National budget parameters discussed for 2021
The coronavirus contagion has had a grave impact on many plans. As a result of the decisions and timely measures taken, the implementation of budget parameters for the current year is being ensured. This made it possible to channel 13.4 trillion soums to counter the pandemic.
The head of state stressed at the meeting that when designing the budget for the next year, one should take into account the enduring pandemic and the decline in economic activity at the global level.
Measures to secure macroeconomic stability and the forecast level of budget revenues were discussed. This requires achieving economic growth of at least 5.1 percent in 2021, including 5.8 percent in industrial production and 6.5 percent in services and construction. It is also important not to exceed the forecast indicators for inflation and budget deficit.
Officials in charge have been given a range of directives. It was noted, for example, that the reduction of the shadow economy and the legalization of 600 thousand jobs, integration of databases of 53 government agencies, and the expansion of the list of products subject to labeling may become an additional reserve for budget revenues.
It is also planned to increase production at large enterprises. For instance, it is possible to receive an additional 500 billion soums of excise tax in the budget as a result of the full satisfaction of the needs of the economy and the population in natural gas, as well as streamlining payments in this area. It is expected that the budget will receive an additional 250 billion soums of value added tax thanks to the uninterrupted supply of electricity to the domestic market. The Ministry of Energy has been given appropriate instructions in this regard.
The Ministry of Transport was urged to bring budget revenues to the 2019 indicators next year by resuming communications and opening new routes.
In light of the pandemic most likely to endure through to 2021, social spending is intended to be increased by at least 15 percent compared to the current year. In particular, the extent of coverage of children with preschool education is to reach 70 percent, and the share of the private sector in this area – to 25 percent. The budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Public Education will be enhanced by 16 percent. For the first time, 100 billion soums are to be assigned from the budget to connect schools to the Internet, along with 200 billion soums for equipment.
In addition, next year, within the framework of the Concept for the Development of Science, the moneys to be assigned to the Fund for Innovative Development and Support for Innovative Ideas are to double to reach 100 billion soums.
About 20 trillion soums are expected to be channeled to the healthcare sector, including 3 trillion soums for measures to combat coronavirus and 1.8 trillion for the purchase of medicines.
For the first time, about 90 billion soums will be billed for oncohematology. In addition, 7 percent of the proceeds from the excise tax on tobacco products will be transferred to the Fund for the Promotion of the Recovery of Persons Suffering from Hematological Cancer and Intractable Diseases. Besides, for the first time next year, 130 billion soums is to be cashed in to bring the coverage of medical services to patients in need of hemodialysis to 100 percent.
Special attention was paid to issues of reducing poverty, supporting entrepreneurship and ensuring employment of the population.
In order to reduce poverty, the number of low-income families receiving social benefits will be doubled compared to figures of early 2020. The President pointed out that from January 1 of next year, the system for the distribution of social benefits should be fully automated by launching a single social register in all regions.
More than 3 trillion soums of subsidies are planned to be alloted within the framework of entrepreneurship support programs. In addition, 250 billion soums are to be directed to the Employment Promotion Fund and the same amount to the Public Works Fund.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the number of low-income citizens should be reduced by creating new jobs and inviting the population to entrepreneurship.
In the coming year, 30 billion soums will be due from the budget for the first time to provide housing for orphans. The officials were instructed to develop a new procedure for the provision of such housing and draw up lists of recipients.
The need to expand the powers of local kengashes (councils) in shaping the local budget was indicated. The regions must learn, it was noted at the meeting, to seek out and employ additional reserves, and thus address social issues.
The President stressed that budget expenditures should be transparent, and that ministries and departments as well as regional administrations should spend every soum wisely.
Another important issue is the consolidation of financial discipline and oversight. The Ministry of Finance was instructed to strengthen the system of internal audit in organizations, and prevent illegal expenses and shortages.
From now on, the procedure for publishing the structure and performance of expenditures on the official websites of state bodies will be introduced, and managers who do not comply with this requirement will be fined. Control over this order will be carried out by both houses of the Oliy Majlis and local kengashes.
Deputy Prime Ministers have been tasked with formulating investment programs implemented through centralized, foreign and private investments.
Executives reported on risks in meeting the budget parameters by the end of this year and for the next year, as well as on the efforts undertaken to eliminate those perils.