5 May 2020 193
The next stage of easing the lockdown initiated
On May 5, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on measures to further ease the quarantine conditions and resume economic activity.
Taking into account the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the country, a gradual easing of quarantine conditions has started on April 22. In order to continue this work consistently, the situation at places has been studied, reasonable proposals have been received from each industry and khokimiyats.
Activities to be implemented based on the results of the analysis and proposals were discussed at the meeting.
In addition to restored industries, agriculture and construction, it is planned to gradually resume the activities of service sector entities.
In particular, it was noted that in districts with a positive epidemiological situation, it is necessary to allow the operation of non-food stores, provide medical diagnostics, taxi services, sewing activity, household appliances and shoe repairs, hairdressers, with the establishment of appropriate sanitary requirements for them. In addition, stickers will be canceled and the use of personal vehicles will be allowed.
However, since the threat of the coronavirus has not yet been completely eliminated, restrictions on mass gathering facilities, including theater performances, concert and sports events, celebrations and public transport will be maintained for some time.
The Republican Commission was instructed to decide in which regions and under what conditions services will be resumed.
“We will continue to remove restrictions as the epidemiological situation improves. On the contrary, if the situation worsens, we will resume quarantine measures”, says Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Special attention is paid to supporting enterprises to ensure their sustainable operation. To this end, the Head of the state signed a resolution “On urgent measures to support textile, clothing and knitwear industry”.
According to the resolution:
– in order to further support textile enterprises and clusters, to increase products’ competitiveness, the transition to international exchange prices will be carried out, which will reduce the cost of raw materials by 10 percent;
– the deadline for final payment for cotton fiber sold on the domestic market before April 1 has been extended from 90 to 150 days;
– value added tax will be refunded in full as soon as goods exported by textile enterprises leave the country;
– 64 types of raw materials that are important for the industry are exempt from customs duties.
It is also planned to sharply increase the export of finished products, create large modern textile and clothing clusters with at least 1 thousand employees, which will work under an international brand.
The Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to further support export activities” was also adopted.
In accordance with it, the list of products, the transportation costs of which are subject to subsidy, has been expanded from the current 52 to 86 types. The list includes 32 types of vegetable products and gourds, as well as fresh, frozen and canned fruits.
More than 2000 exporting companies will be able to use this mechanism to cover transport costs. 360 billion UZS will be allocated from the budget for this purpose.
“The goal of these measures is to quickly restore enterprises’ activities, steadily increase exports and create broad opportunities for creating jobs. Therefore, leaders at all levels should constantly introduce new ideas and initiatives in each district and makhalla, prioritize improving the lives, increasing employment and income of ordinary and poor people in particular”, notes the Head of the state.
Issue of determining regions where quarantine measures will be mitigated was also considered at the meeting.
The Ministry of Health is instructed to determine the level of quarantine in each district and city together with khokimiyats and promptly change the levels of quarantine depending on changes in the situation at places. The need for complying with temporary sanitary rules, norms and hygiene standards approved on April 23 for the period of the pandemic was noted.
It was noted that it is necessary to create conditions for stable activity of economic sectors and entrepreneurs in the post-pandemic period.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction was instructed to work with industry leaders, regional khokims and banks to determine the types and volume of assistance to enterprises by June 1 and develop a post-crisis action plan for each enterprise.
In this plan, priority will be given to providing additional working capital loans to enterprises, assistance in fulfilling export obligations, and increasing the volume of state subsidies for homestead land and greenhouses.
The issue of ensuring tax revenues was also discussed. In January-April this year, corresponding forecast was fulfilled by 102.7 percent. It was noted that from now on, budget revenues will begin to grow. Responsible persons were given appropriate instructions.
Once again drawing attention to food security, the Head of the state outlined measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic food to the population and maintain price stability.
Activities carried out in Karakalpakstan and the city of Tashkent were considered at the meeting. Ministers and khokims provided information on the issues discussed.
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