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Home / Other / Analysis / To Secure a Better Future

To Secure a Better Future

The major outcomes and development prospects in the social sector in Uzbekistan are traditionally summed up on the eve of December 8 – the Constitution Day. Meanwhile, the country’s government has approved several normative acts that are suggestive of upcoming enormous positive transformation in the current year across many key sectors of the national economy. New projects and programs have already been launched, and citizens say they feel the dramatic changes.

Extensive construction
Over 12,000 individual and comfortable standard design houses have been commissioned in new rural settlements in the first nine months of the current year under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’ and other government schemes to uplift the living standards of population. According to the Ministry of Economy and the State Statistics Committee, 10.1 million square meters of housing, including 7.6 million square meters in rural areas, have been commissioned throughout the republic since the beginning of the year.

453 kilometers of water supply networks, 256 km of gas pipelines, 323 km of electric networks, and 283 sets of transformer substations were installed in the newly built rural residential areas.

Meanwhile, the government approved a program to boost the building of affordable upgraded-design housing in rural areas for 2017-2021. The document has stipulated the prospects for improving the architectural appearance of rural communities, for bolstering the living standards of rural population through the construction of individual standard design housing, for accelerating the introduction of engineering and transport communications and social infrastructure in rural areas.

However, a study has revealed a need for fundamentally new approaches that would provide for higher effectiveness of the construction, taking into account the real needs and purchasing power of the population, as well as the national mentality and living conditions in the countryside.

The government resolution comes up with a new approach to the individual housing construction in rural areas, taking into account the lessons learned. It envisages the implementation of an ambitious program on building affordable residential houses in villages within a five-year period. The updated standard designs behind the program fully take into consideration the abovementioned requirements and needs of dwellers, as it was worked out with their views and wishes. In particular, the program envisions the construction of additional three types of individual housing in rural areas, optimal in price parameters and amenities.

The first type envisages the construction of two and three-storey apartment buildings with three or four entrances, with outbuildings and landscaped courtyards. The second type implies single-storey, two- and three-bedroom affordable houses in densely populated areas on two-are plots of land. The third type envisages the construction of two-storey four-room houses, integrated into a single unit of a total area of 115 square meters on a four-are plot of land.

Along with that, it is planned to build 415.3 km of water networks, 291.5 km of electricity, 316.9 km of gas networks, 260.3 km of roads, including access and internal roads, as well as 134 objects of social and market infrastructure in new residential areas solely at the expense of budget funds.

Citizens of Uzbekistan will have an opportunity to choose comfort to their liking, which is also getting more affordable. The program of construction of individual standard design housing in rural areas of 2009 envisaged the initial payment of 25%, while the new program envisages only 15% of initial payment for the first and second types of property. This measure will involve more rural people in the affordable housing program. The mortgage loan is granted for 15 years, with a three year grace period and an interest rate of 7% per annum for the first 5 years. In subsequent years, the interest rate of the loan will not exceed the refinancing rate of the Central Bank, which currently stands at 9% per annum.

The development of a draft program of construction of 945 apartment buildings in urban areas in 2017-2020 is currently underway. About 50,000 of 5-, 7- and 9-storey buildings with affordable apartments will be built for low-income families in the city of Tashkent, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional centers and large cities. Given that the average family consists of four or five people, 75,000 villagers will receive new apartments and houses in 2017, and about 250,000 citizens - in the next four years.

The fact that apartments will be available at a mortgage loan with the half reduced initial fee is the obvious advantage of the housing construction program. The construction of high-rise buildings will be carried out with an eye to peculiarities of each area. For instance, it is envisaged to build seven-storey buildings in Termez, and five-storey buildings - in Gulistan.

A project on the construction of 500 houses in Sergeli district of Tashkent can be considered a kind of a follow-up to the program. Old wooden buildings and vacant lots will be replaced by new buildings.

New Institute to be Established
The family, motherhood and childhood protection system has been streamlined, and the authorities have been shoring up cooperation with civil society organizations in building strong and healthy families in the first nine months of the current year under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’. The program is funded with more than 6.8 trillion soums and 150 million US dollars from all sources.

Since the beginning of the year, the abovementioned activities included active measures on medical examination of young couples who enter into marriage, vaccination of children against 12 preventable diseases, screening examinations of pregnant women and their provision with free multivitamins.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a Resolution ‘On further optimization of the structure of medical organizations and streamlining the remuneration system of healthcare workers of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, which aims to modernize the system of mother and child protection institutions.

In particular, it is planned to establish a research institute to streamline the healthcare system, make medical services more effective and quality, regularly monitor and analyze public health, and assess prospects of development of the healthcare sector. The Ministry of Health schedules to complete the relevant proposals and regulations in the second half of 2017. So far, it is known that the new research institute will be established at the Institute of Health and Medical Statistics of the Ministry of Health. The analysis of operation of the institute and development of specific proposals on how to improve its performance will be conducted in the process of preparations.

Large-scale works on the optimization of the branch network of the Republican Specialized Research Medical Center of Obstetrics and Gynecology are currently underway. Its branches in Nukus, Jizzakh, Namangan and Karshi are reorganized into regional perinatal centers. Thus, each region will have its own perinatal center to provide medical aid to women with pregnancy pathologies. Unification of titles of the institutions and streamlining of their operation will help to further improve their coordination and development.

It is planned to establish new family polyclinics in order to further improve medical care for families and children. According to the Ministry of Health, the project envisages the establishment of two types of clinics. For instance, it is planned to establish children's dental clinics in all regions. New family polyclinics will be additionally built in the towns with population of over 30,000 citizens.

For Comprehensive Development
Strengthening of logistical capacity of social institutions has been continued under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’. 919.5 billion soums of capital investments have been disbursed from the beginning of the year for the construction and reconstruction of educational and medical institutions and provision of equipment as part of the measures on further improvement of quality of educational process and health services.

236 secondary schools for a total of 86,300 student seats, two academic lyceums for 1,100 students, 21 vocational colleges for 2,300 students, four hostels for academic lyceums and vocational colleges for 550 beds, 24 medical institutions, 15 music and art schools, 232 children's sports and other facilities have been commissioned since the beginning of the year.

201.3 billion soums of the extra-budget Fund for Development of Logistical Capacity of Higher Educational Institutions have been disbursed for the construction and reconstruction of higher education institutions. Children's Sports Development Fund has invested a total of 285.5 billion soums in the construction and reconstruction of sports facilities. The two funds have built a platform for further improvement of performance of the key institutions in the education system. Looking ahead, it would be appropriate to mention the ongoing work on the development of two programs, which are deemed to set the priorities for the sector for the next five years.

The Ministry of Public Education is currently working on a program on the development of preschool education. It promises to be much more effective than the current range of measures that are financed from the budgets of local administrations. The new program will be funded from the government budget, suggesting a successful implementation.

As commented by the Ministry of Public Education, the program envisages not just overhaul and reconstruction of existing nursery schools, but also the construction of new schools, and provision of modern appliances and toys. The program attaches importance to the increase of children attending nursery schools, as well as to support for the parents whose children do not attend nursery schools.

Another program is developed by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education. It is going to be a follow up of the ongoing program on the development of higher education system. Covering more than 20 educational institutions, the program for 2011-2016 has paved the way for scaled strengthening of logistical capacity of universities, active introduction of ICT technologies, revision of staff training in conformity with labor market needs, modernization of retraining and advanced training system for university teachers. 

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