Address by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Oliy Majlis and the People of Uzbekistan
Tashkent, December 20, 2022
Assalomu alaykum, dear compatriots!
Distinguished deputies and senators!
Our beloved Uzbekistan is moving towards the new era of the national development. The profound changes are taking place in all areas of our life.
Thankfully, this year our population has exceeded more than 36 million. Approximately 900,000 new generation are joining to our ranks every year.
We have been doing consistent efforts to create all conditions for providing peaceful and prosperous life for every member of a big and friendly family – Uzbekistan.
It would not be wrong, if I say that ending of 2022 was very difficult and challenging year.
The experience we have gained during this period has vividly proved the following truth: the progress can be achieved only by hard and courageous work.
In this regard, it is expedient to mention the heroic efforts of our people despite the pandemic, deep economic and political crisis, confrontations around the globe.
Due to the large-scale and efficient reforms the GDP has increased for more than USD 80 billion for the first time.
This year alone, we have attracted USD 8 billion direct investment to our economy, while the export reached USD 19 billion. There have never been such big results.
For the first time in our history we have increased the amount of pensions and social benefits to a level not less than minimum consumption expenditure. For instance, 500,000 low-income families received social support in 2017, and today this number reached to more than 2 million families. The amount of allocated resources has increased to 7 times, and reached 11 trillion soums per year.
We will consistently continue the policy of increasing the income, the amount of salaries, pensions and social benefits.
These numbers are easy to say. There is a selfless work behind each of them. Hence, the most significant issue under our consideration is the human dignity and honor.
In this regard, over the past six years, throughout the country we built around 300,000 houses or 10 times more compared to previous years.
During this period, we have created additional 500,000 school places, reaching the total number to 5.3 million. At present, we are undertaking efforts to create additional 1.2 million school places.
In order to protect the health of our people we are transforming all medical services to the district and makhalla’s level.
We are creating the necessary conditions to provide jobs for our people, to open up the new opportunities for their businesses, and turning them into the real owners with stable income.
It is certainly joyful that this year 381 of our athletes won prizes in the World and Asian competitions, as well as 43 of our talented and knowledgeable young people at prestigious international science Olympiads and competitions.
The prayers and supplications of our esteemed fathers and mothers at families and during the Hajj and Umrah visits provide us with more strength and energy.
Today, Uzbekistan is becoming one of the centers for world politics and has been widely recognized by the world community.
Our country hosted the summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Organization of Turkic States, as well as tens of high-level international conferences, where the major initiatives were put forward. This all has a vivid demonstration of increasing the international prestige of Uzbekistan.
I would like to extend my gratitude to each of our compatriots, who makes a tangible contribution to the development of our country through their selfless work.
I wish new victories to our brave young people, who are raising our flag higher on podiums of sciences, culture and sports. They are our proud and glory.
My best wishes to the guardians of our Motherland, who have been protecting the inviolability of borders and peaceful life in our country.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to our mothers and fathers, distinguished women, entrepreneurs and farmers.
I sincerely appreciate the participants of today’s meeting, our foreign partners and the representatives of diplomatic corps, who are supporting our reforms.
Undoubtedly, all of our achievements over the past period are only the initial outcomes on the path of creating New Uzbekistan, in the country, where the honor and dignity prevails.
We will continue our noble deeds together with our creative people, and will certainly achieve the great goals.
Dear compatriots and distinguished guests!
We are well aware that the humanity has been experiencing very tough times now. The rapid climate changes on the planet, the depletion of water and other natural resources is becoming a pressing issue. The deficiency of mutual trust in international relations, the rise of confrontations and conflicts pose a serious threat to the stability and development.
Unfortunately, such dangers do not escape us.
The alarming situation took place this summer in Karakalpakstan has left pain in the hearts of all our compatriots. Thanks to the wisdom of our multi-ethnic nation, the situation has quickly stabilized.
The motto “The achievements of Karakalpakstan are the achievements of the whole Uzbekistan, the concerns of Karakalpakstan are the concerns of the whole Uzbekistan” remains for us as the program of practical actions.
Our noble goal is to create together a comprehensively developed, prosperous and flourishing New Karakalpakstan in the New Uzbekistan.
No force can affect our friendship, the nation who lived side by side for the centuries. We have a common past, present and the future.
We can ensure the stability and territorial integrity of our beloved Homeland.
By maintaining peaceful and stable life in the country, strengthening the independence, we will consistently continue our path of sustainable development.
I would like to emphasize the vital truth: the world today is rapidly changing. The more the demand of the population grows, the more does the well-being.
In order to bring the country’s development to a new level, it is necessary to change the system of governance, the legislation and the society. If we do not change, if do not draw attention to the vivid problems, we will definitely be behind of life and the progress. Our people, our youth shall not forgive this.
The principle “First and foremost – the human being, then – the society and state” should deeply be reflected in the Constitution and laws, in our daily life. We need to further strengthen the national statehood, thanks to this solid foundation we are able to effectively overcome today’s serious trials and future, yet unknown challenges and threats.
In this regard, the work continues to improve the Basic Law. Our people are anticipating big changes from the constitutional reforms. A clear confirmation of this is more than 220 thousand proposals received until today.
The discussions and debates intensely continue. All of us that our deputies and political parties show responsibility and activity in this process, drawing a particular attention to each of proposals. I am thankful for this.
We undertake the decisions, relying on the principle “The society is the initiator of the reform” and consulting with our people in all spheres.
As a whole, we need to develop modern Constitution, imbued with the idea and essence of respect to human honor and dignity, as the highest value, such Basic Law that is consistent with the objectives of New Uzbekistan and serves future generation.
All proposals and suggestions, expressed by our citizens, shall certainly be taken into consideration and the draft Constitution taken into a nationwide referendum.
The utmost thing, every our compatriot should feel himself as an involved participant of the ongoing reforms, in order to have the right to proudly say: “This is my Constitution”.
In order to identify the concrete plans for the forthcoming year, we have deeply studied the opinions of our citizens in all areas and considered about 20,000 proposals.
The compatriots raised the vital issues concerning the education, healthcare, economy as well as offered systematic solutions.
Our people expect from us to build new schools, kindergartens and hospitals, to raise the quality of education and medicine, to address the problems related to the water and energy supply, roads and transportation, to increase the number of workplaces, to create the new opportunities for entrepreneurship, and to ensure justice, to eradicate bureaucracy and corruption.
The raised issues are clear and relevant. No matter how difficult they are, we will definitely solve them. No one will solve our problems. The main task should be the creation of all conditions in order to use the initiative as efficiently as possible, energy and potential of our people.
The more opportunities we create for our people, the benefits will return to our society tenfold, a hundredfold.
Therefore, I propose to declare the upcoming 2023 in our country “the Year of Human Care and Quality Education”.
Why did we give such name to the new year?
As it is well-known, the priority task of state policy, pursued in Uzbekistan is caring for a human and ensuring his interests. It is evident to all of us that this policy will not be limited to one year, it will continue for years.
Indeed, the most precious wealth is our creative people, blessing parents, young generation of our country.
We will always, as now, strive to create all decent conditions for the life of every person in our country to be peaceful and happy, to have sound health and to gain quality education, ensuring the well-being of his family.
Improving the quality education is the only right way to the development of the New Uzbekistan.
As our great poet and thinker Yusuf Khos Khojib said: “Where there is a wit, there is a greatness, He, who has a knowledge, shall become a great”.
In order to achieve these goals, we need to continue the embarked reforms in this sphere, attend the educational institutions, meet with teachers, address together the issues on raising the quality of education and upbringing put forward by them.
We include all the questions, raised by our people, to the State program next year, indicating specific ways to their solutions. I kindly ask you to be active in this process, put forward the new initiatives, deputies and senators, representatives of makhallas, the intelligentsia, youth and entrepreneurs and a broad society.
Dear members of parliament and senators!
Now, I would like to highlight the priorities of 2023.
The first direction. I suggest adjusting to the compact and efficient system of state management.
Why am I focusing the attention to this precise issue?
Over the past 6 years, we had to establish the new ministries and agencies to “evolve” sectors, that were hindered, and on the edge of extinction. We were obliged to do this, otherwise, we would not have achieved the current outcomes.
We have achieved the tangible results in the sphere of pre-school education, housing and communal services, makhallas, investment, state services, public private partnership. The development of private sectors and entrepreneurship has become the irreversible process. The population is pursuing to gain modern technologies and professions. The new directions and sectors are emerging in the country’s economy on a daily basis.
In order to expand opportunities and new perspectives for private initiatives, it is the high time to shift from the so-called “manual control” to systematic administration, aimed at concrete results.
However, at present there is a lot of duplication in the state apparatus, the staff is highly centralized.
As a result, today too much time, effort and resources are spent on finding solutions to complex situations.
The ministers, to say subtly, do not have “their voices” in adoption the government decisions. It means that their participation and responsibility in working out and implementing these decisions are not enough. From now on, the ministers are not allowed to operate in old ways.
If a minister does not have a clear strategic approach in the sphere and his activity does not tackle the problems of people, can you tell me, what is the benefit in having him in the post?
Due to these factors, today I have signed the Decree on new administrative reform. We have been preparing for it for a long time.
At the first stage, the ministries’ structure shall be reformed, as well as the working style of government shall be cardinally changed. Firstly, the number of the ministries and agencies shall be reduced from 61 to 28.
Now each ministry will be responsible for the delivery of the State policy in the relevant sphere, and lead the committees, agencies and inspections in its field.
Many ministers shall be replaced. Only the selfless ministers with an in-depth knowledge who gained the support of the people will hold their positions. I believe this approach is going to be fair.
The number of senior officials will be gradually reduced by 30-35%. The saved money will be allocated to address the social problems.
In this regard, the political status of each minister, as well as his accountability before the President, Parliament and the public will be enhanced.
Accordingly, the responsibility will be increased. The ministers will be provided by power and means for tackling the problems of population.
The priorities in the activity of the ministries will be the transparency, legality, efficiency and quality.
We have been talking about corruption a lot, but why the ministers are not responsible on the committed facts of the corruption in his system? Now the demand will be different. The Minister, first of all, shall be responsible for the effective and targeted use of funds allocated to the area under his authority.
The wise sayings of the scientist and thinker Imam Moturidi: “Live always taking care about the people to gain their trust” should be in-depth in the conscience, heart and daily activity of each minister, each leader. The government officials must gain the trust and respect of the people by an honest work, modesty, sincerity and selflessness.
In the near future, the political responsibility of a minister will be increased, and the draft of the Government decisions, the socio-economic issues related with the country’s life will be addressed collectively with their participation.
The practice of holding a Government Day each month on the ground will be implemented to solve the problems of each region.
At the beginning of each year, the minister will present the Development Plan of the field to the public and at the end of the year he will provide the report on the work delivered.
I would like to emphasize that the ministers, who could not accomplish their duties will be resigned.
In this context, I would like to share another point with the Parliament members.
In recent years, we have ceded many powers to the Oliy Majlis, and we are thinking about their further expansion. The members of parliament take part in appointing a new minister and approving the candidate’s program after its review. Then, unfortunately, they only criticize his activities.
As it is well-known, both chambers have specific committees. In reality, they should define for the minister a direction or the region with a slow process, and shortcuts that need to be worked comprehensively on the ground, study the opinion of the population and tackle the challenges together.
In this regard, it will be expedient to set a collective responsibility of the special committees and members of the parliament for the effective organization of the minister’s activities.
Indeed, the criticism is also needed. However, we should effectively use the power and bulk of opportunities provided to the members of parliament. I had also served as a member of the parliament for many years, at that time we rarely saw ministers who reported in the Parliament. The situation has completely changed now! Therefore, it is vital for all of us to work together for the nation’s prosperity, feeling engaged in the country’s future.
In general, the improvement of working methods and enhancement of effectiveness of our Parliament’s activity should also be reflected in our Constitution.
At the second stage of the administrative reform, the regional government system will be transformed from the beginning of the next year.
All the new initiatives within the administrative reform must be enshrined in the Constitution, and I believe you will support this idea.
This year we have adopted a new Law “On Public Civil Service”. From now on, the recruitment for a public service will be carried out on the competitive basis. The activity of all senior officials will be assessed on the most important indices of efficiency.
We shall train 500 specialists at the best foreign universities and centers.
For the next two years, the competent and experienced personal, having served in high positions in the republic agencies, will be assigned in the khokimiyats (the governor’s and mayor’s offices) of each region and the city.
From the next year, each khokim (governor) must attract the private investment worth USD 40-50 million to his region.
The ministers must not only spend the state funds, but they also must attract investments by their personal initiatives.
For instance, it is possible to attract up to USD 1 billion per year to the agriculture, water management, forestry and transport spheres through the public-private partnerships.
I would like to give another important proposal within the administrative reform.
By today, there are seven cities in Central Asia with over a one million people. The other large cities are becoming the “growth points” as well as the capitals of the region. Among them there are the cities of Samarkand and Namangan with the population 1 million people. Both cities are carrying out the large-scale construction and creative works.
Samarkand is becoming a world-acclaimed megapolis and the international tourism and business center.
Namangan is also becoming the regional center of industry, entrepreneurship, education and culture.
Thus, I propose to grant the status of the republic subordination to the cities of Samarkand and Namangan as the administrative territorial units.
It will become a new practical step in our policy of increasing a number of ‘centers of attraction’ along with our capital of Tashkent; this will increase per capita income and the number of jobs; more attention will be paid to the development of both regions, and it would be fair.
Now, the governors of these regions are required to work not only with big cities, but also with districts to improve their conditions.
The development programs of these two cities will be approved by Cabinet of Ministers, and the Prime-Minister will be responsible for their implementation.
The second direction. We have set a goal to build a New Uzbekistan based on the principle of “a welfare state”. And we must cement it in the Constitution.
A welfare state means, first of all, creating equal opportunities for the people for the realization of their potential and the necessary conditions for their decent life and reduction of poverty.
Therefore, we are going to focus primarily on supporting education, which is the most important investment in the New Uzbekistan.
“Our salvation is in education, the salvation is in upbringing and the salvation is in knowledge. Since, all good intentions are achieved thanks to knowledge and upbringing”.
These words of our ancestors-enlighteners – the jadeeds should become a practical guide for the lawmakers and senators, political parties, local councils, all government bodies and society. Therefore, one of our main tasks in 2023 shall be improvement of quality of school education and prestige of a profession of a teacher in society, enhancement of teachers working and life conditions.
I think it is a high time to enshrine in the Constitution the status of a teacher, guarantees of protection of his honor and dignity.
From the next year teaching in elementary grades will be conducted according to textbooks, which are developed by completely new methodology.
Currently, they have passed the international expertise and are being tested in our country. However, what about a high school? It must be recognized that the quality of education and upbringing, knowledge and skills of the most teachers do not meet the required level.
From the school years, our children should be able to master their native and foreign languages, to work on a computer. We need to stimulate the interest of children in professions, culture and art.
The students should develop a free-form creative thinking, skills of collective work and communication.
This is exactly the kind of atmosphere we need at a school.
In this context, the “A-Level” educational program, approved in 130 countries, is introduced at the Presidential schools and its producing good results.
In this process, each student studies in depth specific subjects depending on his own talent, expands opportunities of the admission to the best universities in the world.
Therefore, from the 2023 we will start deep reforms of school education on the basis of the international educational programs.
We shall establish the certain laboratories and research institute for the systematic organization of work, preparation of new textbooks, introduction of advanced educational standards and methodologies. We will pay even more attention to our native language, which is the symbol of national identity and the basis of our spirituality.
The current policy of openness of the country, the rise of foreign investment inflow and increasing numbers of enterprises are strengthening the desire of youth to master modern knowledge and foreign languages. This dictates the need to attract the experienced and highly qualified foreign teachers to schools.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to appeal to all teachers of our country: imagine what our society will be like, if our dear children thoroughly study one or two foreign languages at school, master professions and computer skills.
In the New Uzbekistan, the responsibilities of schools and teachers are important especially in these aspects. In addition, I believe our dedicated teachers will fulfill this task with honor.
The 70 new schools will be constructed and 460 will be upgraded for in the upcoming year. With the involvement of private sector, construction of 100 new schools will start, and their number will increase to 1,000 in five years.
From the beginning of this year, 285 thousand primary school children started receiving free meals in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm. We have gained enough experience in this matter. Therefore, from the next school year this practice will be introduced in other regions and city of Tashkent, for which 2,3 trillion soums will be invested.
The Minister of Public Education shall be responsible and accountable for organizing these processes on the basis of transparent system and provide our children with healthy and good quality meal.
One of the pivotal branches of education is to create all necessary conditions for the youth to acquire a modern profession.
All of us have to think about the 50% of school graduates, who are entering labor market without having any profession. Thus, there is a need to utilize our more than 700 colleges, vocational and technical schools efficiently.
Starting with 2023, we are aiming at realizing a new program on this matter. Every region will launch the European standards of professional education at one technical school. All colleges and technical schools will be covered with this system in the next five years.
Moreover, there will be more support for the talented youth.
The certain Engineering schools are to be established in cooperation with international organizations in chemical industry, electronics, transport and energy. We have not had this system before. To be concrete, we shall create a system of preparing modern engineers.
In the last 6 years, the coverage of pre-school education of the children went up from 27% to 70%, reaching 2 million children. Our achievements in this sphere have been highly acknowledged at the UNESCO Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education, recently held in Tashkent.
Along with this, to take these numbers to 80% we need 600,000 new pre-school places in the next 5 years. This is a very big milestone. Therefore, we are working on adopting a five-year program, which would increase the number of kindergartens and fundamentally improve the quality of their education and upbringing. The private sectors will be provided with additional incentives to increase the capacity for pre-school education.
In the past years, the number of universities reached to 198, which increased to 2,5 times, and the coverage rocketed from 9% to 38%.
We aim to increase these numbers even more. However, there is a question on quality of education, which we have to think about.
In the first place, every university should make efforts to reach a much-wanted result.
The 41 higher education institutions got academic and financial independence and opened their transformation offices. All staff of universities, including rectors, professors and teachers should be active and apply new and modern methods in this process.
In the coming year, the amount of preferential educational loans for the university students will be doubled with allocation of 1,7 trillion soum. This year 1,5 trillion soums have been directed to science and innovation. This means 6 times more in comparison with 2017.
The wages of scientists have been raised to 4,5 times, as well.
As a result of all of these mentioned, the 18 new scientific branches, such as nano and biotechnologies, digital geology were introduced.
The 1,8 trillion soums will be allocated to science and innovation in next year.
Now, our scientists should reach concrete results in the topical issues such as water and energy saving, soil fertility, geology, industry and construction.
Dear fellow citizens!
We are going to further expand the access of our people to the possibilities of using qualified medical services.
Initially, the level of guaranteed free medical care will be established by law.
We are planning to accelerate the process of introducing the state health insurance system so that the allocated funds will reach out to every patient. This system will be launched in Tashkent next year and further step by step in other regions.
In this context, I would like to highlight one challenging issue: today seven million of citizens are suffering from chronic diseases.
Over the past six years we have been urging people to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, the Ministry of Health is failing to address this issue.
The authorities are not working effectively on delivering recommendations for a healthy diet, as well as on promoting physical exercises for people of different age group. In fact, all above mentioned points are the basis of human health and the medicine.
In this regard, we are going to launch the National movement of “A proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle” from a makhalla. All our compatriots, both young and old should be involved in this movement.
We will continue our efforts to bring medical services closer to the population. In the next two years, every family clinic and health center will be equipped with needed instruments and medical tools, the express laboratories will be fully renewed.
Next year, we are going to establish additional 140 family clinics and health centers, as well as compact health centers in 520 remote mahallas.
Furthermore, a three-year program on protecting the health of mothers and children will be implemented. Every maternity complex will be renovated and equipped. The capacity will be increased by 35 percent.
Moreover, near 15 thousand oncological patients need a radiation treatment. In this respect, in the next year, we are planning to implement the projects on establishing the Radiology Centers in Samarkand, Ferghana and Khorezm on the basis of public-private partnership.
Dear participants of the joint meeting!
It is a common knowledge that a makhalla is the basis and the reflection of our reforms.
All processes in our society resemble and find its solution at a makhalla.
A makhalla is the foundation of peace and tranquility, a fortress of harmony and solidarity, enlightenment and education. Therefore, from now on the public investment programs will be relegated to a makhalla level.
Firstly, in 2023, we are planning to invest nearly 3 times more funds, namely 8 trillion soums for projects in the areas of water supply, electricity, roads and schools, which are proposed by citizens.
Every makhalla have to possess its own library and sports grounds.
At makhallas, the system of “Makhalla budget” will be organized to independently solve the emerging problems. For this purpose, beginning from January 1, a part of the property and land tax will be directed to a makhalla budget.
Additionally, we think that our Constitution should be amended with new articles on decent life of people and providing them with housing.
We will increase the capacity of house building to 1,5 times, reaching 90 thousand for the population.
In this regard, the mortgages, which started two years ago, will continue to be issued on preferential terms.
Next year we will launch the new mortgage program “My first house” in the Tashkent region. As a part of program, first of all, the new residential buildings will be constructed for the young families and people, who mostly need a housing.
Moreover, the situation in the public transport will be totally changed. Additional 1,000 buses will be purchased for the needs of Tashkent. The 7 open air subway stations will be established. Thanks to these changes, the additional convenience will be created for 500,000 residents and guests of the capital city.
In order to improve the quality of public transport in the regions, 1,000 new bus routes will be launched. As a result, the long destinations of 1 million people in 300 communities will become closer that are mostly suffering from the poor conditions in the public transport.
The third direction – protection of human rights and freedoms must be identified as the constitutional duty of the Government.
Over the last years we have accomplished a profound work to establish justice in the judicial system and the activities of law enforcement bodies. At the same time, we have faced many issues to tackle in securing justice. Unfortunately, we have several challenges related to: poor quality of investigation, hassles of the people in the courts, non-delivery of judicial decrees.
First of all, these issues should worry the Chairman of the Supreme Court and Prosecutor General.
Why we have still not achieved to set up “E-system to choose an attorney” who will be provided at the state expenses? Who stays against it?
Taking this issue under control, we have to carry out the full-fledged launch of this system very soon.
Therefore, in the short period of time, we will create the brand-new system teaching the law enforcement bodies.
The new Decree will be issued in due course.
Above all, situations generating hassles for the people between the courts will be eliminated. For these purposes, the powers and obligations of the Regional courts in issuing impartial judgment and decree will be intensified.
We will transfer the prosecutor’s authority to the courts to hear private call, conduct a search and seize the property. Furthermore, an investigator cannot seize any private property by relating it to the crime. Indeed, do we take so many efforts to enforce private estate privacy in vain?
From now, any decisions on restricting private estate rights will be taken only by the Courts.
We will take the systemic measures in order to improve the quality of investigation process. The investigation shall be conducted not for blaming a person, but for identifying truth by disclosing the crime.
In addition, the special unit of prosecutors attending the court proceedings will be created. They will be taught in a special manner with an aim to make them independent and impartial while considering the case in the courts.
Having reviewed attorney’s scope of capacities, his missing authorities will be extended.
Why is the attorney still not provided with the copies of rulings related to initiating or terminating the criminal cases? In this regard how we can talk about the equality in the courts without hesitating?
From now on, the criminal case in the courts will be accepted not only with an indictment, but also given attorney’s opinion.
The new system will be created where any case related to the defendant’s withdrawal of his trust from his attorney will be thoroughly reviewed by the prosecutor and the judicial body.
Over the last period, very painful issues in violation of human rights in several detention points are being raised.
There is no place for such awful situations in our Motherland. If anybody does not observe it, they will be punished according to the law.
For this reason, the online system to register the persons brought to the detention points and the equipment for the face control will be installed.
Nobody shall have a right to forget the requirements of law and that the human rights are our highest value!
A Prosecutor General and Minister of Internal Affairs should notify each personnel about this truth and establish a serious control on that.
Based on leading international experience, we will bring activities of Administrative courts to the entirely new level.
In case of complaining against the governor’s decree to the Administrative courts, the new system to review such cases on the exterritorial basis, in particular by the courts in other administrative regions will be created.
Both ministers and governors should clearly comprehend the following one important truth. Neither governor, nor minister, but only a Constitution, law and court shall be a main protector of property and investments in Uzbekistan.
In this regard, the practical measures will be taken towards setting up the International Commercial Court in Uzbekistan.
All these initiatives must be enshrined in the Constitution.
With this in mind, I would like to underline the corruption as the topical issue for us.
In the last two years nearly 5,0000 officials have been punished charged in the criminal cases related to corruption. Frankly speaking, it is just about fighting against consequences, not causes of the crime.
Calling on and analyzing particular areas, should lawmakers, senators and local councils play an active role in eliminating the corruption?
If each member of parliament visits the ongoing constructions and roads being built at the expenses of government budget in their constituency and requires from contractors the quality of the project, do you know how the situation will be changed positively? To convert it into reality you have the necessary authority and enthusiasm.
The special laws in fighting against corruption will be adopted and legal backgrounds will be created accordingly.
We have to intensify further practical measures. The artificial monopolies, black schemes and any gaps leading to the corruption will be eliminated.
The fourth direction is related to ecology, especially while water issues are worsening as the global challenge.
We have to think about not only today’s life, but also our future generations. Therefore, we have to intensify the requirements towards protecting natural resources, including water basins and underground waters in our Constitution.
As you know, over the last 3 years our country has suffered from harsh droughts. Due to that, especially regions in the lower basins of the Amudarya river have been mostly affected.
In our view it is crucially important to have practical dialogues on building new channel in the Amudarya river based on international standards jointly with the interim government of Afghanistan and world community, taking into account interests of the all states in the region. We hope this approach will be supported by our neighboring countries, as well.
In general, in the last 15 years the rainy seasons has been diminished down to 25%. The growth of the extremely hot days in numbers testimonies about unforeseen challenges in front of us. For the time being there is huge loss of water while bringing it to the planting fields. With this in mind, the reforms on water management system will be undertaken.
The transparent water calculation system will be created and in the next 3 years about 13,000 water management facilities will be digitized. Along with this, 16 huge pumping stations will be modernized based on public-private partnership and converted into renewable energy facilities.
In addition to that, some parts of revenues coming from tax water will be allocated to the development of water management services and cementing minor and huge waterways and canals.
Nowadays, the serious ecological issues emerge in Uzbekistan likewise in other parts of the world.
In most of our regions a part of the soil is being eroded. Diminishing of abundant lands, desertion, water shortage, drought, access of the population to the clean potable water should be included to the list.
Taking care about our nature, keeping water, air and environment clean should become culture and practical movement of each community in the upcoming year. To make positive changes in the current situation, we have to intensify our efforts to protect ecology and environment, in particular as part of nationwide project “Green Space”.
Esteemed representatives of people!
We will keep up our irreversible reforms in agriculture.
Having carried out huge work in the land policy, this year we have allocated 100,000 hectares planting fields for farming among the population. Thanks to that, additionally, 1,5-million-ton food resources have been generated.
Most importantly, nearly 400,000 new agriculture farms have been created. 1,2 million citizens having been employed are taking revenues.
If we have not carried out these reforms, would markets and shops be in abundance as nowadays? Would export have reached to this level? Would a per capita income increase?
For this reason, in 2023, additionally, we will allocate 100,000 well-watered lands among the population. As a result, nearly 350 thousand agriculture farms will be created.
If we can convert 750,000 new agriculture farms into entrepreneur, landlord, many social issues in the rural areas, first of all, unemployment and poverty will be resolved. I believe in that.
Being responsible for the effective delivery of this work, governors of the regions and mayors of districts must report to the public on a regular basis.
For these purposes, we will actively support cooperation and develop minor and big storage, sorting and processing facilities.
In general, in 2023 1 billion dollars will be allocated to the projects on creating the highly value-added supply chains in agriculture.
The fifth direction. Implementing free economic market mechanisms, fair competition and private property privacy, supporting entrepreneurship should be enshrined in the Constitution.
At present, all of you are well-aware of the challenging processes taking place in the world.
In the world, the difficult geopolitical situations, the shortage of energy resources are increasing, the demand for food is growing and financial resources are becoming more expensive.
In such a situation, despite the difficulties, we will continue the economic reforms. We will further support the private sector by entirely directing the internal opportunities. For this purpose, at first, we will accelerate the reform to improve the entrepreneurship environment.
First, the new approaches will be applied for decreasing the economic inequality between the regions, developing districts and cities on the same level.
We have analyzed it deeply. From the next year, the districts and cities will be divided into 5 categories by taking into account their current condition, potential and opportunities. Including, for entrepreneurship, 26 comprehensively developed districts will belong to the 1st category, 46 districts with a good infrastructure – to the 2nd category, 76 districts with relatively satisfactory conditions – to the 3rd category, 40 districts with an insufficient attractiveness - to the 4th category, 20 districts with a difficult condition - to the 5th category.
We will define the economic development of districts according to these categories. The subsidies, credits and compensations for entrepreneurs will be allocated according to the categories. The tax rate for them will be different.
For instance, for the 20 districts belonging to the fifth category with the most difficult condition, we will define rates of turnover taxes, income taxes, social taxes as 1%, the entrepreneurs in these districts will pay only 1% of the counted soums of the land and property taxes, the individual entrepreneurs will be exempted from paying the flat rate taxes.
Similarly, in other categories of districts, several concessions will be given such as applying low rates to credits, covering of infrastructure expenses by a state.
We will continue the tasks on decreasing the tax burden on business without reducing our responsibility for budget expenses, population and entrepreneurs. From January 1, 14 trillion soums will be at the disposal of entrepreneurs by decreasing the value-added tax rate from 15% to 12%. Yet, the decreasing of tax itself is not enough for the improvement of business environment.
According to a questionnaire, 70% of entrepreneurs have mentioned existing administrative pressure in the offices related to tax, customs, administrations, electricity, cadastre, fire safety, sanitary control matters. Therefore, in 2023 the activities of the controlling and authorizing agencies will be critically reviewed once again.
At first, the tax and customs administrations will be seriously reformed on the basis of an advanced practice.
The evaluation system of service facility to entrepreneurs in all state agencies will be introduced. Next year we will tackle this issue seriously.
I would like to underscore: we will intensify our reforms on mitigation of liability in the field of entrepreneurship.
It is an open secret that our people, entrepreneurs and investors are waiting for the concrete solutions from us in the field of energy, which is a pressing issue.
Speaking frankly, the problems in the field of energy are not new today.
It is also true that investments have not been directed to new gas mining sites, electricity and gas systems have not been modernized for a long time. As a consequence, a lack of clear accounting in the system, the large losses became common.
Moreover, for the last six years, the population has increased by 13%; the industrial companies have doubled from 45,000 into 100,000. As a result, the demand for electricity has increased at least by 35% and is growing year by year.
For the sustainable development of our economy, USD 25-30 billion-dollars investments are needed. It can be achieved only by attracting the private investments.
Therefore, 8-billion-dollar direct investments have been attracted to the field in the last three years. For instance, last week a bid was finalized for the construction of 3 solar power plants with 500 megawatts capacity in Bukhara, Namangan and Khorezm. The new laws adopted by the members of parliament and senators served as a legal basis for this.
Since the beginning of this year we have put 7 power plants with 1,5 thousand megawatts capacity into operation.
Next year we will also finalize 11 major projects with 4,5 thousand megawatts capacity. Additional 14 billion-kilowatt electricity will be generated from the solar and wind power plants, which will be constructed in Bukhara, Jizzakh, Kashkadarya, Navoi, Samarkand, Fergana and Tashkent regions. In doing so, the electricity for households will be increased by 50%.
Speaking openly that many economists are proposing transition to the free market rules in energy sector.
This is a right way. I also want it. Yet, taking into account the income per capita, social security of our people, we should carry out reforms in this field step by step and without a rush.
The most important issue – the efficient use of energy resources.
Unfortunately, our energy consumption is twice as high as in other countries. Therefore, we will adopt the National Energy Efficiency Program. If the members of parliament and senators control this issue, there will be a positive result definitely.
It is necessary to teach our people to value energy and save it at home, work, at kindergartens, schools and streets. It is vital to envisage it in our laws.
Furthermore, usage of small-scale renewable energy resources will be increased rapidly. For instance, if the Almalyk, Bekabad plants and other big enterprises in Tashkent Region construct solar power plants with 1 thousand megawatts capacity, 2,5 billion kilowatts electricity will be generated annually. In doing so, nearly 30% demand of electricity consumption will be ensured and 500 million cubic meter of gas will be saved.
Similar to that, it is vital for other regions to make their calculations and develop their concrete plans for the next year.
The governors and mayors of each districts and cities of the country must carry out the renewable energy projects with 5-10 megawatts capacity in households and enterprises in their territories.
If we take this matter seriously, these things will definitely yield their results. In general, the solar panels and hot water collectors will be installed in each state organizations in the next 3 years.
For these purposes, 2-billion-dollars investments will be attracted. On the basis of this, 60% of their electricity and gas consumption will be transited to “green energy”.
The subsidies for installing solar panels in the households will be doubled.
In general, if we do not turn to “green energy” faster, develop the concrete mechanism in our laws for this, we will not be able to meet the expectations of our people and entrepreneurs. For the purpose of increasing the gas resources, we will adopt a ten-year Program on geological exploration work. For the first time, we will begin gas production from deep layers by using the new technologies.
The prominent foreign investors will be attracted to the exploration work in the highly prospective deep layers of Ustyurt.
All licenses previously granted for gas production will be reviewed, the relevant measures will be taken for enterprises operating ineffectively.
The sixth direction. We will further improve the conditions for increasing the internal and foreign direct private investments into the economy.
We have increased the investment volume more than 30% of GDP.
Next year 30-billion-dollar capital will be attracted, from which USD 25 billion will be direct investments. We will put more than 300 projects into operation and additional 40 new major projects will be started.
For example, after completing first stage of “Yoshlik” copper mine, the third copper processing plant with the capacity to process 60 million tons of ore will be put into operation. By doing so, the capacity of Almalyk plant to process ore will increase from the current 40 million tons to 100 million tons.
In addition, the fourth copper processing plant and copper smelter projects will be started in Almalyk.
The construction of 4-million-ton gold ore processing complex will be completed at the Pistali mine in Navoi.
The big programs carried out in the field of metallurgy will triple the copper production, increase the gold extraction to 150 tons annually after 5 years.
The major projects will also be put into operation in the field of chemistry, automobile industry and agricultural machinery.
Furthermore, for attracting active investments, it is necessary to use the opportunities of privatization and public-private partnership fully and effectively.
Next year we will begin big privatization, 1,000 enterprises will be put on sale.
Today I will be honest. My biggest intention – to see hundreds of thousands of property holders, shareholders among our compatriots. May our peoples possess high income by investing their deposits.
Therefore, I have given an instruction.
Next year, the shares of our 10 biggest companies and commercial banks will be placed to open and transparent market for our nationals. I am sure, this will truly be a national IPO.
I believe it is important to repeat it here: if people are wealthy, a country will be wealthy and powerful, too.
The next issues of our main task for 2023 is to increase the export of the ready-made goods for 4 billion dollars.
The newly started project “A New Uzbekistan is a land of competitive goods” is bringing its results. In one year, around 2 thousand of businesses could got an access to the foreign markets for the first time.
The compensation of transportation and other costs for exporting businesses will continue next year too.
We will double the export of textile, electronics, leather-shoes and other ready-made goods to the European markets. The 9-stage customs registration of export of goods will be reduced to three times.
After finalizing the main negotiations on WTO membership, we will activate the process of complying to it by the local legislation and adopting new standards.
The level of export in 2023 for the first time will be more than USD 23 billion.
Dear members of parliament and senators!
In today’s challenging world, we are consistently continuing an open and pragmatic foreign policy based on mutual trust and respect.
We will continue to pay a priority attention to the strengthening of multifaceted, mutually beneficial partnership with all our neighboring countries in Central Asia, our Strategic Partner Countries and international organizations.
We will take to a new stage the work to ensure national security and increase military capacity of our national armed forces.
In this regard, I would like to address to the members of parliament, senators, the activists of makhallas, elders, women, girls and youth. We should appreciate the peace and stability, which is the greatest blessing. We should keep this profound bestowal for the happiness of our families, children and the next generation!
For this reason, we should educate the youth based in the spirit of military patriotism, should pay attention to increasing their love and devotion to Homeland.
We trust the esteemed elders in educating our youth in this spirit.
We shall continue creating additional conditions to our dear and supportive fathers and mothers, who are a true blessing and buttress of our lives, to strengthen and recover their health at sanatoriums, as well as at makhallas and public venues.
Each person living in our beautiful country, the one who knows Uzbekistan as his Motherland, who contributes to its development regardless of his nationality, language, religion, will be in care of a state and society.
We shall mobilize all our energy and potential for the further strengthening the inter-national friendship, solidarity between the confessions and the atmosphere of social tolerance.
The growing challenges such as radicalism, extremism, terrorism, human trafficking and drug trafficking, unfortunately, are also affecting us.
However, let me remind you once again, could in a land which grew scholars such as Imam Bukhari, Imam Termizi, Imam Maturidi be a place for those who go astray, believers in radicalism and extremism?
We shall not allow any types of radicalization in our society, negative impact of external destructive ideas on our youth, the use of religion for political reasons, taking ignorance over enlightenment. For these purposes, not only responsible organizations, but also public, all of us together must deliver in our families, makhallas and educational organizations the humanity essence of our religion and educate youth in the spirit of national and universal values.
We shall adopt a certain National program in this important issue.
The strengthening of spiritual base of our society, the development of culture, science and art shall remain as priority tasks.
We should study our ancient and rich history, especially the works of our Jadeed forefathers, who bravely stood up for the ideas of education, freedom of people and nations, dedication for Homeland and national interests. Their brave and devoted struggles for their great ideas are a good example for all of us, especially for the youth, in building a New Uzbekistan.
The national exhibition of Uzbekistan in the Louvre Museum, which is continuing these days, shows the level of interest of the foreigners to our unique historical heritage and traditions of our nations. The new program addressed to wider education of our youth and foreigners about historical and cultural heritage, development of museums according to the modern standards will be carried out.
We have identified the important aims and tasks for 2023. Undoubtedly, it will be difficult to realize these tasks in today’s challenging world. However, for over the past time we have gained enough practice and knowledge. What is important is that our confidence in our strength and potential is growing.
Therefore, we shall not turn back from this path we have chosen, no matter how hard it is. We shall definitely achieve our goals. We shall rely on our hard-working people, who live with good thoughts and dreams.
I am confident, if we work together, we shall definitely and together build a New Uzbekistan.
Taking this opportunity, I thank our courageous, noble and generous people, who fully support the reforms we are implementing, who strongly stand up to all difficulties and challenges, and with their dedicated work contribute to a country’s development.
Let me sincerely congratulate all of you, all our people on the New Year and wish you a sound health, happiness and prosperity.
I wish a peace and stability to our country! Almighty God bless and protect our beautiful land, our Uzbekistan!