— Botir Komilovich, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, during his visit to the Bukhara region on January 21-22, 2021, visited a number of districts and got acquainted with the changes and production processes. He emphasized that the main goal of all measures in the economic sphere is to please our people and provide employment for the population. What is being done in Bukhara today to achieve these good goals?
— We can say that this visit of the head of our state to the Bukhara region gave an additional impetus to the further socio-economic development of the region. This is due to the fact that each of the projects presented during the visit is aimed at boosting the economy, raising the welfare of the population to a new level by ensuring the prosperity of the regions and, ultimately, receiving the blessing of the people. The execution of the President's instructions and tasks for the socio-economic development of the region was started the very next day after the visit. At the same time, the State Program for the implementation of the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026 in the "Year of Ensuring Human Interests and Makhalla Development" serves as the main guide for the activities of the khokimiyat.
— Botir Komilovich, what is the contribution of the Bukhara region to the growth of the economy of Uzbekistan over the past year? More precisely, with what results did the region complete 2021?
— With your permission, I would like to draw attention to the exact figures. Last year, the gross regional product of the region amounted to 106.2%, industrial production — 100.1%, services — 119.4%, retail trade — 107.6%, agricultural production — 103.7%, contract work — 111.4%, which ensured growth in all directions.
In 2021, as part of investment programs in the region, 1,381 regional projects worth 6,201 billion sums were launched at full capacity and 18 major projects worth $186.5 million due to foreign direct investment and loans. Due to the total number of launched projects, 10,708 new jobs have been created in the region, as well as an additional tax base of 110 billion sums.
For example, in the Bukhara region, due to the implementation of a project for the construction of a 270 MW gas-piston thermal power plant in the amount of $140 million, 100 jobs were created on the basis of a foreign enterprise Aksa Enerji Bukhara LLC, and 400-500 industrial enterprises were provided with uninterrupted electricity.
— What industries have the potential for further development in the Bukhara region? What industrial projects will be implemented here this year?
— As of January 1, 2022, the number of industrial enterprises and organizations in the region amounted to 4,874, their number has increased compared to the same period last year. This year, 213 industrial development projects worth 2.9 trillion sums will be launched in the region and 3,631 new jobs will be created.
In particular, "Khuzhai Zhakhon fayz Baraka" LLC this year will launch a project in Gijduvan district worth 462.8 billion sums with a production capacity of 10,000 meters of steel profiles of various shapes per year.
In 2022, 7,794 new jobs are planned to be created in the region due to the launch of 189 industrial projects worth 2,804 billion sums. As a result, the volume of industrial production is expected to reach 1.8 trillion sums.
In order to develop industrial production in the region, 88 out of 165 facilities located on 42.1 hectares of area in 28 small industrial zones have been launched, production of products worth 80.5 billion sums has been established and 688 new jobs were created. Within the framework of the regional program, 385 industrial facilities worth 1,752.4 billion sums were launched in 2021 and 4,164 new jobs were created.
— Ensuring employment of the population, creating new jobs through the development of entrepreneurship are among the priorities of state policy. What is the focus on to solve the problem of unemployment in the region? What is being done in the fight against poverty in general? There are also more labor migrants in the Bukhara region than in other regions. What measures will be taken to reduce this indicator?
— 44,235 families in need of social protection and assistance in the region (170,898 members, 49,284 able-bodied unemployed) are included in the "Iron Notebook". These are 17,705 low-income families, 5,403 families with disabilities, 2,232 families who have lost a breadwinner, 442 single residents, 18,453 families deprived of a temporary source of income due to quarantine. Of these, 49,149 people (99.7% of the working-age population) work in 42,910 families. In accordance with the decisions of the Kengashes of People's Deputies, 42,790 (96.7%) families were excluded from the "Iron Notebook" as having stable sources of income.
In 2021, 23.2 thousand migrants who returned from abroad were provided with employment. 12.2 thousand people were employed for permanent and temporary work, 1.9 thousand people were trained, 1.1 thousand people received subsidies, 8 thousand people started their own business activities. In addition, conducting a census and going around all the houses in turn, we visited family members of 75.4 thousand migrants in foreign countries.
According to the plans, more than 405 thousand people will be employed this year. Of course, the main part of this task will be carried out through 544 assistants to the khokim, who from January 1, 2022 began their work on the development of entrepreneurship, employment and poverty reduction in each makhalla. Khokims' assistants use their powers to provide subsidies, organize public works and allocate funds for vocational training within their budgets, and also provide employment for 98,991 people by providing loans for family entrepreneurship in mahallas.
22,336 people will be employed due to investment projects and the development of social and industrial infrastructure. More than 272.2 thousand citizens will be provided with employment in the field of agriculture. 11.9 thousand people will be involved in the field of tourism and sports. A completely new system of vocational training for the unemployed and young people will be introduced in the region. For this purpose, vocational training centers will be organized in 53 makhallas. In addition, this year, about 34.6 thousand people will be employed in the region by creating dekhkan farms from 10 acres to 1 ha on 5034 hectares of irrigated land.
— The issue of providing the population with clean drinking water is one of the most urgent in the region. What has already been done and what is planned at the moment?
— As of January 1, 2022, the level of provision of drinking water to the population of the region is 69% (1,363.5 thousand people). To 31% (613.4 thousand people) of the population of the region drinking water is delivered by special transport. This year alone, a number of major projects on centralized provision of drinking water to the population have already been completed. In particular, the project "Improvement of drinking water supply in the Alat and Karakul districts" worth $139 million has been fully completed. As a result, more than 200 thousand people living in the Alat and Karakul districts are centrally provided with high-quality drinking water for the first time.
In total, 142.4 billion sums were allocated in 2022 for 30 objects (including 4 investment and 26 — "Obod Kishlok" and "Obod Makhalla"), as well as 21 water structures and 594.7 km of water supply networks will be built and reconstructed. As a result of the construction and reconstruction of 322.2 km of drinking water supply networks and 13 water supply facilities worth 81.3 billion sums within the framework of the Obod Kishlok and Obod Makhalla programs, the level of centralized drinking water supply will reach 71% by the end of 2022.
— According to official statistics, in 2021 the foreign trade turnover of the region amounted to $1068.9 million, an increase of 30.8% compared to 2020. Which industries in the region have the potential to further improve this result?
— According to the export forecast, by the end of 2022, products worth $270 million will be exported, and the indicator of the established plan (the plan for 2022 is $235.8 million) will be fulfilled by 115%. In particular, by the end of the year, it is planned to export textiles worth $157.3 million, fruits and vegetables — $35.8 million, leather — $3.6 million, silk — $12.9 million, construction materials — $8.3 million, other industrial products — $53.68 million.
More than 45 new enterprises are involved in export activities, work is underway to establish contractual relations for the export of products to the markets of more than 10 new countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the UAE, Saudi Arabia).
The total volume of exports in the 1st quarter of this year amounted to $53.2 million, the established forecast of $42.5 million was fulfilled by 125.3%. The growth in export volumes was achieved due to the export of industries that are the driver for our region, in particular, textiles ($27.2 million, an increase of 36%), fruits and vegetables ($7.3 million, 45%), sericulture products (1.6 thousand dollars, 66%), construction materials ($1.6 thousand, 60%), regional industrial enterprises ($15.5 million, an increase in 2.9 times).
— Since this year, assistants to the khokims in makhallas have started working in all regions of our country. How do you evaluate their work? Which of the hokim's assistants can be set as an example to others? What are the first results of the makhallabay working system in the Bukhara region?
— Currently, assistants to the khokims work in 544 makhallas of the region. Since the beginning of this year, they have registered more than 403.8 thousand (100%) houses and they are divided into 4 main categories based on the socio-economic situation.
In particular: the first category — 17.5% (70.5 thousand) of low-income, but trying to earn; the second category — 26.9% (108.5 thousand) of households with a fixed income and wishing to receive additional income; the third category — 6.2% (25.0 thousand) of households in need of social protection, who have lost a breadwinner, as well as with disabilities the fourth category is 49.5% (199.9 thousand) of households with good economic condition and self-sufficiency.
Over the past period of this year, the assistants to the khokims have implemented a number of measures to ensure the employment of citizens and increase their sources of income. In particular, this year, 12.6 thousand unemployed people have been provided with highly paid jobs by khokims' assistants. 6,572 citizens who want to learn a profession and entrepreneurship have been trained. Today, on the basis of the conclusions of the khokims' assistants, loans have been allocated to 9,303 citizens in the amount of 220 billion sums, as well as subsidies to 3,467 individuals in the amount of 7 billion and 30 million sums.
According to the principle of "One village — one product", agricultural products were planted on 4,870 hectares of land according to proposals and with the help of khokims' assistants with attachment to cooperatives. Of these, 587 hectares are sown with potatoes, 2747 hectares with vegetables, 1392 hectares with melons, 526 hectares with legumes and 728 hectares with oilseeds.
Based on the specialization of all mahallas in the region, "growth points" have been identified, in which at least 60-70 percent of the population is employed. Of the 544 makhallas in Bukhara, 120 specialize in animal husbandry, 124 in agriculture, 72 in horticulture, 96 in trade and service, 19 in greenhouses and 15 in poultry farming, 98 in other areas.
Throughout the region, 44,235 families (170,898 members, 49,284 able-bodied unemployed) in need of social protection and assistance are listed in the "Iron Notebook". These are 17,705 low-income families, 5,403 families with disabilities, 2,232 families who have lost a breadwinner, 442 single residents, 18,453 families deprived of a temporary source of income due to quarantine. Of these, 49,149 members of 42,910 families were employed (99.7% of the able-bodied). In accordance with the decisions of the district (city) Of the Council of People's Deputies, 42,790 (96.7%) families with stable sources of income were excluded from the "Iron Notebook". Today, there are 1,445 families (4,618 members) in the "Iron Notebook".
— Tell us about the major investment projects that will be implemented in the region in the next 5 years.
— In order to improve the standard of living of the population and reduce the unemployment rate in 2022-2026, 5 thousand large and medium-sized projects worth 95.4 trillion sums will be implemented in the region over the next 5 years, which will create more than 65 thousand new jobs.
In particular, 1,300 jobs will be created in the Karakul district due to the construction project of a gas chemical complex worth $2.7 billion, processing 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and the production of 770 thousand tons of polymer per year will be launched.
At present, there are no sources of electricity generation in the region. Therefore, 3 wind and solar power plants will be built at the expense of $1.6 billion of foreign direct investment. In 2023, 200 jobs will be created in Gijduvan and Peshkun districts due to the establishment of a project for the construction of two 500 MW wind power plants worth $1.3 billion on the basis of a foreign enterprise ACWA Power LLC, as well as 2,000 manufacturing enterprises will be provided with uninterrupted power supply. In 2025, a project for the construction of a solar photovoltaic plant with a capacity of 250 megawatts will be implemented in the Alatsky district with the technical support of the International Finance Corporation. These stations will generate 6.3 billion kilowatt/hour of electricity per year, or twice as much for the needs of the region.
The main factor is also the production organized by domestic and foreign investors in free economic zones and small industrial zones of the region. At the same time, the development of foreign direct investments and loans in the amount of $1,977.1 million will be provided in the Bukhara region during 2022-2026. In 2026, the volume of foreign direct investment and loans will increase 2.5 times compared to 2021, and will reach $620.8 million. As a result of the launch of these projects, an additional reserve base of $310 million will be created for export indicators. New capacities worth 21.2 trillion sums will be created and the budget will receive 503 billion sums.
Also, in the Bukhara region in 2022-2026, exports of goods and products in the amount of $1,789,9 million will be carried out. The volume of exports of goods and products in 2026 will increase by 3.5 times, compared with 2021, and will be brought to $570.2 million. In particular, by 2026, more than 80 new types of products will be exported to foreign markets in sufficient quantities, and the volume of exports to more than 20 new markets will be increased.
Read full interview: Бухара — край больших перемен
Jamoliddin Turdimov, CERR
Accents / "Makhallabay" system
"Economic Review" Journal №5/2022