On March 19, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on mitigating the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic on people’s living and economy.
“In the current conditions, industrial enterprises, entrepreneurs and exporters expect us to take concrete and effective measures. Therefore, creating reserves to compensate for possible economic losses and ensuring macroeconomic stability should be main task of the government”, says Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
In order to effectively organize this work, the President signed a decree on priority measures to mitigate the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic and global crisis phenomena on the economy. Anti-Crisis Fund in the amount of 10 trillion UZS is being created.
Implementation of tasks defined in the decree and mitigation of pandemic impact on the economy was discussed at the meeting.
Instructions were given to direct the organization’s funds primarily to prevent the spread of coronavirus, provide medical institutions with medicines, protection and diagnostics, and timely finance quarantine costs.
Almost 5,5 thousand medical workers have been involved in the fight against coronavirus in the country. It was instructed to provide them with material and moral support and pay a surcharge of 120 percent of their salary.
The need for timely detection of infected people and increase attention to prevention, providing all infectious hospitals in regions with express tests was noted.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and National Guard have been tasked to ensure that citizens observe the quarantine.
Tasks were defined to provide tax holidays and preferences for credit debt, allocation of budget loans to industries most affected by coronavirus.
For example, the risks of non-repayment of loans amounting to 90 billion UZS in hotel business, 650 billion UZS in transport and logistics sector, 180 billion UZS in catering sector, and 3.6 trillion UZS in foreign trade enterprises are growing. Travel agencies and hotels continue to pay a tourist fee of 2-3 USD per day.
In this regard, an instruction was given to extend the repayment terms of loans to these enterprises and temporarily suspend the collection of tourist fees.
It was noted that khokims will be authorized to grant enterprises that find themselves in a difficult economic situation, a delay in paying local taxes for up to 6 months.
At the same time, the rates of personal income tax for individual entrepreneurs and tax on the use of water resources for farmers will be reduced by 50 percent. At the same time, the losses of local budgets will be compensated from the national budget.
A moratorium on tax audits will be declared until the end of the year, and the accrual of penalties on tax debts of enterprises will be suspended. No inspection body is going to bother entrepreneurs.
Taking into account the situation in the international trade, it was instructed not to apply fines in connection with overdue debts for export-import operations, to increase the passage of products along green corridors, and to promptly solve problems related to cargo transportation.
“In the current situation, the tax base of some enterprises will decrease. But responsible persons should have a daily analysis and a clear picture of what will cover the shortfall”, says the President.
At the meeting, special attention was paid to social protection of the population. Tasks are set to ensure the rights of employees of institutions closed for quarantine, citizens in quarantine, and those caring for them, and to increase the number of recipients of social benefits by at least 10 percent or 60 thousand.
It is absolutely unacceptable to dismiss parents who are looking after children in quarantine from their place of work. They will also be paid a one-hundred-percent temporary disability allowance.
During the suspension of activities of kindergartens and general education schools, parents (persons who replace them) of children and primary schoolchildren will be granted annual vacation, regardless of the schedule for using annual vacation.
Employment requires special attention in the context of declining business activity. In this regard, an additional 200 billion UZS will be allocated to Public Works Fund from Anti-Crisis Fund. These funds will be used for employment and construction of additional infrastructure facilities in makhallas. The State Fund for Business Support will be allocated an additional 500 billion UZS to assist business entities that create jobs.
In order to implement these measures efficiently, Republican Anti-Crisis Commission, headed by Prime Minister, will be formed. Starting from March 22 and for two months, the Commission will deal with issues of countering the spread of coronavirus, ensuring the sustainable operation of industries, services, trade, transport, logistics and other enterprises in each district and city.
The State Reserves Management Committee under the Cabinet of Ministers has been instructed to monitor the dynamics of prices on markets and, if necessary, supply products from reserves.
Responsible persons provided information on the issues discussed at the meeting.