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07/12/11 - Senate holds plenary session, adopts new laws

posted 15 Jan 2012, 06:04 by Ambasciata Uzbekistan

The seventh plenary session of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan opened in Tashkent on 5 December.

The senators considered the issue of the amnesty in connection with the 19th anniversary of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, submitted to the upper house of parliament by President Islam Karimov.

It was noted that the adoption of the amnesty act on the eve of the 19th anniversary of the Constitution was another demonstration of humanity of the state, in which the human rights and interests are the highest value, the essence of the democratic, political and socioeconomic reforms.

It is envisaged to implement a package of measures aimed at social adaptation, including employment, and protection of persons who are freed from punishment on the amnesty act.

The senators also approved the State Budget of Uzbekistan for 2012. The document stipulates further reduction of the tax burden on economic entities and individuals, creating favorable conditions for further modernization, technical and technological reequipment of enterprises, simplifying the tax system, and implementation of other measures needed to stimulate the economic growth and increase the real income of the population.

In order to support the accelerated development of small business, the single tax for enterprises in the industry sector will be reduced from 6 to 5 percent. Besides, the minimum tax rate on personal income will be reduced by 1 percentage point, which will ensure reduction of tax for each group of taxpayers.

The State Budget for 2012 envisages maintaining high expenditures for social services and social support, with their share making up 58.6 percent of the total expenditures. In particular, funding for education, healthcare, increasing salaries and social allowances is being increased.

The Senate approved the Program of creation of workplaces and employment of the population in 2012, developed by the Cabinet of Ministers. The document provides for creation of 967,500 jobs next year, mostly in rural areas, by implementing the Investment program of 2012, the Program of localization of production for 2011-2013, regional socioeconomic and industrial development and regional investment programs.

The senators approved the Law “On introducing amendment in Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, submitted by the head of the state. The amendment reduces the term of office of the President from the current seven years to five. In this regard, amendments are also introduced in other legislative acts of Uzbekistan.

It was noted that during the 20 years of independent development, Uzbekistan has come a long way of reformation of the government and the constitutional principle of separation of powers, formation of an effective system of checks and balances among them, increasing the role and powers of the legislative and representative authorities at the central and local levels, and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.

In the framework of consistent, systematic and large-scale reforms, the work has been carried out to transfer to the legislative and executive structures of the part of the rights and powers of the President, which the head of the state was given in the first years of formation of the national statehood and the free market economy. One of the politico-legal acts of great importance was the abolition of the post of the chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, which was previously held by the President, and transfer of these powers to the Prime Minister, as well as exclusion from the Constitution of the norms stating that the President was the head of the executive power.

With the formation of the two-house parliament, the larger part of the President’s powers was passed and is today successfully carried out by the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan.

The senators stressed that all of these and other measures were a concrete evidence of purposeful, gradual and evolutionary advancement of the country on the path of democratization and liberalization of the political and economic system, and realization of the long-term goal that Uzbekistan has set – to join the developed democratic states.

As the senators noted, the adoption of the law establishing the five-year term of electing the President instead of the existing seven years reflected the objective reality, the logic and sequence of reforms implemented in the country. This meets the requirements of the currently realized Concept of further deepening of democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country, as well as the practice prevailing in most developed democracies of the world.

The Senate then approved the Law “On introducing changes and amendments to the Criminal Procedures Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan”. The main purpose of the law, which extends the number of cases for launching and investigating criminal cases on the complaint of the victim, is further liberalization of criminal procedures legislation.

A number of laws that the Senate passed were developed in accordance with the Concept of further deepening of democratic reforms and the formation of civil society in the country proposed by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the joint session of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan on 12 November 2010.

These include the Law “On competition”, amendments to the laws “On telecommunications”, “On state statistics”, “On subsoils”, and “On tax consulting”.