Saturday, 28, May, 2022

Finances

The Cabinet of Ministers issued Dec 24 resolution creating the Unified International Money Transfers payment system at the processing center of the National Bank of Uzbekistan, which will act as its operator, Norma.uz reported.

As of December 1, Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange volume reserves topped US$ 34.75 billion, recording a US$ 462 million decrease over the month, the Central Bank said in a report.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $400 million Development Policy Operation (DPO) loan to support the Government of Uzbekistan’s implementation of important economic and social reforms that will accelerate the country’s transition to an inclusive and competitive market economy.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $162 million loan that will electrify 465 kilometers of railway line connecting major urban centers in western Uzbekistan, improving railway services and boosting trade and tourism in the region.

The Senate at the 22nd session on December 15 passed the Uzbekistan’s 2022 State Budget Bill. The Finance Minister Timur Ishmetov said that the GDP in 2022 is projected at 839.9 trillion soums. GDP is expected to grow by 6% due to an increase in industrial production by 7%, services - by 6.5%, construction - 8.1%, agriculture - 3.3%.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $100 million policy-based loan to help Uzbekistan undertake reforms to improve the enabling environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The loan will finance the first subprogram of ADB’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Program and includes the equivalent of $20 million denominated in local currency, the Uzbekistan sum.

The Central Bank kept the interest rate unchanged at 14% per annum, the Bank said in a statement today. Reportedly, a meeting of the Board of the Central Bank is taking place at this very moment. It made a decision to keep the interest rate unchanged at 14% per annum.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strengthening its support for green innovation in Uzbekistan by extending a US$ 10 million loan to the country’s largest private lender Hamkorbank.

A loan agreement to finance the construction of a copper beneficiation plant-3 (CBP-3), which is part of the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Plant (AMMC) was signed on November 18 during an online meeting between the management of the AMMC and the Russian development corporation VEB.RF, the press service of the plant reported.

During his stay in the Russian Federation, the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov met with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank N. Podguzov.

The President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the Measures to implement the project “Financial support for small and medium-enterprises” with the participation of the German Development Bank Decree.

Uzbekneftegaz has for the first time successfully placed USD 700 million worth of Eurobonds on the London Stock Exchange with the assistance of the Ministry of Finance to mature in 7 years and 4.75%, yield, the company said.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a US$ 100 million loan to ACWA Power Sirdarya for the construction of a 1,500 MW thermal power plant with combined cycle gas turbines in the Syrdarya province of Uzbekistan, the bank's said.

UNDP, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, OSCE – implementers of the joint project on the uranium legacy remediation in Central Asia – jointly with NGO Ekomaktab (EcoSchool) awarded 24 winners of a Disaster Risk Reduction Drawing Contest. The contest was conducted among schoolchildren living in uranium legacy areas of Uzbekistan, namely Charkesar, Namangan and Yangiabad, Tashkent region.

On November 3, Tashkent hosted a meeting of the Uzbekistan-EU subcommittee on cooperation co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Shukhrat Vafayev and Head of the European Commission Department Sara Rinaldi, the press service of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade reported.

The President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree approving the Agreement on the establishment of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz Development Fund (UKDF), signed in March this year in Tashkent by the governments of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Government of Japan is partnering with IFC to help modernize the country’s cotton and fertilizer industries and support economic growth.

The State Assets Management Agency announced that it engaged international consultants and audit companies for the privatization of 99.02% of the block of shares in Ferganaazot.

Uzbekistan plans to reduce the economy's dependence on foreign exchange by developing derivatives market. This issue was raised on October 12 at a meeting between the Deputy Finance Minister Odilbek Isoqov and Treasury Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Axel van Nederwen.

Google LLC and Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited (Microsoft Store) have been registered in Uzbekistan as VAT payers, the State Tax Committee said.

Now, when paying for services, one also needs to take into account the 15% VAT.

Over the past two years, Google Commerce Limited, Google Voice, Google Ireland Limited and Google Cloud EMEA, registered in the United States and Ireland, have also been registered by the Uzbek tax system.

While, Xsolla, Netflix, Apple, Samsung, Booking.com, Facebook, Spotify, LinkedIn and other foreign companies are also registered at the VAT office.

The so-called Google tax is stipulated by the new edition of the Tax Code, which took effect on January 1, 2020. A month later, the State Tax Committee opened a special VAT office so that foreign Internet companies could register as payers.

There is a "Google tax" in other countries as well. In Russia, since 2016, a law on the payment of VAT on electronic services has been launched. The tax is levied on any services sold over the Internet: advertisements, sales of applications, games, website hosting, music, films, and others.

The former Deputy Chairman of the State Tax Committee Abdulla Azizov, now serving as Deputy Minister of Health, said that neighboring countries were interested in how Uzbekistan managed to introduce this practice into the tax system.

“When I presented the new system to the State Tax Committee and collected taxes from Google, Apple, Netflix and other international companies, people called from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and asked how we did it. We shared our experience,” he said.

The deputy Health Minister hopes that neighboring countries will show the same interest after the digitalization of the healthcare system in Uzbekistan, on which he is currently working.

Former regional director of Yandex for Uzbekistan Yevgeny Lukyanchikov called the decision to introduce a Google tax a digital suicide." He said that the introduction of this tax provides for the abolition of double taxation under international treaties. The State Tax Committee explained that this was not a new tax, but "a mere VAT extended to e-sphere.