The Uzbek government last year spent $11.5 billion in providing loans and financial assistance to small businesses, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev reported.
Mirziyoyev added that more than 104,000 enterprises in Uzbekistan affected by the coronavirus pandemic resumed operations, while the working capital of private enterprises increased by 33% YoY.
The president harshly criticized regional and sector leaders who had failed to take full advantage of available economic opportunities.
He said: “We are living in a difficult period. Every day we need to look for something new, strive, work for the final goal. We have to support entrepreneurs, create conditions for them. No matter how much money we allocate, how many decrees and resolutions we adopt, how many favorable conditions we create, everything will be in vain if the lower-level managers do not change their worldview and become friends with the entrepreneurs.”
Mirziyoyev also touched upon problems in infrastructure. He said that some 320 entrepreneurs had been unable to put to work around $220 million worth of equipment that they had imported over the past two years.
Over 2,500 people stand to lose jobs due to insufficient electricity supplies, he mentioned.
The government has allocated $192 million to solve utility and infrastructure shortcomings. Until the end of this year, 168 industrial zones are to be provided with 468 kilometers of electricity networks, 362 kilometers of gas pipelines, 405 kilometers of water supply networks and 104 kilometers of roads.
The Business Ombudsman has been instructed to study the problems of entrepreneurs in infrastructure and make proposals to the prime minister to remedy them.
Mirziyoyev also noted that nearly $100 million was allocated for the development of the service sector during the pandemic.
This year, entrepreneurs are to be provided with at least $3.8 billion in loans to replenish working capital; export enterprises are set to enjoy $100 million of revolving loans.
A procedure is to be created for granting entrepreneurs who show good discipline in paying taxes on time the option of paying 50% of taxes in installments over three years. (Uzreport/Business World Magazine)
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