Subsistence Minimum and Consumer Basket
In the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, lawmakers attended a roundtable discussion on the topic “Enacting the concepts of subsistence minimum and consumer basket in the legislation to identify the incomes necessary for decent living conditions of the population, and the creation of mechanisms for their practical provision”. The event was organized at the initiative of the parliamentary group of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan.
In his Address to the Oliy Majlis, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev placed special emphasis on the need to consolidate the concepts of subsistence minimum and consumer basket in the legislation, as well as to create mechanisms for their practical provision. To this end, the main purpose sought from the roundtable was to shape working groups to study sound and up-to-date mechanisms for setting minimum consumer spending standards and analyze foreign experience in this direction.
The legislators noted that Uzbekistan wields immense opportunities in terms of improving the well-being of the population and, to effectively use them, it is necessary to thoroughly study issues related to raising the standard of living of the population, both from a theoretical and practical points of view, and to develop scientifically sound proposals. Thus, in order to boost the welfare of the people, to prevent poverty, and address issues related to raising incomes, it is necessary to pay special attention to their provision with a subsistence minimum based on the consumer budget.
Indicators of the subsistence minimum are used by the state for conducting social policy. In particular, to assess the standard of living of the population, the number of people with incomes below the subsistence level, equal and high incomes is determined, which serves as the basis for providing targeted social assistance to the poor in the population. In addition, such indicators are used to justify the minimum wage and pension payments. In accordance with this, it is important to introduce a system of regularly raising the minimum social standards of the population, identifying a minimum subsistence level.
Specialists stressed that in the consumer basket an important place is given to the food component. When forming the minimum consumer basket for the able-bodied population, the set of products is determined with the calculation for a working man in the amount of kilocalories in proteins and carbohydrates per day. At the same time, the consumer function is organically connected with income. With the increase in income, consumption volumes also increase.
When determining the consumer basket for the constituent entities of the republic, it is important to take into account the natural climatic conditions, national traditions and local characteristics of the main socio-demographic groups in the consumption of non-food goods and services. Concrete proposals were made to develop a standard list of minimum types of food products, non-food products and services needed in our country to preserve people's health and ensure their livelihoods.
During the roundtable discussion, a working group was formed comprising people’s representatives and specialists from ministries and other government agencies. The task is set for improving the draft law “On State Minimum Social Standards” developed in cooperation between the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, through in-depth study of proposals and recommendations made at the meeting, analysis of best foreign practice.