In Uzbekistan is undertaking an ambitious plan of action to hasten information and communication technologies introduction
Uzbekistan is getting prepared to carry out a large-scale program to support small business and private enterprise, and channel additional investment to the national economy in the coming years
About 11.1 small business entities account for every thousand people living in Uzbekistan. This ration is significantly higher than in the CIS countries. Over the past decade, real incomes from business activities have exceeded 50% of total revenues.
It is planned to focus on the development of small business and entrepreneurship, minimization of state presence in the economy, promotion and protection of private property, and elimination of all barriers and restrictions in this area.
The experience of independent development of Uzbekistan, as well as advanced democratic countries shows that the small and private business sector fuels sustainable economic growth, job creation, higher incomes and welfare of the population in the best way possible.
Today, about 78% of the working population in Uzbekistan is employed in this sector, more than 90% of enterprises are in private and corporate ownership, producing more than 80% of industrial output. All agricultural goods, the entire volume of wholesale and retail trade and the service sector accounts for the nongovernmental and private sector.
The indicators suggest that small businesses are an integral and essential part of the national economy, turning into a leading force in addressing many economic and social issues, the development of industry and services, ensuring a prosperous life. Private entrepreneurs as middle class owners are seen as a reliable backbone for the modernization and renewal of the country, ensuring stability and sustainable development of society.
Advancement of small business and private enterprise, creation of favorable business environment does not come solely to consolidation of the national economy and enhancing its competitiveness, but primarily implies the further growth of welfare of the population. Therefore, the government has been focusing on the adoption of specific organizational and legal measures to improve business environment, and support entrepreneurs through privileges and preferences, and liberalization of related criminal legislation.
The new program contains specific items that expand freedom for small businesses and private enterprises, prevent unlawful interference with their activities, and radically revise control system in the field.
For example, it is well known that many businesses are established and developed through bank loans. It is therefore proposed to adopt the lending-related amendments to the legislation. Over the past decade, the average annual growth rate of lending to the private sector amounted to 30%, and generally grew up by 29 times, and microfinance indicators increased by 56 times. This process will be maintained at a new level.
It is planned to streamline the business environment and accelerate the economic development through the enhancement of judicial protection of entrepreneurs, liberalization of their liability and concurrent enhancement of responsibility of officials for illegal interference in economic activity. Radical reduction of interference in their activities and concentration of efforts on early prevention, enhancement of prevention and non-admission of offenses are considered as a top priority and the primary objective for government agencies.
The program also proposes introducing modern mechanisms of regulating tax management and banking, and proceeding with simplification of permits and license procedures. It is envisaged to strengthen and strictly observe the principle of priority of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses, and increase the accountability of officials. A mechanism of recovery of the damage caused to businesses for illegal interference in their activities will allow them to effectively do their job and thereby make a significant contribution to the economy. In turn, the cut in the number of audits can save time and resources of entrepreneurs. A contemporary businessman counts every day, and every minute.
New laws and other legal acts will be initiated in order to further streamline the legislative regulation of business activities. They will aim at enhancing the effectiveness of the measures on prevention and non-admission of violations in business, corruption offenses, as well as at strengthening the parliamentary control over the implementation of laws. The innovations will tackle the cases when a businessman had to address all sorts of agencies, wait for the decision made, and sometimes temporarily suspend his business in expectation of response to his appeal.
Generally, the implementation of the proposed measures should help to improve the business and investment climate in the country, liberalize the judicial system, and ultimately promote the further growth of the economic capacity of the country and raise people's welfare.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
In Uzbekistan is undertaking an ambitious plan of action to hasten information and communication technologies introduction
Uzbekistan Today reporters have found out how the ICT changed the life of the Uzbek people over the last year.
As the first step, we studied the last update in ratings of the introduction and development of ICT in government agencies, which is reported by the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan on a quarterly basis. The benchmark survey of the third quarter covered 113 government agencies, including 45 state bodies, 55 economic management bodies, and 14 local authorities.
Today, in accordance with the resolutions of the state leader on the introduction of information and communication technologies in the real economy, joint-stock companies, associations and large business enterprises implement projects on the introduction of information systems and software products for a total amount of 336 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 20.12.2016, 1$= 3217.56 soums). Of these, 81 projects, worth 62.4 billion soums, have already been implemented. 89 projects on the implementation of ICT in the real economy, totaling 1.1 trillion soums, are scheduled for 2016-2018.
The rating assessed such factors as availability of the official website and provision of online public services, application of information systems, information resources and electronic document flow. Experts pay a particular attention to information security measures, availability of action plans on the introduction and development of ICT. The assessment spotlights quality and credibility of the information submitted to the interagency automated information system NIS.UZ, which is designed to receive, process and store the data on the introduction and development of ICT in the activity of state bodies.
Having processed the data, the analysts were pleased to note that the rating indexes rose from 74.24% in the third quarter of 2015 to 79.70% in the third quarter of 2016, with the average increase of 7.35%. Dori-Darmon joint-stock company (www.doridarmon.uz) has taken the lead in ICT implementation and development with 99.14%. Close attention of the company to the improvement of the official website, increased number and improved quality of online services have ensured the 11.25 percent growth in the given indicators against the same period in 2015. The state enterprise Navoi Mining and Smelting Plant (www.ngmk.uz) ranks the second.
The growth of the overall performance at NMSP amounted to 7.20% YOY. Uzbekinvest (www.uzbekinvest.uz), Kafolat (www.kafolat.uz), as well as O’zavtoyo’l (www.uzavtoyul.uz) rank among the top five companies in the rating. They are followed by the Higher Attestation Commission (www.oak.uz) and Uzgosneftegazinspektsiya (www.uzngi.uz).
The Hydrometeorology Service Center, Uzagrosugurta, the Republican Center of Spirituality, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Uzmontajspetsstroy Association and Uzpakhtasanoateksport Company occupied the last lines in the ranking.
Â Experts point out to the general improvement in the quality of the official web sites owing to intensified implementation of state interactive services, empowered by laws and other acts. Meanwhile, the results of the analysis revealed the lack of the qualified staff in charge of introduction of ICT in government agencies, and due attention of officials to the introduction of ICT as major causes that impede the effective implementation and development of ICT in organizations.
There is still the confidence that the indicators will be significantly improved in the current year. Having assessed the outcomes in the third quarter, experts prepared detailed analytical report with recommendations and instructions to address the identified shortcomings. To eliminate them, executives of government agencies participate in workshops, conferences and distance learning courses on effective implementation of ICT and methods of input of analytical data. There are the opportunities for dialogue with experts by telephone and online on the issues related to monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of the introduction and development of ICT. Experts are also involved in specific training courses in collaboration with regional computerization centers.
Keeping Home and Office
The introduction and development of the ‘Electronic Government’ system and information and communication technologies is highly relevant and important today. The abolition of compulsory e-signatures in petitions to public authorities through the Single Portal of Interactive State Services ranks among the key, even sensational innovations. This step has significantly expanded the potential audience. Since the beginning of the current year, the Single Portal of State Interactive Services has rendered 25 types of services, the total number of which amounted to 290. As a result, state authorities provided more than 833,000 services to the population and business entities. The news about the launch of new interactive services is reported by news agencies almost every day.
Today, the citizens of Uzbekistan have the opportunity to express their views on a regulatory act prior to its adoption using the discussion platform for legal documents and projects on entrepreneurial activities regulation.gov.uz.
Besides, the territorial administrations of the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the E-Government Development Center take measures to accelerate the introduction of ICT in the operation of local authorities and administrations.
A Market of Drastically New Services
In the first nine months of the current year, Uzbekistan has demonstrated an increase in the number of services rendered by enterprises of communication, information and telecommunication sector. The index rose by 115% YOY, or 4.4 trillion soums.
The development of broadband Internet access based on fiber-optic communication lines, establishment of the data processing center for the ‘E-Government’ system, as well as improvement of reliability of telecommunication networks and provision of information protection and security has been underway.
According to the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications, the number of ports for fixed broadband Internet access has increased by 107.4%. The growth promotes providing multi-service broadband services, including IPTV, video telephony, high-speed Internet, data transfer, availability of HDTV channels, and others.
The number of domains in .UZ zone exceeded 29,000 (123 percent growth). Experts analyzed the extent of development of national information resources in .UZ domain zone. The number of educational information resources in the library of ZiyoNET portal totaled 126,000, with 124 percent growth YOY. The number of e-mail system users uMail.uz exceeded 367,000, with 165 percent growth YOY.
The implementation of a program on strategic development of national resources, including social networks, and specification of targets has been in progress. This year, Uzbekistan has launched a davra.uz social network, which is positioned as a national and headquartered in Tas-IX zone.
The level of coverage with digital TV has been brought to 79.5%. It is planned to install ten digital TV transmitters and bring the coverage to 88% by the end of 2016.
National Television and Radio Company has been broadcasting 12 television and four radio channels in the regions of the country. Independent TV channels Milliy TV and Uzreport TV have launched broadcasting in certain regions of the country since December 1, 2016, along with the National Broadcasting Company’s TV and radio channels, via DVB-T2 digital television transmitters, which were established on several radio and TV stations. The works on expansion of television channels in other regions of the country are currently in progress.
Installation of the second and third digital television transmitters DVB-T2 in radio and television stations in Ferghana Valley (Ferghana, Chadak, Chust, Nurabad), has allowed increasing the number of broadcasted television programs in the Ferghana Valley, and made it possible to watch an extra charged TV package.
Information and communication technologies are changing the work style of suppliers of traditional services. In particular, in order to survive in dwindling volumes of traditional postal mailing, O’zbekiston Pochtasi has been actively initiating projects on the introduction of new services, including e-commerce system.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Turning Numbers to Quality
The attention to quality of the services provided was spotlighted at the last board meeting of the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications. Ministry executives, communication operators and providers were assigned to strengthen the direct dialogue with the applicants through official websites and hotline in order to strengthen control over the response to inquiries of service users. It was noted that the majority of complaints in the reporting period was related to the provision of telecommunication services, including fixed and mobile telephony and Internet services.
Executives of Uzbektelecom and its branches, as well as all mobile operators, were strictly assigned with taking measures to enhance the effectiveness of response to pleas of business entities and individuals. The participants pointed to the need to streamline the prompt response system, especially if it relates to ensuring the quality of services provided by operators of telecommunication and postal services.
Work is underway to streamline the operation of customer call-centers in terms of improving the professional level of the staff, and appropriate response to subscriber requests and complaints on the quality of communication services.
Targets for Development
Promotion of information and communication services has reflected in the National Roster of Software Developers. The number of registered developers has reached 114, increasing by 131% YOY. Software developers have saved more than 2 billion soums through the benefits provided in accordance with the decisions of the country's leadership.
IT companies have firmly fastened their niche in the economy, as clearly demonstrated by the recently concluded Cooperation Fair. Representatives of the high-tech industry Uzbektelecom, Telecom Innovation, Olive Telecom, Telmax Electronics, Broadband Solutions, ZTT Telekom, Smart Vision and other providers of information and communication services and manufacturers of respective equipment were actively involved in the Fair along with over 2,200 domestic enterprises, companies and organizations engaged in mechanical engineering, automotive, electrical, construction industries, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals.
In cooperation with social partners, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications has been taking measures to increase the number of software developers and organizations engaged in IT-technologies, who works on filling information networks with content. Experts have summed up the competition among software developers and cloud technology specialists.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the message sincere condolences were expressed to the leadership and the people of Turkey in connection with the terrorist attack in the province of Kayseri of Turkey, which led to numerous casualties.
The head of state conveyed deep sympathy and support to the families and relatives of the victims.
(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)