— In our country, the "makhallabay" system was introduced for the first time. What is the nature of this position for you, how do you see and understand it?
— It would not be an exaggeration to say that the introduction last year of the post of "assistant to the khokim" in the makhallas raised the values of our people a step higher. It is worth noting that this proposal was made by our President on September 21, 2021 at a meeting with the voters of Karakalpakstan. Our task is to carry out systematic work to reduce poverty and create new jobs through the development of entrepreneurship in the makhalla.
We were provided with financial instruments in the makhalla for lending to family entrepreneurship, assisting in the implementation of entrepreneurs' projects, allocating subsidies to low-income families and attracting them to public works, vocational training of young people. In general, all the actions of assistants to the khokims are aimed at improving the standard of living of the people, since we are required to be the support of the people.
— Tell us more about yourself and how you came to this position. Were you previously familiar with the work in the makhalla, in which you are now an assistant?
— The tasks of the assistant Hakim were related to the creation of new jobs and ensuring employment of the population, which was an area close to my previous activity. Previously, I worked at the State Tax Inspectorate, the Employment Promotion Center, was the head of the Investment and Foreign Trade Department, introduced innovations in organizing effective work and creating new jobs.
The makhalla, where I work as an assistant to the khokim, is not my place of residence. But, despite this, after getting acquainted with the work in the makhalla, I very quickly found a common language with the residents. Together with the assets of the makhalla, we are taking all measures to develop entrepreneurship, provide employment for the population and reduce poverty. During my last activity, that is, during 2022, I managed to contribute to the creation of 575 jobs based on the programs of regional new investment projects.
Based on the above tasks, I had the idea to continue working in the political process now organized in the makhallabay system, and using my experience to show the possibilities of the Markazobod makhalla, located in the center of Turtkul district, to help families out of poverty and, as the President of our country noted, to pay special attention to ensuring people's satisfaction with my life.
— Can you give detailed information about your makhalla?
— There are 340 households in the makhalla, where 2155 citizens live in 510 families. In 2022, 81 unemployed citizens were registered here, today this number has decreased to 26. There are 77 business entities operating on the territory of the makhalla. Most of them are entrepreneurs in the service sector. There are no large enterprises in our region, but our population finds an opportunity to earn a living by providing services and self-employment.
There are also many citizens who want to start their own business. Based on their needs, the work on the allocation of subsidies or preferential loans is carried out online within the makhalla on the basis of the support of the assistant to the khokim. In order to ensure the employment of our citizens who want to find a job for existing vacancies, in cooperation with the district employment promotion center, visits to enterprises and organizations with vacancies, territorial labor fairs are organized.
— How did you establish contact with the residents of the makhalla? How many complaints are received about problems, does the information platform help in solving problems?
— In the process of forming the "passport" of our makhalla, I studied the gender composition, professional skills, intentions, desires, problems of the population and posted the collected information on the platform online-mahalla.uz. In order to address the problems of citizens and entrepreneurs, this platform provides for the possibility of sending appeals on behalf of individuals and legal entities directly to responsible organizations. The fact that most of the appeals of the population to solve the existing problems in the field of social infrastructure have already found their solution, of course, is a sign that our efforts in this direction are yielding results.
According to the data, there are more unemployed women in Uzbekistan than unemployed men. In the processes of employment of unemployed women, I carefully study their marital status and give the necessary recommendations and advice, taking into account their capabilities. There are 1,080 women registered in the Markazobod makhalla. 44 unemployed women were sent to the vocational centers and mono-centers of "Ishga Marhamat" for vocational training, 26 of them have successfully completed their studies and are working in their specialty. In addition, 25 women received a preferential loan under the "Every family is an entrepreneur" program and registered as self-employed citizens. 86 citizens with informal employment were provided with permanent and seasonal work, 47 became self-employed.
— What ways have you used in your work to support poor families? Tell us about the results of working with these households.
— The number of low-income families in our makhalla is 97, of which 61 citizens are employed. I can show this with examples. Citizen I. Tajimuratova, who is on the list of the "Women's Notebook", received a sewing machine and an overlock thanks to a preferential loan allocated under the program "Every family is an entrepreneur". Her family's income before providing practical assistance was 450 thousand sums per month per capita, and after allocating a sewing machine and an overlock on the basis of a loan, her income amounted to 1.5 million sums per person. As a result, the family was transferred from the first category to the fourth.
Citizen Z. Kalandarova, who is on the list of the "Women's Notebook", was also provided with a sewing machine on the basis of a subsidy. Her family's income before providing practical assistance was 430 thousand sums per person per month, and after allocating a sewing machine on the basis of a subsidy, the family's income reached 1.6 million sums per person. As a result, the family was transferred from the first category to the fourth. The family of A. Abdullayeva, who is on the list of the "Women's Notebook", was also transferred from the first category to the fourth thanks to our help.
— As a result of research in the makhalla, which areas of development were first of all paid attention to? What was done?
— As a result of research, it became known that the driver of our makhalla is the service sector. Based on the specialization of the makhalla, special attention was paid to providing residents with a stable income. As a result, 156 citizens were employed on a permanent basis, 86 were registered as self-employed, 2 were involved in paid public works, 10 received land for rent.
The number of newly created business entities was 23, of which 8 were registered as individual entrepreneurs and 15 as legal entities. Within the framework of the family entrepreneurship development program, preferential loans in the amount of 1 billion 286 million sums were allocated for 50 projects. Our leading entrepreneurs are a sewing enterprise, which is part of the production cooperative "Chevar 2022", and a branch of public catering, which is part of Antika Balik Taomlari LLC. In addition, 4 micro-projects with a total cost of 800 million sums have been launched in the makhalla on my initiative and 10 new jobs have been created.
In the course of my further work, I plan to implement the developed concept of creating new jobs by introducing modern types of services, using the opportunities and resources available in the area to develop the driver of our makhalla, that is, the service sector.
As for the issues of landscaping, a new building of preschool education organization No.12 for 120 places with a total cost of 2 billion 700 million sums was commissioned in December 2022 on the territory of the makhalla. In order to improve the road infrastructure of the makhalla, 0.5 km of internal roads with black asphalt and concrete asphalt were laid, 0.5 km of water supply networks were updated. In addition, 1 kilometer of a pedestrian path has been laid and 40 night lights with solar panels have been installed.
— Based on your experience, tell me, what are the reasons for the recorded cases of poverty in the makhalla?
— The source of poverty is, first of all, the lack of a permanent job, that is, unemployment, lack of education, as well as lack of knowledge and skills to engage in entrepreneurship. According to the monitoring results, today it seems that the majority of families living in poverty are families with disabilities, pensioners and women engaged in child care. Also, the reason is that before starting any work, for example, to get a preferential loan or subsidy, it turns out that a citizen has no interest in this case or an idea about this direction.
Examples of solutions to this problem can be subsidies, financial assistance, preferential loans allocated for the unemployed and low-income citizens. The existence of a system of free training of unemployed citizens in professions that are in high demand in the labor market is also an action aimed at increasing employment and, at the same time, their incomes. I believe that the most effective way to reduce poverty is the rational use of available opportunities and resources.
— In your opinion, what else needs to be done to reduce the level of poverty in the makhalla?
— In order to reduce the level of poverty, we need to create large manufacturing enterprises in the makhalla. As a result, unemployment will be prevented, a source of income will appear and poverty will be reduced. In addition, self-employment in each household in such areas as livestock, greenhouses, poultry farming, development of abandoned and arid lands, as well as the introduction of measures to combat poverty by increasing the sowing of export crops, will undoubtedly soon have a positive effect. To prevent unemployment and poverty, citizens should be provided with opportunities and skills based on the growth driver of the makhalla.
— Today in our country there is a tough fight against any forms of corruption. What are you doing to prevent cases of corruption in your activities?
— In order to avoid cases of corruption, I regularly conduct legal and propaganda activities in order to timely identify corruption offenses in the mahalla, prevent them, eliminate the causes and conditions conducive to their commission. On the "Crime Prevention Day", "Spirituality Hours" are organized in our makhalla. We process all information electronically — without the human factor — through the ONLINE MAHALLA platform, created for us, the assistants to the khokims. It is also very convenient for citizens, and most importantly, it does not require any additional actions. In addition, I constantly give direct and open reports to the public about our activities to the residents of the makhalla.
— Has their confidence in the institute of the assistants to the khokims and the mahallabay system as a whole increased?
— Today's good results and achievements belong not only to me. We have achieved them thanks to the trust of the residents of our makhalla. Recently, I was recognized as the best assistant of the khokim, taking the honorable third place in the Republic of Karakalpakstan in the framework of the republican contest "The Best Assistant to the Khokim" organized by the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan. For me, of course, this is a great incentive. Feeling the burden of my duties, I try to be a "wing" and an assistant to the people. Thanks to this opportunity, I will try my best to find a solution to the problems that concern the population, to contribute to the well-being of people. In conclusion, I must say that all necessary measures are being taken in Uzbekistan to eliminate poverty and ensure the well-being of our people.
Jamoliddin Turdimov, CERR
"Economic Review" Journal №3/2023