President Shavkat Mirziyoyev today addressed an annual message to the joint session of the parliament, attended by the members of the government, ambassadors, media and others. Highlights:
"I proposed the practice that the parliament, and not the president, shall approve the members of the Cabinet."
“Currently, according to the Constitution, the parliament approves the Prime Minister, but is not involved in the appointment of ministers (they are appointed by the president - Ed.). Therefore, the members of the government feel free of any responsibility before the parliament”.
“Let him, the future minister, defend his policy program before the parliament, how he will implement it. In a word, let him prove himself worthy of his position. Then I will put my signature. It will be fair enough”.
“We like talking about democracy, about the pro-activeness of parties. Parties must prepare worthy candidates in each area. There should be some sort of competition among them for the government posts. Currently, there is no such system, the president is appointing the ministers”.
"The local deputies councils should introduce the practice of approving candidates for heads of district, city and provincial branches of departments and ministries, and should consult with the people and the most worthy should be chosen".
“Now district mayors are being proposed by the governor, I am against it. The councils knows better which candidate is worthy of the position”.
"The judges are also appointed by the president, however this must be done by the Supreme Judicial Council. The president has too many powers, this should gradually change”.
“When a crime is committed, then the chief of the mahalla (local self-government authority), the local policeman and his assistant shall be fined, while those who achieve results in combating crime will be awarded and paid bonuses”.
"We need to tame the criminality. Foreign investors look on the internet to see how safe the country is. They should be able to walk safely even at night. But, we are closing every venue after eight o'clock in the evening, and are patrolling the area, with even our own children have nowhere to go at night. Let them entertain themselves a bit. But, the authorities will have to ensure the rule of law and the safety".
"Now, when there are serious crimes the local mayor will convene one-hour meeting to study the cause of the crime."
"We need to increase the level of urbanization in the country up to 60% by 2030."
"The relevant state program shall be developed with the PM Abdulla Aripov to be personally in charge. Now the urbanization level in Uzbekistan is at 35.5%, and if not to take measures, it will only decrease.”
“If you do not address this issue, but our villages will completely deteriorate”.
“We have to develop not only the capital, but also the provinces; the focus should be on the comprehensive development of cities and towns.”
"To address the issues of urbanization, a special fund shall be set up, to be financed by the funds from the privatization of land on which buildings and facilities are located."
“This is the world practice. Businesspeople must feel confident for their property and their private land, and no official should be able to demolish the constructed buildings or take away the land at any time. They will be able to buy both the buildings and the land. Through this new system, we will achieve an increase in the people's confidence and welfare”.
"Now, an Aral Desert has appeared on over 5.5 million hectares of the former Aral Sea, with about 100 million tons of sand, dust and salt picked by the wind annually. We are paying special attention to the creation of green forests in the Aral desert. According to the program, five hundred thousand hectares of forests will be created in the Aral region next year.
"We have recently reconstruted the Nukus airport and have inaugurated two big factories in a month. In the future new buildings will be built in towns and villages in Karakalpakstan. In particular, we want to build a town with all necessary infrastructure in Muynak district".
“We need to adopt a housing renovation program based on the experience of megacities. In place of the old multi-storey buildings with expired service life, we will build houses with the modern facilities".
“Exports will be among our top priorities in 2019. In the coming year, the volume of exports will increase by 30% up to US$ 18 billion.
“We need to find markets for our goods. If we do not, there will be no progress".
“By reducing the tax burden, we must gradually give up tax waivers and preferences in order to create a fair tax regime for all market actors. Since the waivers have a negative effect on the competition, businesses themselves admit this. The market economy has tough rules, but there must be equal opportunities for all. Then we will be able to produce competitive, export-oriented products”.
"The Cabinet is charged with developing a roadmap within two months. Everything is ready, but we should not hurry. Why itwo months? It is because we are seeking public input, including from foreign partners”.
"Currently, the share of shadow economy in GDP is quite high. Everyone knows that. The only way to fight the shadow economy is to reduce the tax burden and create favorable conditions for entrepreneurs and investors”.
"We will support honest businesses who pay taxes on time. Those who are in the shadow economy, in the black market will be severely penalised. There is no other way."
"The legislators must adopt laws of direct action. It is not appropriate to adopt the law, and then bylaws and another 20 by-documents. This directly affects corruption. We are on a difficult path, but this is the only right path.”
"Mayors are used to receive ready-made policies from Tashkent. Those times are now gone . Now all initiatives should come from bottom to up, not vice versa. The president administration will only do its own job."
“The deputies' council that appointed the mayors must now bear some responsibility. At present the appointment of a district mayor is also done by the Presidential Administration. Where is the responsibility and independence of the local authroities?”.
"Now the governors will provide more independence to the local mayors! Districts will dispose of their own budgets. If a citizen is rich, the state will be richer. If the districts are rich, then the state will be rich".
“We must develop a national concept for transition to digital economy and introduce the Digital Uzbekistan-2030 Program.”
"The world is changing rapidly, and if we fail to act in this direction, we will lag behind even more”.
“We are setting big goals - we need to elevate the share of the digital economy up to 30%. The introduction of the concept will significantly reduce corruption.”
"It is necessary to create an effective system of training for winter sports. Unfortunately, such prestigious sports events as Olympic Games or Asian Games haven’t yet been held in Uzbekistan.
“In the future, we have to start a campaign to host the Asian Games. Of course, this will be a major challenge, but we must demonstrate that it is a challenge we can take on.”
“Uzbekistan will pursue pro-active foreign policies aimed at further advancing relations with the CIS member states, first of all with Russia, as well as China, the United States, the EU, the Republic of Korea and Japan.”
"We will also focus on strengthening cooperation with Muslim countries that we have common historical, spiritual values. Our foreign policy will be based on a clear strategy to ensure security and sustainable development in Central Asia. In this regard, Uzbekistan considers as top priority to step up beneficial relations with neighbors in the region as well as with Turkey, India, Pakistan and Iran".
“Afghanistan plays an important role in the implementation of this strategy. We have urged the international community to support the need to launch the Afghan-led peace talks. It should be noted that in March 2018, was held a high-level Tashkent conference on Afghanistan in the history of modern Afghanistan. Following this conference, international efforts to launch a negotiation process with all the political forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, have intensified. Uzbekistan has held some important talks with representatives of the Taliban”.