Uzbekistan on the path of structural changes
By Alika Ismailov
After achieving a stable economy and gaining the title of “one of the most peaceful countries in the world”, Uzbekistan is moving fast to raise living standard of its population for enabling its resilient youth to place itself in global market.
Landlocked Uzbekistan achieved around eight percent GDP growth under its Father of Nation late President Islam Karimov and this journey on the road of prosperity is constant under the leadership of its second President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has given a vision for the Action Strategy for 2017-202. His vision is based on Five Priority Development Areas (FPDA).
The key dimensions were put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his electoral program.
The Strategy has defined five priority areas of development. They include the improvement of state and nation building, provision for the rule of law and further reformation of the judicial system, promotion and liberalization of the economy, social development, security, interethnic harmony and religious tolerance, implementation of balanced and constructive foreign policy.
The pillars are aimed at radical enhancement in the effectiveness of reforms, at the delivery of an environment conducive for integrated, harmonious and swift advancement of the country and civil society, modernization and liberalization of all areas of life.
Improvement of state and nation building ranks among the principal priorities of development in Uzbekistan. It implies taking specific steps to further strengthen the role of parliament and political parties in the enhancement of democratic reforms and modernization of public life.
Drastic improvement in the quality of legislative work, consolidation of the significance and role of the leading political forces in the life of the nation is the most important factor in implementation of the Action Strategy in the next five years for development and modernization of Uzbek society.
It is planned that bоth houses of the Oliy Majlis will work on 50 bills for making 18 news laws revisiting more than 30 legal acts by introducing amendments.
18 new bills will come in the judicial sector, 7 bills will relate to the liberalization of the economy, 4 bills in the social sector, and 3 bills with regard to foreign policy.
The main idea of the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests comes primarily to the establishment of effective feedback of the state and society, ensuring transparency of public authorities and administration. The routine work of representative bodies, namely the Legislative Chamber and Senate of Oliy Majlis, should be optimally transparent, because, being volitionally elected by the people; representatives have to be accountable to them.
Measures on enhancement of the role of political parties in the state and public construction will be taken as part of the Action Strategy. It is planned to introduce amendments to the law ‘On political parties’, which extend the rights and powers of the parliamentary groups of political parties in Councils of people’s representatives in terms of strengthening control over local authorities. Party groups will be able to submit proposals for consideration of socio-economic development of districts at sessions of the local councils, proposals for hearing reports of executives of local authorities, as well as of unsatisfactory performance of executive authorities. Specialists are also working on the development of a mechanism of consulting with party groups on the nomination of municipal and local governors with consideration by the regional Council of People’s Representatives.
The Action Strategy stipulates the expansion of guarantees for reliable protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, expansion of their access to justice, effectiveness and quality of court proceedings as key vectors of reforms in the judicial sector.
The Presidential Decree on measures to radically improve the structure and efficiency of the judicial system in the Republic of Uzbekistan was an important step in the implementation of outlined objectives, which marked the transition of the related state policy to a drastically new level.
The Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan was instituted in pursuance of the document in order to radically change the system of selection and appointment of judges, raise the status and powers of the body in charge for the formation of highly qualified judge corps.
As part of the judicial community, the Council is called to ensure compliance with the constitutional principle of judiciary independence. It is assigned with the formation of the judiciary on the basis open, transparent and competitive selection of candidates from among the most qualified experts, with the adoption of measures on preventing the violation of the integrity of judges and interference in their activity when it comes to justice and dialogue with the public.
The Supreme Judicial Council was delegated with the power of assignment for the post and dismissal of judges, except for judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Military Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, courts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city.
The unification of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court of the republic into a unified supreme judicial authority in civil, criminal, administrative and economic proceedings – a Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan is an important provision of the Decree. This measure will help to avoid the duplication of functions of judicial system management, and develop a unified court practice.
The construction of a new system of courts empowered to consider the disputes arising from public legal relations, as well as cases on administrative offenses is of particular importance.
A panel of judges on administrative affairs of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, administrative courts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city, district (municipal) administrative courts will be established for the first time to ensure the implementation of citizens’ rights to appeal against illegal actions (or inaction) of state bodies and their officials.
Previously, complaints against actions (or inaction) of state bodies and their officials were considered by civil courts and economic courts in accordance with the Civil and Commercial Procedure Codes, and cases of administrative offenses were in charge of criminal courts in accordance with the Administrative Liability Code. From now and on, such cases will be considered by newly created administrative courts. It is also planned to draft new laws ‘On the administrative proceedings’ and ‘On administrative procedures’ in order to establish a procedural order of consideration of administrative cases, strengthen the rule of law in state bodies, introduce modern procedures for the implementation of the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities and individuals.
Based on the current requirements, and in pursuance of the further improvement of protection of the rights of business entities, economic courts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city will be reorganized into the corresponding business courts. Meanwhile, inter-district, district (municipal) business courts are being established in view of the consistent growth of the economic potential of the country and the number of business entities.
The need for them is entailed by the availability of economic courts solely on the regional level. Due to their remoteness from certain districts, entrepreneurs had to repeatedly travel to the regional center, spending their time and funds, starting from the filing of the claim and finishing with the court resolution of the dispute.
The transfer of the authorized manpower of the military courts from the Armed Forces to the Supreme Court system is another important measure. Enrollment of the military judges in the staff of the Ministry of Defense was not fully consistent with the fundamental principles of judicial independence, the organization of its activities, since the Ministry is not the executive authority.
Much attention is paid to the introduction of information and communication technologies in functions of the courts, which should raise the effectiveness of the judicial system and the population’s access to justice.
According to experts, the Decree envisages historical transformations that will streamline and optimize the judicial system of Uzbekistan in accordance with modern requirements and international standards of justice.
The adoption of the Strategy and its public discussion has demonstrated a high level of development of civil society in Uzbekistan, the political culture of citizens, as well as the ability of the state and its political leaders to take a realistic and reasonable approach in assessing major challenges and problems in the course of development of the policy document.
The policy document proves the importance of the country’s achievements over the years of independence. Solely a stable and actively evolving society can afford a strategic planning. Such tools are not available in the countries that have serious problems in the national economy, security, and lack an effective dialogue between different social groups.
Uzbekistan confidently ranks among the leaders of the region in terms of development, and is rapidly moving toward the achievement of its major goal of joining the ranks of advanced democratic states.
The Strategy promises to mobilize the national constructive potential and increase the responsibility of the people for the achievement of common goals, motivate and coordinate individual and joint efforts.
It will enable the country to achieve new and tangible results in its development, create drastically new conditions for the life of citizens.
Overhauling of judicial system will encourage economic growth and foreign investment. A number of initiatives have been taken place by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to boost foreign investment and financial growth of the country.
Initiatives taken by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev provides attracting foreign investments in branches of economy and regions, continuation of institutional and structural reforms, modernization and intensive development of agriculture, reducing state presence in economy and enhancing industrial base of the country.
Today the industry represents that type of production which is a sample how transformation of all other branches and spheres of economy is carried out or can be carried out. High level of concentration, specialization and a combination of industry, use of the advanced equipment and flexible technological systems, use of the most qualified part of labor and observance of a regime of economy are characteristics of the industry. The industry has a significant impact on formation of the rational productive and economic relations in the society, strengthening and development of inter-industry links, on all course of expanded reproduction. Gradual removal of differences between the city and the village, development of new territories and natural resources, creation of new jobs and growth of employment rate of the population is substantially associated with development of the industry. In a word, the industry is a powerful layer, the foundation of economy, a basis of scientific and technical progress acceleration and improvement of national well-being.
Today GDP share of the industry in Uzbekistan is nearly 34,0% mostly comes from automotive industry and modern pharmaceutics industries. The creation of the domestic pharmaceutical industry is a huge success in Uzbekistan. According to the available data, 132 pharmaceutical enterprises are producing more than 2,000 types of medicines while using local raw materials. Mechanical engineering, automotive industry, oil and chemical, industry, petrochemical industry, power and gas industry and industry of construction materials are major sectors of Uzbek industry with constant growth prospects. Over 500 international investment projects with a total cost of about $50 bln are operating successfully in Uzbekistan which is targeting doubling of GDP growth by year 2030.