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Uzbekistan's government to channel 8.4tn soums towards Aral region development

The State Aral Region Development Programme for 2017-2021 was passed under the Presidential Resolution on January 18.

The Programme aims to better ecological and socio-economic situation in the Aral Region. It underpins investment projects designed to mitigate the consequences of the ecological catastrophe of the Aral Sea.

The State Programme provides for:

steps to create new jobs, ensure employment, and make the region attractive to investment;

the development of water supply system, wider provision of drinking water, sewerage system and waste management development;

steps to develop the region’s healthcare;

steps to develop housing, maintenance, and playgrounds; and

steps to develop local transport, engineering, communication, and heating infrastructures.

A total of 8.4tn soums has been earmarked for the State Aral Region Development Programme for 2017-2021.

The newly formed Aral Region Development Fund under the Finance Ministry will ensure stable funding of the Programme-backed measures.

The Fund will, in turn, be funded by:

10% of the Reconstruction and Development Fund of Uzbekistan;

10% of the investment charge on natural gas sold at gas stations

funds, including centralised investment, of the State budget;

soft loans from international financial companies;

subsidies, donations from individuals and legal entities, foreign donors;

income from free funds;

other legal sources of financing.

The Finance Ministry was tasked with developing and submitting to the Cabinet of Ministers an action plan for the Fund.

Under the Presidential Resolution the following newly formed industrial microfirms and small enterprises (excluding gas stations) are exempt from the single tax:
in Muynak, Shumanay, Kanlikul, Takhtakupir, and Chimbay districts in Karakalpakstan and Yangiarik and Koshkupir district in Khorezm Region (until 1 January 2027).
in other districts of Karakalpakstan and Khorezm Region (until 1 January 2022).

Starting 1 February 2017, monthly payments for preschool education, specialised boarding schools, Barkamol Avlod classes, arts and music schools in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm will be half the republican rates.
Starting 1 February 2017, social benefits of 2-5 minimal wages will be introduced in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm. Assigned by rural (makhalla) communities, it aims to aid lone citizens, pensioners, and other low-income families.
Starting 1 February 2017 railways and airways tickets for Karakalpakstan and Khorezm residents will be sold at reduced rates.

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