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Senate of Uzbekistan’s Oliy Majlis Convenes for 15th General Session
The fifteenth general session of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan opened in the city of Tashkent on 28 August 2014. Invited to the meeting were members of the Cabinet of Ministers, heads of ministries and government agencies as well as representatives of other organizations and mass media.
The session was headed by Chairman of the Oliy Majlis Senate I.Sobirov.
The senators started their work with deliberations on the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Social Partnership, elaborated within efforts to execute the Concept of Intensification of Democratic Reforms and Formation of Civil Society in the Country in the part concerning the establishment and development of civil society institutions.
During the ensuing discussions, members of the upper house stressed that the Concept under implementation attaches an important significance to securing the further advancement of civil society institutions and reinforce their role in the realization of ongoing reforms. The bill under consideration is expected to define unambiguous organizational-normative mechanisms in the interaction of nongovernmental nonprofit organizations (NNOs) with government bodies in elaborating and implementing programs pertaining to socio-economic development, in addressing humanitarian issues, protecting the rights, freedoms and interests of various strata of the country’s population.
Deriving from the priority dimensions of modernization and democratic renewal of the country, the law envisions such principal areas of social partnership as social security, support and elevation of social activity of the population, provision for employment, promotion of small business and private entrepreneurship, environmental security and public healthcare, formation of a comprehensively advanced and healthy younger generation, protection of maternity and childhood, defense of the rights of women, elevation of law knowledge, legal conscience and law culture of the general public, among others.
The proposed legislative act specifies organizational and normative mechanisms in the interaction of government agencies with NNOs, the forms and methods of their engagement in addressing socially significant issues across the nation.
According to senators, instrumental in the consolidation of social partnership are to become the norms of the law that envisage the establishment of public foundations under the Jokargy Kenes (Supreme Council) of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Kengashes (Councils) of people’s deputies of regions and the city of Tashkent in order to support NNOs and other civil society institutions, along with corresponding public commissions from among the deputies of local representative bodies of government, officials of respective subdivisions of hokimiyats (administrations), of justice and finance bodies, as well as NNOs.
In the opinion of upper house legislators, the law is expected to facilitate the creation of a favorable law framework for the promotion of social partnership, the boost in the effectiveness of wide-ranging efforts being undertaken in the country to shape a potent civil society, the comprehensive account of the interests of broad strata of the population in the process of elaboration and realization of programs in the socio-economic development and acts of legislation that carry a great social significance. The bill drew the support of senators.
Then, members of the Senate considered the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Commercial Secrets, elaborated as part of the realization of the 8 July 2011 presidential resolution on additional measures to safeguard the national information resources and the 7 November 2011 resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on measures to implement the ПП–1572 resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed 8 July 2011 on additional measures to safeguard the national information resources.
The lawmakers of the parliament’s upper chamber pointed out that the bill is dedicated to ensuring the protection and use of commercial secrets, to referring to information as in the category of commercial secret and its systematization, to securing the protection of economic interests of corporate entities in conditions of market competition.
The adoption of the bill, as the senators underscored, will serve the perfection of the normative regulation of the process of establishing the regime of trade secret that is in the realm of public interests, and it contains a range of novelties.
Realization of the norms of the law is going to allow for the creation of conditions for an effective operation of corporate entities, and serve as an encouraging factor in the further development of information technologies, production innovations, know-how and inventions that in the end is to lead to a further growth of the economy and the prosperity of the nation. The members of the upper house approved the bill.
The senators also discussed the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Introduction of Amendments and Addenda to the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Market Exchanges and Market Exchange Activities that was worked out as part of the efforts directed at the implementation of the Concept of Intensification of Democratic Reforms and Formation of Civil Society in the Country.
During the ensuing deliberations, the lawmakers stressed in particular that the bill creates conditions for the operation of an integrated law enforcement practice in issues concerning the exchange activities and the workings of exchanges, as well as mechanisms for the integration of the domestic exchange market into the global exchange market. In general, it is expected to facilitate the provision for an extensive participation of corporate entities in commodities and stock exchanges, the development of the financial sector, elevation of the quality of market infrastructure, improvement in the rates of macroeconomic growth. The senators approved the bill.
Further on, the senators discussed the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Introduction of Amendments and Addenda to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, aimed at the perfection of the acting legislation in the socio-economic, socio-political and judicial spheres.
Principal provisions of the law were elaborated in accordance with the decisions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, including the 7 April 2014 decree of the head of our state on Additional Measures to Further Improve the Investment Climate and Business Environment in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the 25 June 2014 resolution of the President of Uzbekistan on the Program of Lawmaking Works to Implement the Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The bill envisions amendments and addenda to a range of laws, including the one on the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the one on Micro Financing, the one on Insurance Activity, on Currency Regulation, on Mass Media, on Nature Protection, on the Introduction of Information Technologies, the Customs and Criminal-Procedural Codes, the Code on Administrative Liability, and other acts of legislation.
In the view of the senators, the amendments being introduced to the legislation are to facilitate the further refinement of electoral legislation, expansion of powers, and reinforcement of guarantees of the independence of the Central Election Commission. The law is to become an important factor in the improvement of business climate, development of entrepreneurship activity, creation of more favorable conditions for entrepreneurship entities, enhancement of democratic reforms in the judicial sphere. Of great importance are the amendments dedicated to uplifting the effectiveness in the environmental protection and rational use of natural resources. The bill received the support of senators.
Members of the upper house considered the report of Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the current state and measures being taken to further reinforce the public prosecutor oversight of the compliance with the acting legislation to secure human rights and freedoms.
It was noted that for the review period, the prosecutor bodies have carried out works considerable in scales and directed at the execution of objectives they are tasked with, including those pertinent to ensuring the rule of law, consolidating the legitimacy, protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens, the interests of society and state safeguarded by the law, the constitutional order of the Republic of Uzbekistan, prevention and prophylaxis of delinquency.
Special attention of the prosecutor bodies was paid to the protection of personal, political, economic, social and other rights and freedoms of citizens, fixed in the Constitution.
In the meanwhile, a great significance was attached to the oversight of the execution of laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, decrees and resolutions of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers, directed at the realization of critical national programs, including those in the sphere of support and development of entrepreneurship activity, farmer and dehkan enterprises, inadmissibility of facts of illegal interference into their activities.
A notable emphasis was placed by the public prosecutor bodies also on issues related to the elevation of effectiveness of oversight of the execution of legislation in matters concerning the employment of population, particularly the youths and graduates of colleges and lyceums, the effective provision for the respect of citizens’ rights for worthwhile working conditions, for qualified medical services, as well as the reliable protection of the life and health of citizens from criminal encroachment, the practical realization of their rights for judicial protection.
In the review period, in order to secure the principle of priority to human rights, along with the reinforcement of responsibility of government agencies and public officials before the society and citizens, the prosecutors kept constant oversight of the execution of requirements of the legislation aimed at timely consideration of appeals of citizens by government agencies and their officials.
It was noted in the report that despite the efforts undertaken by government and management bodies on this front, there are facts of ignoring by public officials the requirements of legislation on the appeals of citizens. Thus, shortcomings when working with appeals of citizens were revealed in the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources Management, of Higher and Secondary Special Education, of Public Healthcare, of Labor and Social Security of the Population and other government agencies.
At the same time, in order to boost the responsibility of public officials, the prosecutors in cooperation with other law enforcement and judicial agencies – as well as bodies of government and management – have made considerable efforts to inform the direct executors of the essence and requirements of the newly adopted normative acts, to secure the accurate and universal application of legislation norms by them, as well as the elevation of law culture of the population.
As it was pointed out in the report, in accordance with the decree of the head of our state on Measures to Further Improve the System of Ensuring the Execution of Legislation, a chief directorate for the oversight of the execution of legislation has been established this year within the Prosecutor General’s Office, which became an important factor in the reliable protection of human rights and freedoms.
The senators voiced their proposals and recommendations directed at the perfection of the activities of public prosecutors in matters pertaining to the protection of rights and freedoms of citizens.
The upper house lawmakers heard the report of the Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the activities of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the year 2013. It was noted thus that the activities of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the review period was directed at the execution of policy tasks outlined in the Report of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the session of the Cabinet of Ministers on 18 January 2013 to secure the sustainable development and reliability of the banking system of the country and enhance its participation in the financial support for the high rates of economic growth, the macroeconomic balance, modernization, technical and technological renewal and diversification of the economy.
Participants of the general session underscored that the steadfast and targeted reforms in the banking system of the country have allowed in the review period to ensure high rates in the growth of the level of capitalization and deposit base of banks, cement the sustainability of banks and achieve remarkable international indicators, expand the volumes of crediting the real sector of the economy.
The self-sufficiency of the capital of the banking system is maintained at the level that exceeds the minimum international standards threefold, while its liquidity is 2.2 times higher than the normative requirements. Assets of banks as well as the total volume of loans assigned to the real sector of the economy grew by 30 percent in the review period. At the same time, the share of loans allocated for investment goals has increased 1.25 times. The volume of loans assigned for entities of small business and private entrepreneurship amounted to 7 trillion soums, which is 1.3 times higher than that in 2012.
It was stressed that the ever growing confidence to the banking system from the population and economic entities is worth appreciation. Thus, the total volume of deposits in commercial banks in the year 2013 increased by 30.2 percent. As a result, all the banks of Uzbekistan have by now been acknowledged by international rating agencies as sustainable banks with the rating “stable”.
In the meantime, during their speeches on the report, the senators drew attention to the necessity of the reinforcement of the role and further elevation of the effectiveness of activities of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan in carrying out the adopted strategy of monetary policy that secures the steadily high rates of economic growth, mobilization in these ends of the available reserves and capacities. A special emphasis should be placed to the perfection of the system of banking oversight by way of expanding the practice of the use of international norms, criteria and standards, to the elevation of investment activity of banks, paying a particular attention thereby to funding projects envisaged in programs of socio-economic development of regions, creating jobs and providing for the employment of population, conducting systemic measures for an integrated development and financial support for women’s and family entrepreneurship.
Senators approved corresponding decisions on issues considered.
The first day of the fifteenth general session of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan ended in that point.