing greater freedom for business due to the liberalization of administrative and criminal law.
In particular, according to a new order, the criminal case is not initiated and the person is released from liability if he has committed a crime under Article 184 of the Criminal Code (evasion from payment of taxes or other mandatory payments), and fully compensates the damage caused to the state, pays fines and other financial penalties within 30 days after the discovery of the crime.
It is also planned to amend the Criminal Code, under which the penalty is not applied in the form of imprisonment, in case of full compensation of material damage for officials of economic entities provided for false bankruptcy and concealment of bankruptcy.
Offenses committed in the field of trade rules, trade and mediation are provided to be transferred from the criminal jurisdiction into administrative one with the exception of offenses on a large scale.
Measures were identified to mitigate the liability of officials engaged in administrative-distribution and administrative-economic powers in business organizations and other non-government organizations. Thus, separate articles providing softer penalties for illegal acquisition of material compensation (commercial bribery), abuse of authority and other offenses will be introduced to the Criminal Code. In the case of full compensation for material damage as a result of these offenses the penalty of imprisonment does not apply.
The program provides for measures to strengthen the role of the judiciary in protecting the interests of private entrepreneurs. Thus, withdrawal of property of business entities due to the violation of tax and customs legislation, penalty of additionally charged customs duties, for which there is an objection by the payer can only be implemented by the court decision. Economic courts have the right to suspend the execution of the appealed action (decision) of the supervisory authority, and the time taken to determine the adoption of the statement of claim to the production and preparation of the case for proceeding was reduced from 10 to 5 days.
The program sets a wide range of measures to facilitate all kinds of registration and licensing procedures, expanding the access to different types of public services. Thus, to obtain benefits and preferences provided for by law for businesses, it is not necessary to handle with different kinds of written statements.
Procedure was simplified for public procurement of basic goods (works, services) from business entities by means of electronic trading through a special information portal of the Uzbek Republican Commodity Exchange.
The state registration and registration of business entities will be carried out around the clock through an automated system of state registration and registration of businesses on the Internet, integrated into the single portal of interactive state services of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
To remove the bureaucratic barriers, ensure openness and transparency in the preparation of public services, eliminate direct contacts with applicants officials, who make decisions about their provision, on the basis of inspection of registration of business entities under khokimiyats of districts (cities) will provide Single Centers of delivery of public services to business entities on the principle of “one window” service to replace the existing “single window” in various departments to provide certain kinds of public services.
At the same time, it is planned to further simplify procedures related to the granting of land to businesses and the issuance of building permits through the introduction of a notification procedure for registration by territorial inspections of state architectural and construction supervision of construction projects and the issuance of permits for construction and installation works with the representation of needed documents by business entities, optimization of procedures and timing, and approval of materials for the selection and allotment of land.
Such goals as further streamlining the procedure for conducting inspections of business entities and increase responsibility, including criminal, of government officials, law enforcement and regulatory authorities for obstruction and illegal interference in entrepreneurial activity, violation of rights of private property owners are extremely important in the program of measures approved by the Decree.
In particular, since July 1, 2015 a uniform procedure and frequency of planned inspections are being established, in which all inspections of micro firms, small businesses and farms are carried out in a planned manner not more than once every four years, other economic entities – not more than once in three years period, only by the decision of the National Council for the coordination of activities of regulatory authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Along with it the period of scheduled inspections not related to financial and economic activity, is reduced from 30 to 10 calendar days.
Scheduled inspections of financial and economic activity of business entities shall cover the period only since the last planned inspection. Business entities are provided an opportunity to correct mistakes during inspections, thereby preventing the suspension of their activities and actual liquidation.
Much attention is paid to increasing the effectiveness of preventive work carried out by the controlling bodies aimed at improving the legal awareness of entrepreneurs and preventing crime before the appointment of comprehensive audits of their activities. The work of regulatory authorities will be assessed according to this criterion.
The introduction of these measures provides for the adoption of the new edition of the Law “On state control of activities of business entities.”
The decree entrusted the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with interested parties to develop and adopt concrete measures to strengthen the responsibility of government officials, law enforcement and regulatory authorities for obstruction and illegal interference in entrepreneurial activity.
Thus, measures of administrative responsibility are planned to be strengthened for violation of the order of inspections and audits of financial and economic activities of business entities, the violation of the order of providing public services, illegal suspension of activities of business entities and (or) operations on their bank accounts, unjustified reclamation of information on the availability of funds on accounts of business entities, compulsory involvement of businesses to charities and other activities related to the diversion of funds, and others.
It is envisaged to establish administrative responsibility for the demolition of buildings and other structures, facilities belonging to business entities in case of partial compensation for losses of such property at market value.
Officials of regulatory, law enforcement and other government agencies, who have repeatedly violated the legislation on the protection of freedom of entrepreneurship, will be applied criminal sanctions.
In addition, the implementation of the mechanism is provided for full compensation of damages, including lost profits caused to the business entity as a result of unlawful decisions of the state bodies, local authorities or actions (inactions) of their officials.
All of these amendments should be reflected in the administrative and criminal law. Thus, a separate chapter XVI1 is intended to be introduced into the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on administrative responsibility, which provides for administrative liability for obstructing and illegal interference in entrepreneurial activity and other offenses against the rights and lawful interests of economic entities. Appropriate additions will be made in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The implementation of the Decree of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan will create more favorable conditions for the accelerated development of small business and private entrepreneurship, improvement of the business environment, attraction of domestic and foreign investment in the economy of Uzbekistan, creation of new jobs, which will contribute to the overall welfare of the population.
In the coming years Uzbekistan intends to carry out a range of measures that would further enhance the financial stability and liquidity of commercial banks, and strengthen their resource capacity
The measures were developed by the Central Bank in cooperation with the Association of Banks and envisage the further streamlining of the regulatory requirements imposed on domestic banks in accordance with international norms and standards, including deposit and credit policies.
A particular emphasis is placed on building the resource capacity of commercial banks, intensification of channeling free funds of population and economic entities in bank turnover through new attractive types of deposits. In addition, financial institutions will streamline their corporate governance, including risk management and enhancement of internal control through better study of management practices at leading foreign banks and financial institutions.
The key point of the development strategy comes to expansion of the range and quality of banking services using advanced information and communication technologies, as well as the cashless payment system of bank cards.
It is scheduled that new standards and recommendations of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel-III), which provides for further streamlining of the regulatory requirements for commercial banks, including new requirements for capital adequacy and liquidity indicator, will be gradually implemented in the Uzbek banking system by 2019. Besides, it is planned to develop and approve by the end of May a mechanism of setting interest rates under the deposits of commercial banks with an eye to the recent sequential decline in inflation rate, the Central Bank refinancing rate, as well as the stability of other macroeconomic indicators.
New for domestic banks, the stress test mechanism of simulation of various scenarios will be implemented on a regular basis in the current context of global instability.
The short term priority includes further strengthening of the resource capacity of commercial banks through the expanded volume of debt securities, as well as long-term bonds, deposit certificates, intensification of subordinated debts.
Experts expect that the set of measures will enhance financial stability and reliability of the banking system, create favorable conditions for the strengthening and growth of banks’ resource capacity, stimulate their investment activity, as well as ensure access to a higher level of operation in accordance with generally accepted international norms and standards.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
The Senate of Uzbekistan’s Oliy Majlis Convenes for Second General Session The second plenary session of Uzbekistan’s Senate opened on May 15 in the city of Tashkent. It was attended by the invited members of the Cabinet of Ministers, heads of ministries and other government agencies, representatives of other organizations and mass media.
The meeting was led by the Chairman of the Senate of Oliy Majlis Nighmatilla Yuldoshev.
On the first day of the general session of the upper house of the parliament, senators deliberated on 10 issues, including 7 draft laws directed at furthering the socioeconomic and sociopolitical reforms, improving the investment climate, promoting private entrepreneurship, perfecting the judicial and normative sphere, providing for the protection of the health of the population and information security.
During the discussion of issues included in the agenda of the plenary meeting of the Oliy Majlis Senate, members of the upper house of the parliament noted in particular that the passed bills would facilitate the implementation of tasks outlined in the speech of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the first session of the Senate that took place on 22 January 2015 as well as his speeches delivered during the joint session of the Legislative Chamber and Senate of the Oliy Majlis on 23 January 2015 and during the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on 16 January earlier this year that was aimed at discussing the outcomes of the socio-economic development of the country in 2014 and the most critical priority dimensions of the economic program for 2015.
The senators started their work from the consideration of the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Mandatory Insurance of the Civil Responsibility of the Carrier that was introduced into the lower house of the parliament by the Cabinet of Ministers in order to realize the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Priority Directions in the Enhancement of Reforms and the Elevation of Sustainability of the Financial and Banking System of the Republic in 2011-2015, and Achievement of High International Rating Indicators.
It was stressed that the bill is dedicated to replace the law in force, on Mandatory Personal Insurance of Passengers of Air, Rail, Internal Water and Automobile Transport of General Use, and is directed at securing the guarantees of compensation of the damage inflicted on the life, health and/or the property of passengers during haulage by all types of transportation in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan by way of conducting compulsory insurance of civil liability of the carrier.
According to senators, adoption of this law would facilitate the development of infrastructure of the insurance market and transport, increase in the quality of services offered, protection of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, and creation of new jobs. Members of the upper house of the parliament passed the bill.
Then on, the senators discussed the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Securities Market in its new edition that had been introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan as a legislative initiative. It was underscored that the new provisions of the Law are directed at simplifying and uplifting the effectiveness of normative procedures associated with the emission of securities, including novel financial instruments. It established privileges and preferences during conclusion of deals with securities, envisages organizational and normative mechanisms of the extensive introduction of modern electronic technologies. With the consideration of practice of advanced countries of the world, the bill reviews and defines the requirements to the professional activities in the securities market, the rights and duties of participants of the securities market, as well as conditions and mechanisms of responsibility for the violation of legislation in this field.
As senators put it, the approval of this draft law would facilitate the improvement of the investment climate and business environment in the securities market, quality of services in the exchanges market, growth of the class of property owners and sources of income for the population, as well as the inflow of capital, including foreign investments, for funding investment projects. The law received the approval of senators.
Later on, members of the upper house deliberated on the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Electronic Commerce in its new edition that was introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers as part of the realization of tasks outlined at the Government meeting on January 17, 2014, which was aimed at discussing the outcomes of the socio-economic development of the country in 2013 and the most critical priority dimensions of the economic program for 2014.
During the discussions senators underlined that the law contains a range of important provisions directed at the creation of normative mechanisms of extensive introduction of modern information and communication technologies in electronic trade, at the further simplification of procedures of striking deals, at the securing of legal protection of the rights of participants of electronic commerce.
In the view of senators, the adoption of this law would allow providing for the creation of additional conditions for the development of entrepreneurship and improvement of the business environment, the further perfection of electronic commerce. The bill got approved by the members of the upper house.
The senators discussed and approved the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Introduction of Amendments and Addenda as Well as Recognition of Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan as Obsolete, the principal goal of which is to further improve the existing legislation in force in the sociopolitical, socioeconomic and judicial spheres.
During the consideration of the major provisions of the law, senators attached special significance to the addenda to the Law on Local Government that are introduced within the frameworks of the implementation of amendment to Article 103 of the Constitution that stipulates annual hearings of the Kengash (Council) of people’s deputies of the report by the hokim (governor) of the region, district and city on the most important and pressing issues in the socioeconomic development of the territorial unit.
It was noted that the proposed addenda define the normative mechanism of hearing the report of the hokim by the Kengash of people’s representatives at the meeting to discuss the outcomes of socioeconomic development of the territorial entity that is held after corresponding meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers and the regions. Discussion of the report of the region’s hokim and that of the city of Tashkent will be carried out with the account of the assessments and tasks defined at the session of the Cabinet of Ministers, while discussion of the report of the district and city hokim are to be carried out with the consideration of the assessments and tasks defined at the sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Kengashes of people’s representatives of regions.
The senators emphasized the importance of the norms that envisage the participation of representatives of both houses of the parliament and regional Kengashes of people’s deputies in the hearing of reports of regional, district and city hokims, the mechanism of making decisions of the Kengash of people’s representatives, which should contain a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness of the work of the hokim and the local executive branch bodies, recommendations and proposals on its further perfection, as well as measures to ensure oversight of the course of the decision realization.
In the opinion of senators, the addenda being introduced into the Law on Local Government would facilitate the further reinforcement of controlling functions of representative bodies of government, provision for the openness of the activities of local bodies of the executive branch, for a systemic framework during the consideration of important issues of regional development, exclusion of doubling when presenting the reports by hokims, organization of the effective discussion in local communities.
The senators also deliberated on a range of other important amendments and addenda into the existing legislation in force, including the Civil Processing Code, the laws on Prevention of Iodine-Deficit Diseases, on Radio-Frequency Spectrum, on Automobile Transport, which were worked out as part of the realization of the passed laws and resolutions of the President of the country designed to enhancing the perfection of the insurance market, introduction of electronic document processing in the judiciary, ensuring the healthcare of the population and information security.
Further on, the senators discussed and approved laws on the ratification of a number of international agreements dedicated to the further expansion of bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The members of the upper house also deliberated on the issue of electing U.Muhammadiev as the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (Ombudsman). A corresponding resolution got approved on this issue.
The first day of the general session of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan got into its end.
(Source: Press Service Senate of the Oliy Majlis Republic of Uzbekistan )
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