Senate Convenes for a General Session
In Tashkent, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis has gathered for its sixteenth general session. Members of the upper house of the national parliament considered 21 issues, including 14 bills designed to bolster the normative foundations of all walks of life of the society and uplift the effectiveness of extensive reforms undertaken in the country, as well as to promote international cooperation.
The senators approved the new draft law “On the State Customs Service”. It seeks to streamline the legal framework for the work of customs authorities, deliver additional legal mechanisms for the reliable protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as participants in foreign economic activity.
The bill defines new tasks of the customs authorities for the implementation of crime prevention, improvement of the legal culture of citizens, regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the use of the risk management system, the use of modern information and communication technologies and oversight technology.
The Senate members stressed that the bill, if signed into law, would help strengthen the guarantees of legal actions related to the fulfillment of obligations by customs officers, and further elevate their material and social protection.
They considered the draft law “On Private Employment Agencies”. The document provides for the growth and expansion of employment opportunities for the population of Uzbekistan both in the country and abroad, clearly regulating the mechanisms of interaction between public services and the private employment sector, defining the procedure and terms for the provision of employment services, including the rights and commitments of private employment agencies, enterprises and individual job seekers.
In accordance with the norms of this normative act, government bodies and other organizations assist private employment agencies in the implementation of programs and projects aimed at providing employment for the population, including abroad, developing public-private partnerships in the employment sector, in preparing and conducting information campaigns, conferences, symposia, seminars on issues of employment. The bill got approved by senators.
Members of the upper house approved the draft law “On the Election of the Chairperson (Aksakal) of Citizens’ Assembly”. The document aims to observe the principles of openness and transparency in the process of elections to citizens’ selfgovernment bodies, ensuring the independence of citizens’ leaders from state bodies, increasing the personnel potential of local assemblies and the effectiveness of the institution of mahalla. The term of office of the chairperson (aksakal) of citizens’ assembly is extended from two and a half to three years.
In accordance with the law, the Republican Commission created by the Kengash of the Senate is to assist in organizing and conducting the election of chairpersons (aksakals) of citizens’ assemblies, which may also include members of the Legislative Chamber and the Senate, representatives of government bodies, non-governmental, scientific and other organizations.
To ensure the delivery of appropriate conditions that rule out the possibility of any control over the will of citizens, a secret ballot will be established at the election of the chairs (aksakals) of the citizens’ assemblies.
Members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis also considered the draft law “On Amendments and Addenda to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan Aimed at Promoting Economic Relations and Entrepreneurship”, which provides for the abolition of the limitation period of a license for the right to carry out certain types of activities.
In particular, four types are excluded from the list of activities for which licenses are required: aircraft maintenance activities at airports related to the performance of air transportation; production, duplication and demonstration of audiovisual works on the screen; sale and rental of audiovisual works, phonograms and software programs; fermentation of tobacco raw materials. In this case, four licensed types of activity are combined into one – the design, construction, operation and provision of telecommunications network services.
Besides, changes are made whereby banks are entitled to issue microloans. At the same time, there is a ban on interest accrual, collection of commission payments and penalties (fines, penalties), application of other measures of liability under microfinance services agreements in the amount of more than half of the borrowing amount per year. The bill received approval of senators.
Another subject for discussion was the bill “On Introducing Amendments and Addenda to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan Aimed at Ensuring Public Safety”.
In particular, the law increases administrative liability for violations of road safety rules, it also provides for administrative responsibility for the unjustified refusal to provide emergency and first medical care to a person who is in a state dangerous to life or health.
In addition, criminal and administrative liability for obstruction, unlawful interference with business activities and other offenses infringing on the rights and legitimate interests of business entities is being raised. The senators approved the draft law.
Members of the upper house considered the issue of introducing changes to the expenses of the State Budget of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2018. The Senate adopted a resolution on the introduction of appropriate amendments in the state budget expenditures.
The session participants deliberated on the issue of changing the boundaries of the Gijduvan district of the Bukhara region and Kanimeh district of the Navoi region.
It was noted that the change in the boundaries of these areas proceeds from the need to improve the management system and will contribute to its effectiveness. By the document, 10,651 hectares of land in the Gijduvan district of the Bukhara region, including 609.65 hectares of land in the village of Zafarabad, are transferred to the Kanimeh district of the Navoi region.
Senators considered the issue of sending a parliamentary request to Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance Jamshid Kuchkarov on the streamlining of labor relations in agriculture and informal employment in this area.
It was noted that, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, in the first half of 2018 the number of employed workers in farms was more than 2 million people. Of these, officially employed were more than 500 thousand, while about 1.5 million people were employed unofficially. Senators supported the initiative of sending a parliamentary request.
The session listened to the information of the Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abduhakimov on the implementation of the program of measures for the further development of specialized medical care to the population of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017–2021. During the discussion, the reasons for non-compliance with the measures provided by the “roadmap” were critically analyzed, recommendations were made to eliminate the existing problems and strictly implement this program, as well as to increase the effectiveness of the work being undertaken in this direction. Members of the upper house approved the ruling.
Senators discussed other issues on the agenda.