On 15 July, the Cabinet of Ministers in the course of the session discussed the results of socio-economic development of the Republic over the first half of the current year and worked out additional measures to ensure the unconditional implementation of the most important priorities of economic program for 2016, defined by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the session of the government of the Republic on 15 January 2016.
The session comprehensively reviewed and critically analysed the implementation of key forecast indicators of development of industries and territories, the effectiveness of implementation of policy measures on structural reforms, modernization and diversification of production, commissioning most important launch facilities of the industry, engineer-communication and social infrastructure, expanding the range and volume of export products, progressive reduction of the share of government in the economy, the further development of private property, attracting foreign investors to the charter capital of joint-stock companies, introduction of modern methods of corporate management, primarily in the newly established structures.
Due to the consistent and purposeful implementation of a carefully thought out strategy, recognized worldwide as the “Uzbek model” of development, despite deep systemic problems in the global economy, Uzbekistan preserves macroeconomic stability, high economic growth, a steady increase in the level and quality of life of the population. The performance and efficiency of the reforms implemented in the Republic are highly appreciated by international financial institutions and the global community in general. In particular, it was especially noted by the heads of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the fifteenth summit of which was successfully held on 23-24 June in Tashkent.
As underlined in presidential resolution on the preparations for and celebration of the 25th anniversary of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the national economy over the years grew by almost 6 times. Grain, energy and transport-communication independence has been achieved in the country. The share of industry in the economy has reached 34 percent, with the share of finished products in the export structure exceeding 70 percent. The volume of consumer goods per capita increased 7 times, real incomes – more than 12 times. Over 60 percent of the state budget is channeled towards social sector development.
Measures adopted to ensure reforms, structural transformation and modernization of the economy contributed to the growth of gross domestic product by 7.8 percent in the first half of this year. The volume of industry has risen some 6.7%. The volume of construction works has increased by 17.5%, services by 12.9%. The state budget was executed with surplus of 0.1 percent of GDP. The inflation rate has not exceeded the forecast parameters.
Measures towards further improvement of sustainability of financial-banking system provided for the growth of the total capital of banks by 23.3% and deposits by 27.7%, which in turn contributed to the increase in volumes of crediting of economy by 26.2%. At that, about 80% of all bank loans have been allocated as long-term loans for investment purposes.
Active implementation of policy measures for the modernization, diversification and optimization of agricultural production has been continued. It was decided to reduce the cotton crop areas, and to plant fruit and vegetables at the released areas. The volume of production of agriculture has increased by 6.8%.
Due to systematic measures, 462.5 thousand new jobs have been created since the beginning of the year, of which 276.7 thousand, or 59.8% in rural areas.
In the framework of the State program “Year of a healthy mother and child”, extensive measures have been under way to further strengthen the system of protection of family, motherhood and childhood, upbringing healthy and harmoniously developed generation. Over 4.4 trillion soums and $111 million have been channeled from all sources in this direction.
During the discussion, the heads of ministries, departments, economic associations, large enterprises and khokimiyats were entrusted with specific tasks on development and implementation of a package of additional measures for achieving of all parameters and forecasts for 2016, as well as the organization of preparatory work for the sustainable operation of the economy in the next year, primarily due to the timely and quality implementation of the adopted medium-term programmes of deepening structural reforms, modernization and diversification of industries, integrated development of territories.
The attention of the heads HC “Uzpahtasanoat” and JSC “Uzbekengilsanoat” was focused on the need to adopt a range of effective measures to further increase processing of cotton fiber and production of finished textile, sewing and knitting products, ensuring active involvement of foreign companies – leading manufacturers of finished products, including in the framework of the annual International Uzbek cotton and textile fair.
The participants of the session drew particular attention to the issues of accelerating the implementation of strategic investment projects and ensuring timely commissioning of most important launch facilities. Following the results of the measures adopted, the volume of utilized investments has risen by 11.8%, including foreign investments and credits – by 17.2%. 43 production facilities totaling $1.9 billion, 72 new investment projects worth over $3.4 billion were launched over the reporting period.
The recently launched electrified railway line Angren-PAP with the length of 123.1 km, with a unique tunnel at a length of 19.2 km, now connects the region of the Fergana valley with the rest of the territory of the Republic through the direct train connections. Another project for the electrification of the railway line Samarkand-Bukhara is nearing completion. Over 1250 km of fiber-optic broadband networks have been layed. The level of coverage of digital TV has risen to some 68%. Measures are being adopted to accelerate the completion of construction and commissioning of 13 thousand individual houses on standard projects in rural areas.
The attention of heads of ministries, agencies, economic associations, large enterprises, local executive authorities way drawn to their personal responsibility for ensuring the timely commissioning of high-tech production facilities producing modern types of finished products with high added value, competitive and popular in domestic and foreign markets, primarily on the basis of deep processing of local mineral, agricultural and other raw materials.
The heads of ministries, departments, economic associations, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of regions, districts and cities were given specific instructions to ensure timely implementation of projects under the programmes of infrastructure development, road transport and engineering communication construction, landscaping, as well as the tasks set by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov during a visit to the Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions on 30 June-1 July this year.
The session carefully analysed the impact of the measures taken to expand the range and volume of exported products, the development of new foreign markets for domestic goods, providing on this basis unconditional achievement of the forecast export targets for 2016, especially for fruits and vegetables.
As was noted, despite the instability and the unfavorable situation on world markets, the measures adopted for maximum involvement of the reserves for export growth, the continued active support of enterprises-exporters ensured the dynamic growth of exports and positive balance of foreign trade turnover. About 600 enterprises have been involved in export activities since the beginning of the year, commercial export of 208 new products was mastered.
During the discussion, the heads of business associations and regional administrations were entrusted with specific tasks to mobilize the available reserves of growth of export supply.
Particular attention was paid to the state and effectiveness of measures to radically reduce the state presence in the economy, accelerated development of private property due to the sale of assets and shares of state to foreign investors and the introduction of modern methods of corporate management in joint-stock companies. As was noted, the first half of this year saw the sale of 305 state assets with investment commitments amounting to 267.5 billion soums. Shares of 30 joint-stock companies were sold to foreign investors.
The heads of ministries, agencies, economic associations were instructed to intensify work on attraction of potential foreign investors in the authorized capital of joint stock companies in the amount of not less than 15 percent and to accelerate the implementation of investment projects in the framework of memoranda at the International investment forum in November 2015.
The results of harvesting campaign were critically analyzed during the session. The attention of the heads of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and khokimiyats of areas, industries serving agriculture was drawn to the necessity of concentrating forces and means on intensive care over cotton and providing a set of measures on preparation for the harvest.
The session also saw the discussion of additional measures for implementation of priorities defined by the head of the country, on organization of the activities of the newly established Tashkent State University of Uzbek language and literature named after Alisher Navoi, as well as further improvement of process of training at the National University, Tashkent State Pedagogical University named after Nizami and the Tashkent State Technical University.
The meeting also reviewed the state of implementation of the planned campaigns within the preparation and holding the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.