State-of-the-Union by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Parliament of the Republic of Tajikistan
Distinguished Members of Senate and Lower Chamber of the Parliament,
The 2018 was indeed a historical year for the noble people of Tajikistan and the independent state of the Tajiks by its very important and memorable events.
On World Water Day, 22 March 2018, our fourth global initiative in the field of water resources – the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028) was officially launched with the participation of the President of Tajikistan in the UN General Assembly.
Due to the climate change the issue of protection of clean drinking water sources and resources has turned into one of the main challenges of the Globe’s population, and Tajikistan is recognized as an initiator and champion in this area at the international level.
The launch of the first unit of Roghun Hydropower Plant, a life-changing facility of the century and a significant factor for bright future of Tajikistan, thanks to which the long-awaited aspirations of the noble and industrious Tajik people have come true, is a milestone event in the history of independent Tajikistan and a firm step of our country toward the achievement of our first national strategic objective, i.e. – energy security.
We have addressed the political, economic and trade issues with the Republic of Uzbekistan that existed during more than two decades which embodies the third historical event in the social, economic and spiritual life of the people.
We achieved this objective thanks to bilateral meetings and negotiations, state visits of the heads of both countries and signing of Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two friendly and brotherly countries. This made it possible to ensure movement of people, thanks to which during the nine months of this year more than two million citizens of our countries visited their relatives, and the economic, trade and humanitarian cooperation between our states enhanced by several times.
The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has been making efforts to achieve the objectives reflected in our National Development Strategy, and identified as a supreme goal the improvement of the living standards of the population by addressing the issues related to sustainable economic growth, human development, public administration system, our country’s export capacity, improving of investment climate, private sector development and enhancement of the labor market.
This year we made solid steps towards achieving the indicators envisaged in our strategic documents on economic and social development.
As a result of implementation of the tasks outlined in the Address of the last year, in 2018 our GDP growth made 7.3% and the inflation was maintained at the rate of 5.4%.
We ensured progress of the various economic spheres, particularly manufacturing sectors, created more than 150 000 new jobs and for the last three years the number of our citizens engaged in overseas labor migration reduced by 25%.
The monetary income of population increased by 11%, their savings in the banking system of our country increased by 9% in comparison with the last year and the poverty rate declined to 29,5%.
Positive trends in the social fields continued, and particularly the indicator of population’s longevity reached 75 years and mother and child mortality rate decreased by 2.1 and 2.6 times respectively compared to 1998.
The population of our country increased to 9.1m in 2018 against the 5.4m in 1990 and it is expected that in 2023 it will reach 10m.
This requires us to pay an utmost attention to addressing the socio-economic issues, including improvement of living standards of population and enhancement of manufacturing capacity of our country.
We need to effectively use the land and water resources and increased food production in order to improve the public welfare.
In September 2018, the wage of staff in the budget-funded entities, including educational, science, healthcare, culture, and social protection agencies and other institutions as well as retirement allowances and scholarships were increased by up to 15%. The Government of the country will allocate additionally 1.2 billion TJS for this purpose in 2019.
Based on the programs we adopted we need to make further efforts in order to lay the necessary foundation for increasing the wage of staff of the budget-funded entities and pensions in the coming years.
Thus, we need to increase the wage and retirement allowances in the coming year through increasing the revenue part of the budget.
We have to take into account the fact that the public budget revenue will ramp up to 24 billion TJS in 2019 compared to 6.5 billion TJS in 2010, the increase of which will make almost four times and the social expenditures will account for 43.7%.
The budget of 2019 compared to 2018 will foresee increase of funding for the spheres of culture and sport by 17.3%, science and education by 14%, social insurance and social protection of population by 9.5% and healthcare by 7.2%.
According to the plans we approved, compared to 2018 in 2019 the public budget revenue will increase by 13%, GDP growth rate by more than 7%, and inflation rate will not exceed 7% and the population’s income will increase at least by 10%.
In order to ensure the proper implementation of these objectives, the Government of the country needs to continuously analyze the economic and social implications of the process of changing international economic relations, situation in financial markets, trade conflicts and sanctions, and undertake necessary measures with a view to preventing the negative impact of such factors on our national economy.
Moreover, the Government should undertake decisive steps to maintain stable macroeconomic indicators, to ensure solid operation of the banking system, enterprises and to improve investment climate.
The Ministry of Finance has to implement the Public Finance Management Strategy based on the country’s priorities, targets of the public budget revenue and expenditures, transparency of its spending by proposing prospective reform plans in these areas.
I have to note that the banking system plays an important role in ensuring socio-economic development of the country, especially enhancement of the real sectors of the economy, improvement of the national export capacity, creation of new jobs and expansion of public budget revenue sources.
During eleven months of 2018 the banks of the country issued 7,250 billion of loan to entrepreneurs and public at large, which increased by 201 mln. or 3% compared to the similar period of the last year.
In this regard, the National Bank needs to undertake serious measures to increase the credits offered to the private sector, particularly in manufacturing sectors, maintain a stable banking system, improve the quality of services, train highly qualified banking specialists and ensure their professional development.
It is also important to increase cashless payments and to widely introduce them for payment of services and in the trade in 2019 in the country.
In 2018, the share of cash applied outside the banking system accounted for 64 percent of the country’s money turnover.
Taking into account the modern trends, we need to enhance our activities for introduction of digital economy and application of digital technologies in the social and economic sectors.
We have identified the energy security and energy efficiency, ensuring Tajikistan’s connectivity and its transformation into a transit country, food security and access of the country’s population to quality food, as well as productive employment as our strategic objectives, and we have been implementing our agenda on transition from agrarian to industrial economy.
The measures undertaken by the Government made it possible to increase the share of industry in GDP from 15.2 to17.3% during the last 3 years.
Taking into account the importance of industry in addressing socio-economic issues and creating of new jobs, I propose to proclaim accelerated industrialization of our country as our fourth national objective. In this regard, it is important to increase the share of industry in the GDP to 22% by 2030.
To achieve this objective it is crucial to strictly control the implementation of approved sectorial programs and investment projects, and ensure their effective and quality enforcement.
Hence, the heads of province, towns and districts need to enhance their activities in attracting direct investments, construction of new manufacturing enterprises, rehabilitation of idle enterprises and creation of new jobs and report on their progress to the Government of Tajikistan every semester.
The lack of some raw materials in the country for manufacturing new products is yet to be addressed.
In this regard, I would like to propose to exempt the imported raw materials for processing and manufacturing of final products from VAT and customs duty, except the raw materials available in Tajikistan and excisable goods, and relevant authorities need to develop the mechanisms of enforcement of this incentive within a month.
The import substitution measures we have undertaken made it possible to supply the population with the locally produced basic food products, household devices and construction materials and to reduce the import of food products by almost 3 billion TJS or by 31 % during the last three years.
This year the production of 15 out of 20 types of export-oriented products and goods increased.
However, the lack of competitiveness and high production cost of the products of some enterprises, inadequate protection of interests of our exporters in other countries has been impeding the diversity of production and export of our products.
Therefore, the Government of Tajikistan needs to ensure mutually beneficial cooperation with the neighboring counties in order to expand our country’s export and transit capacity for transportation of goods and creation of “green corridors”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for economic development and trade, the Exportation Agency and the heads of province, town and district have to enhance their activities in presenting the products made in Tajikistan, exploring export markets, finding production and trade partners and protecting local entrepreneurs’ interests abroad.
Dear Members of Parliament,
The economic reforms we have implemented during the recent years have been promoting improvement of business environment and investment climate and encouragement of foreign investments, including direct investment.
Currently 70 public investment projects amounting 30 billion TJS in total are ongoing in the country.
During the last 10 years more than 33 billion TJS of foreign direct investments were encouraged into the economy of Tajikistan, the majority of which are channeled to sectors of energy, communication, construction, extraction and processing of minerals and infrastructure.
With a view to achieving our objectives, we will continue cooperating with our development partners, and will channel the encouraged foreign direct investments to import of the latest manufacturing technologies and machinery, creation of new jobs and increase of the production of competitive domestic products.
In this regard, the Government needs to undertake further measures aimed at improving the investment climate, encouraging foreign direct investments and promoting investment projects.
I outlined my ideas on many priority issues, including ease of permit system, inspection of businesses and tax administration at the Entrepreneurship Forum held on October 15 of this year and instructed the authorities in charge to address the existing shortcomings.
Based on the Forum discussions and recommendations we developed and approved a plan of action and the relevant authorities in charge need to follow up and ensure its implementation.
Currently, with a view to improving the investment climate in the country we introduced risk based inspection of businesses.
However the provisions of the legislation in this area are not always respected by some inspection authorities.
This year, with a view to avoiding unreasonable inspections and check-overs and, thereby creating a favorable environment for development of entrepreneurship we announced two-year moratorium for all inspections of manufacturing enterprises, and almost 2000 entrepreneurs have benefited from this incentives.
In order to compliment this process, I believe it is important to stop all types of inspections of manufacturing entrepreneurs in 2019-2020 and to ensure that the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the moratorium for inspection of manufacturing enterprises” are respected by all inspection and law enforcement agencies, including the Prosecutor General’s Office, Chamber of Accounts, Agency on State Financial Control and Fight Against Corruption, National Bank, and the tax and customs authorities.
With a view to ensuring compliance with the provisions of moratorium legislation, the Prosecutor General’s Office in cooperation with the State Committee on Investment and State Property Management needs to undertake necessary actions against the public authorities’ officers, who unreasonably interfere with the activity of entrepreneurs and create barriers for development of entrepreneurship.
To improve the level of legal, economic and financial awareness of entrepreneurs, to provide support in drafting business projects and exploring the ways of their financing, particularly, to newly established businesses and involvement of youth to entrepreneurship activities, the Government of Tajikistan needs to undertake necessary measures to create service centers in towns and districts of the country, which could also serve as training centers for entrepreneurs.
Additionally, in order to further support our entrepreneurs, I propose to launch “300 days of reforms for support of entrepreneurship and improvement of investment climate”.
Alongside with this, in order to eliminate administrative obstacles, to ensure effectiveness of operations and to simplify and modernize the public services to entrepreneurs and the population, the Government of the country needs to develop and submit for review the draft Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On public services”.
During the last 10 years we have increased the country’s energy generation capacity by 1520 MW and installed and launched more than 1300 km of electricity transmission lines.
From the beginning of the ‘Rogun’ HPP construction we spent 24 billion TJS encourages from all sources of funding, including 3.9 billion TJS in 2018 alone for this facility, and in 2019 we envisage to allocate approximately 4 billion TJS for this purpose and to put into operation the second unit of this hydropower plant.
In September 2018, we commissioned “Tojikiston” HPP with the capacity of 1500 kW in the high mountainous region of Murghab with the total cost of 80 mln TJS, which made it possible to fully meet the electricity demand in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous province.
Now we have the feasibility study for two other hydropower plants of “Sanobod” and “Sebzor” with the total capacity of 211 MW in place and we have been in the process of negotiations with development partners to seek for funding for the construction of these assets.
The Government of the country, alongside with construction of new hydropower plants, pays an utmost attention to rehabilitation of existing capacities.
We need to be aware that if we do not rehabilitate the existing assets that have been operating for a long period already, their generation capacity will go down.
Bearing this in mind, now the rehabilitation of “Sarband” HPP amounting 1.3 billion TJS is ongoing and the reconstruction of “Qairoqqum” HPP with the cost of 1.9 billion TJS and the first phase of reconstruction of “Norak” HPP with the cost of 3.5 billion TJS will commence in 2019.
After these HPPs are fully renovated, their capacity will increase by 840 MW in total compared to their present generation.
The construction of “Roghun” HPP alone will make it possible to extend the life of “Norak” HPP for centuries. This means the inflow of sediment clean water into the reservoir of Norak HPP and it will not fill up with mud and clay. Additionally, the capacity of all operating hydropower plants on Vakhsh river will increase by 4 billion KW/hour.
With a view to ensuring stronger sustainability of energy system of the country, physical activities within the regional project of CASA-1000 started and are expected to be completed in 2021. The total cost of the project is 11 billion TJS (the section in Tajikistan costs 3.4 billion TJS).
Also, this year alone with a view to ensuring effective operation of Roghun HPP we installed the Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS), i.e. substation with the cost of 530 million TJS, and “Roghun — Dushanbe” 500 KW electricity transmission line amounting 750 mln TJS and “Ayni-Rudaki” 220 KW electricity transmission line with the total cost of 250 mln TJS.
This year we made a firm step not only towards energy security but also for the first time during the last two years ensured uninterrupted supply of electricity in the country within 27 years of our state independence and we have exported 3 billion kW/hour of electricity.
In this regard, the Government of the country has to undertake necessary measures to reform the management of the sector, i.e. to draft a new system for generation, transmission and dispatch of electricity, and introduce the modern mechanisms of metering and fee collection with the use of electronic system.
The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources jointly with “Barqi Tojik” company have to undertake necessary steps to reduce the electricity loss.
With regards to the issues of energy development I would like to emphasize that the use of the abundant hydropower capacity of Tajikistan would make it possible to supply the countries of the region with environmentally clean electricity as one of the main drivers of the development of “green economy” and significantly contribute to the reduction of CO2 (carbon) emissions.
Currently, international organizations rank Tajikistan 6th in the world in terms of generation of environmentally clean electricity.
Our country has the necessary potential to be ranked as the 2nd or 3rd country in the world for generation of electricity from renewable sources after launching new assets, including Roghun HPP.
This would serve as an input of Tajikistan in addressing one of the global issues – reduction of carbon emissions and decrease of negative implications of global warming.
With regard to these issues, it is important for us to take seriously the protection of environment, flora and fauna and ecosystem by revising and improving the sectorial legislation and improving the environmental awareness of population.
I would like to recall that nowadays the protection of environment is one of the important factors for attracting tourists.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the context of Tajikistan, 93% of which is mountainous, the transport and communication play an important role in ensuring its socio-economic development.
During the independence of the country we have constructed and renovated more than 2100km of international and national roads through implementation of public investment projects and more than 1000km of domestic roads with the use of other funding sources.
In 2018 almost 200 km. of domestic and international roads and 45 bridges have been constructed and renovated.
Currently 14 public investment projects on transport with the total cost of 7.5 billion TJS are under implementation.
During the last years as a result of construction of international highways connecting Tajikistan with the People’s Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, resuming the operation of railways and 16 border checkpoints with Uzbekistan, we ensured our country’s connectivity and thereby achieved our second strategic goal.
The Government of the country needs to undertake additional measures aimed at expanding transport corridor networks and improving the transport infrastructure, accessing seaports, constructing border terminals and logistic centers, improving physical infrastructures of transport parks and their renovation, as well as increasing the transportation of goods and products.
With a view to increasing the delivery of passengers and freights given the favorable geographical location of Tajikistan, it is also important to undertake necessary measures to transform the country into an air transit hub.
Another strategic objective of us that directly facilitates the creation of new jobs and increases the export capacity of our country is ensuring food security through development of agriculture.
With a view to ensuring the development of agriculture and achieving food security through implementation of public investment projects, we have channeled more than 12 billion TJS from the public budget during the independence of our country.
As a result of measures undertaken by the Government the overall agricultural output has increased by three times and reached 21.3 billion TJS in 2018 compared to 7.4 billion TJS in 2000 and the export of agricultural products is gradually increasing.
Alongside with this, we need to pay more attention to the issues of storage and processing of agricultural products in order to achieve our objectives in this area and create new jobs.
Currently we process only a small part of the cotton produced in our country and we do not avail the existing potential, particularly for creation of jobs in the textile sector.
According to statistics only 10-12 percent of cotton fiber is processed in the country currently. In 2018 the export of cotton fiber increased by two times compared to the last year.
Therefore, it is crucial to undertake immediate measures to ensure efficient land use, resume the use of abandoned lands and develop new lands, improve crop yields and develop the seeds production, expand the permanent greenhouses and increase the number of cool storages for fruit and vegetable, enhance the supply of local markets with quality agricultural products and increase their export.
With regard to this, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in cooperation with other ministries and agencies and the local executive authorities need to ensure the implementation of adopted sectorial programs and report to the Government of the country every 6 months.
In addition, it is important to expand the horticulture and viticulture areas, particularly intensive orchards by resuming the abandoned lands and lowlands.
During 27 years of our independence 190 000 hectares of agricultural lands were withdrawn and the household plots were increased by 135 000 hectares, including at the expense of irrigated lands. Thus, we allocated land plot to 1,4 mln households for construction of dwelling as a result of which in average 7 mln residents of our country (almost another Tajikistan) improved their living conditions. Albeit during 70 years before our independence only 77 000 hectares of land was allocated for this purpose. We need to expand our activities on development of new lands, which means to rehabilitate abandoned lands in order to meet the public demand in food given the growth of population.
Adoption of Water Sector Reform Program (2016-2025), aiming transition to latest water management principles and encouragement of new investments to address the water issues in the country, is a timely initiative to supply the population with quality drinking water which is an important issue requiring a special attention. Since water is the source of life and the main source of human health.
Despite the fact that Tajikistan has enormous water resources, supply of rural population with quality drinking water requires undertaking serious measures.
The Government of Tajikistan in cooperation with development partners has launched 17 public investment projects on water supply amounting 2.4 billion TJS, and 50% of them already completed.
We have been implementing 35 projects on agriculture and irrigation amounting 5.4 billion TJS in total.
However, according to the analysis more than 80% of the amount is channeled for the development of water supply networks of administrative centers of towns and districts.
It is important to pay more attention to this issue in the rural areas, where more 73% of our population lives.
We always need to bear in mind the growing impact of climate change on our activities towards sustainable water resources management.
It is obvious that the global climate change has been affecting the amount and quality of drinking water resources and has been aggravating the environment in various countries and regions of the world. At the same time, the growth of population in our region and globally overall has been increasing the demand for water resources drastically. These two factors set new complex tasks for us.
With this regard, I would like to emphasize that Tajikistan’s water policy also focuses on topical socio- economic issues in the Central Asian region. We stand ready to use our enormous resources of drinking water for the benefit of the region.
I would like to reiterate that the effective use of unique resources of the mountainous lake of Sarez alone, which is 17km3, enables a long-term and reliable supply of our region’s population with quality drinking water.
The Action Plan to the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development intends to dedicate every year of this Decade to comprehensive review and gradual solution of the water-related issues.
In particular, the Plan of Development Activities on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of our State independence, alongside with the construction, rehabilitation and renovation of social facilities, also envisages measures to address the issue of quality drinking water supply in the populated areas, particularly in the rural areas.
Proclaiming the 2018 as the ‘Year of Tourism and Folk Crafts’ gave a serious impetus to understand the significance of the mentioned fields in the social and economic life of the people. Thus, the number of tourists, who visited Tajikistan in 2018, increased by 2.5 times compared to 2017. However, one year is not sufficient to achieve the objectives we set forth.
This year we adopted our “Tourism Development Strategy (to 2030)” and promoted the tourism advantages of Tajikistan, however, additional measures need to be undertaken to improve the sector’s infrastructure across the country.
With a view to speeding up the process of addressing the above-mentioned issues, and given the need for the rural infrastructure development, I would like to propose to declare the years of 2019-2021 as the “Period of Rural Development, Tourism and Folk Crafts”.
Our main objective of making this proposal is the enforcement of the efforts of the Government of our country to ensure prosperity of Tajikistan and to address the social issues of the population by improving the infrastructure, first and foremost, in the fields of education and healthcare, creation of new jobs, supply of the rural population with quality drinking water, construction and renovation of local roads, enhancement of tourism infrastructure and development of folk crafts, bringing the level of services in line with the latest requirements and improvement of the population’s well-being in every village and populated area.
The Government of the country needs to undertake additional measures in order to achieve these objectives, and to promote unique tourism sites, to protect, develop and ensure effective use of natural resources, flora and fauna, and historical and cultural heritage, to create conducive environment for ecological, medical, sport, hunting and mountaineering tourism.
I would like to emphasize that the chairmen of province, town and district are personally responsible for expansion of development and prosperity activities, improvement of rural infrastructure, tourism and folk crafts and attraction of domestic and foreign investment for these objectives. It is also their primary task to address the issues of population employment and to create opportunities for occupational education of people.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to the noble people of Tajikistan, including entrepreneurs and generous individuals for implementation of creative initiatives and emphasize one point.
Every dedicated citizen of our country needs to contribute to the prosperity of our Motherland. Every individual should master a craft or occupation and apply it to run their lives.
We will create favorable conditions for every individual who is willing to apply his or her skills and abilities, to enable them to enforce their capacity.
Every good deed that we fulfill we do it for ourselves, our children, and future generations and for the sake of our beloved Tajikistan, by thanking the God for our independence, freedom and sovereignty, since this homeland and this state is ours and nobody will improve it for us.
Distinguished Members of Senate and the Lower Chamber of the Parliament,
Improving science in the country, introduction of inventions in production, enhancing the physical infrastructure of the educational institutions, advancing the quality of education at all levels, wider involvement of young talents in learning the latest technologies and mastering creative and technical skills is among the most important tasks of the science and education areas.
Therefore, we will pay a paramount attention to the spheres of science and education, will constantly continue reforms at all stages of education, and will eliminate existing challenges step by step.
We need to seriously focus first and foremost on the development of the pre-school education, and increase the number of pre-school facilities by several times, and ensure favorable environment for the intellectual development of our children.
In the framework of state programs and participatory initiatives we plan to build more than 1050 pre-school and general education institutions within the next three years, mostly in rural areas of our country.
In this regard, the Government of the country, Ministry of Education and Science, chairmen of province, town and district need to ensure the development of educational institutions, including pre-school facilities, and reach 30% of coverage of children by pre-school institutions by 2021.
In 2018 alone, we commissioned 151 general education institutions with more than 73 000 seats with the use of funding from all sources, and we will continue this process in the future.
It is our intention to further reform all levels of education system, introduce interactive teaching methods and give a priority to the quality of education.
In this regard, Ministry of Education and Science and the Education Quality Oversight Administration have to boost supervision in cooperation with governors of province, town and district and other relevant public institutions to enhance the quality of education at all levels.
Alongside with this, the Ministry of Education and Science jointly with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and other relevant agencies need to overcome the issue of the lack of teaching staff by 2020.
We have two main issues in the education sector. First, is the lack of qualified teachers and second is the improvement of education quality at all educational institutions of the country.
We always highly appreciate the hard work of teachers and professors and will continue taking care of those, who make decent contribution in this field.
However, the progress of society, development of science and technology requires them to continually make efforts towards their professional development.
We will not be able to improve the education quality by any means unless we ensure high professional skills of teachers.
In this regard, the Ministry of Education needs to strengthen the activities within the professional development courses for teachers.
Additionally, teachers, professors and all of the workers in the education sphere starting from the Ministry headquarters to its agencies on the ground and educational institutions all over the country, regardless of their form of property, shall go through examination once in three years.
As early as in 2003 the President of the country issued his order on improvement of teaching of Russian and English language. The analyses show unsatisfactory outcomes. We need to take this issue seriously, if we want to keep up with the advanced society.
In this regard, the Government of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Academy of Sciences need to develop a new program for improved teaching of English and Russian languages (to 2030) during the first semester of 2019 and submit it for review.
I would like to reiterate that we do this only for ourselves, for improvement of education quality and advancement of the world outlook of our teenagers and youth, not for any other purpose.
We have been paying a particular attention to the health of society and social protection of the population and continuously expanding infrastructure of medical and social protection institutions.
At present we have been implementing “Basic benefit package program for medical services (2017-2019)” in 19 pilot districts and towns of our country and we will gradually replicate this scheme throughout Tajikistan.
In addition to this during the next three years we plan to construct more than 560 hospitals and healthcare centers and other facilities in the country.
Despite the progress in this area, we still notice shortcomings with primary healthcare services funded by the public budget.
Based on the grievances submitted by population to the Executive Office of the President, in some medical institutions, the patient’s relatives are requested to pay for primary healthcare services and bring medications, which is contradictory to the laws.
One of the challenges remaining despite of the regular notices, is the low level of services and attitude by healthcare service providers doctors and the management of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population has to undertake effective measure to eradicate this phenomenon.
This year with a view to upgrading administrative and criminal penalties for illegal import of low quality or expired medications to Tajikistan and their marketing or production of them in the country and also infection of patients with transmissible diseases as a consequence of medical services we included amendments into the legislation.
The Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population and other relevant agencies need to ensure the enforcement of the legislation provisions and create strong barriers to avoid the violations in this area.
Currently 149 000 persons with disabilities, including 15 000 persons with disabilities of category I, approximately 27 000 persons with disabilities under age of 18 and 71 000 orphans live in the country.
The total amount of allowances paid to orphans every month from the public budget makes more than 12 million TJS.
We will continue addressing social issues and rendering support to vulnerable groups of population, primarily to orphans and persons with disabilities, persons without custodians and needy persons, pensioners and people with long service records as we believe this is our utmost duty.
During our independence we have constantly paid attention to the development of culture, which embodies the spiritual image of the nation, serves as the unifier of brain power and the narrator of our past and present, traditions and other national sacraments and formulates decent behavior.
It is worthwhile noting that lately our people have been paying a special respect to our official language, traditions and values as well as national attire.
During the independence of our country we have revived our national traditions and customs and cultural values that have ensured spiritual unity of our people throughout centuries, particularly Navruz, Mehrgon, Sada, Shashmaqom, Falak, atlas, adras, chakan and similar features.
Thanks to the constant efforts of the Government of our country a part of those, namely Shashmaqom and Navruz were inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and ancient cities of Sarazm and National Park of Tajikistan were inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. Next year we will propose the music of Falak, the historical site of Hulbuk and festivals of Mehrgon and Sada to this reputable international organization.
Recently, another best example of our folk crafts — art of Chakan embroidery was inscribed on the Representative List of UNESCO by a resolution of this organization’s General Assembly.
Acknowledgment of our cultural heritage by the world community demonstrates the acknowledgement of Tajiks as creators of civilization and culture.
We intend to hold the celebration of Sarazm city — one of the ancient sites in our country in 2020.
This event will provide an opportunity to decently introduce to the world community our 5500 years long culture which is acknowledged by the academia at the global level.
We need to protect and develop our historical heritage and treat them as integral part of the history of our ancient nation.
This is our duty before the history and future generations.
Distinguished Members of Parliament,
We will further empower women and support their efforts in implementation of our public social policy.
During the independence period we adopted and implemented a number of public strategies and programs which created wide opportunities for empowerment of women.
A good example of this statement is that the number of women and girls engaged in the sectors of education and public health increased by several times during the recent years.
According to the statistics, in 1991 women accounted only 52% of 95 000 employees of the education sphere, while in 2018 this indicator has reached 70%. In 1998, 25 000 out of 45 000 public health employees were women and girls. This indicator reached 51 000 in the current year, which is a significant increase compared to previous years.
Nowadays the number of women in civil service has increased, and in 2018 they made 19% of all managerial staff and 25 % of civil service staff at central offices and local branches of public authorities.
We are firmly confident with the strong will and sense of responsibility of women as a great power of society. Alongside with this, we acknowledge that woman is a mother and the only creature of human being.
In this regard it is our duty to give a special attention to this creature of humankind and appreciate her efforts.
At the same time we would like to call upon our mothers and women to play more proactive role in compliance with national laws “On the regulation of traditions and celebrations” and “On Parents‘ Responsibility for Children’s Raising and Education”. They also need to train their children to be able to run independent life, guide them towards the right lifestyle, to be more thrifty which is a good ancient tradition of our nation, to be pioneers in revival of our folk arts and comply with our national traditions, customs and culture.
Most importantly, our ladies and mothers need to make efforts to save the Tajik language, which we call a mother tongue, in its original version and teach our future generations ethics of communications and conversation skills in this beautiful poetic language.
I would like to address distinguished parents once again and request them to pay a priority attention to raising their children.
The youth are pride of our beloved Tajikistan.
We firmly build on the youth, appreciate their sincere support towards the policy pursued by the State and the Government and feel their valuable role in all vital sectors in our country.
I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the youth of the country for their support of the Government and state policy and their dedicated input.
At present, the youth form the majority of military and law enforcement officers.
Some 40% of the constructors of Roghun HPP, which is the century’s gigantic facility, are young people under the age of 30 years old.
The Government of Tajikistan avails all possible resources for development of young people by its efforts on publicity of sports, promotion of healthy lifestyle and training of qualified sportsmen.
In 2017 alone we have constructed and commissioned 300 sport facilities amounting 175 million TJS in various towns and districts of our country.
This year we expanded this creative process and launched additionally 230 new sport facilities.
During the last 10 years, the total number of sport facilities we commissioned reached more than 9300.
High sense of patriotism, self-consciousness and dedication of our youth to their Motherland, nation, the land of their ancestors is the pledge of social security and stability, country’s development, as well as present and future prosperity of independent Tajikistan.
Within the contemporary dynamically changing world it is very important for our youth not to be subject to the propaganda of religious extremist organizations and ill-wishers of the Tajik nations like in the 90s of the last century; they always need to be cautious and stand ready for protection of interests of the Tajik nation and state.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The future development of society requires regularly revising and improving the legislation to ensure proper management of social relations.
This way of legal regulation enables executive authorities to mainly focus on public administration.
In this regard, the legislator bodies, including the members of parliament, need to regularly analyze the quality of acting laws and their conformity with socio-economic development of our State and develop draft legal and regulatory documents meeting the requirements of contemporary time being.
It is obvious, that improving the legal awareness of population is the main factor to ensure evolution of a law based state, civil society and the rule of law.
Hence the Program for public legal education and training (2009-2019) is completing, I believe it is important to develop and adopt a new program for the next decade.
Future development of society and implementation of the objective defined requires ensuring comprehensive access to justice.
It is important to draft a new program for judicial and legal reforms and improve the structure and performance of court institutions within this program, and to undertake necessary measures for timely and quality review of lawsuits and execution court orders.
In this regard, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Economic Court, the Ministry of Justice and the Execution authorities need to develop and submit for review a new program of judicial and legal reforms (2019-2021) at the shortest possible.
During my previous addresses and speeches on other occasions I outlined my opinion about the growing threat of terrorism and extremism in the contemporary.
Unfortunately, the tension of these global threats and challenges has still not come down.
Lately, the law enforcement authorities detained some criminal groups, who intended to commit terrorist attacks in border districts and other parts of Tajikistan, which proves the earlier mentioned statement.
In this regard, the law enforcement agencies and military authorities need to be politically cautious, improve their professional skills and strengthen their activities on counteraction to terrorism and extremism, transnational organized crime, illegal drugs trafficking and other offences with the use of the latest methods.
In this process it is important to pay an utmost attention to prevention of terrorism and extremism, allegiance of the citizens of our country to terrorist and extremist movements and organizations and repatriation of deluded citizens to their Motherland.
In this regard, with a view to improving the legal framework for prevention of extremism and developing the latest ways and means of counteraction to this phenomenon, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Committee for National Security in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice have to develop the draft revised Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On counteraction to extremism” within three months and submit it to the Government of the country.
The experience shows that the eradication of sources of terrorism funding, i.e. illicit drugs trafficking, is an important factor for progress in the fight against this horrible crime.
Therefore, the Drug Control Agency, the Main Border Troops of the State Committee for National Security, the Ministry of Interior and other relevant agencies have to undertake additional steps towards the fight against illicit drug trafficking.
Strict anticorruption measures are an important prerequisite for ensuring mutual understanding in society and trust of the people towards the public authorities.
In this regard, the Agency for State Financial Control and Fight against Corruption, the Chamber of Accounts, the Prosecutor General’s Office and other designated authorities need to improve their cooperation with population and undertake effective measures to put solid barrier against corruptive actions. They also jointly with the Ministry of Justice need to revise the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on counteraction to corruption, which was adopted in 2005 and submit the draft version for review of the Government.
Applications of residents of the country addressed to the Executive Office of the President show that the activity of some local authorities in this area is not set up in a proper way and the officials do not fulfill their duties in accordance with the legislation.
Therefore, the Prosecutor General’s Office jointly with the heads of ministry and agency, governors of province, town and districts need to ensure strict compliance with the law of the Republic of Tajikistan on applications of individual and legal entities by the officials and other public servants and to submit their reports to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan every six months.
I believe it is important to reiterate that the stable progress of the state and society is first and foremost based on security, rule of law, enhancement of public order and respect of civil rights and freedoms.
Ensuring legal order, security and stability of society, protection of human rights and freedoms and combating crime is the direct responsibility and moral duty of every law enforcement officer.
Therefore, all officers of judicial authorities, prosecutors’ office, the Ministry of internal affairs, the State Committee for National Security, the Drugs Control Agency, the Agency for State Financial Control and Fight against Corruption have to undertake serious activities with a view to ensuring public order, social stability, preventing and revealing crimes in a timely manner, defining and eliminating causes and factors of their perpetration.
To achieve these goals the law enforcement officers first and foremost need to strictly comply with the requirements of laws in their performance and be exemplary in fulfilling their functions.
The current situation in the world and in the region requires from the armed forces of the country, particularly units and divisions of border troops to stay always alert.
We fully build on our armed forces and are confident that they will further shield the independence and sovereignty of our beloved Tajikistan, security of our State and tranquility of our people.
I would like to highlight that situation in the world in the coming two-three years will be more complicated. Therefore, the heads of all law enforcement authorities and military servicemen need to constantly pay an utmost attention to the enhancement of professional preparedness, dedication to our people and our Motherland, training of personnel, strict compliance with charters and bylaws and military discipline, ensuring security of the state and the society and legal order.
The frontline barrier of fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime and illicit drugs trafficking is the state border.
In this regard, I would like to reiterate that the protection of border is not only the duty of the border guards.
Every patriotic individual must cooperate with law enforcement agencies and military authorities in protecting the borders of homeland, ensuring security of state and tranquility of society.
The Government of the country has been undertaking necessary steps to provide favorable conditions for service in the Armed Forces, including Border Guards.
Over the last five years 170 new facilities were built for the units and divisions of Border Troops. Alongside with the state border with Afghanistan alone, the length of which is more than 1400km, more than 100 border protection facilities were launched.
Tranquility and stability of the neighboring Afghanistan is vital for us and Tajikistan, since the first days of its independence, has been making efforts to promote sustainable peace in this friendly country.
Moreover, during many years, Tajikistan has been serving as a shield from the spread of drugs, arms, terrorism, extremism, and illegal migration not only for its own security, but also for the security of the entire region, post-Soviet and European countries.
Therefore, we constantly urge our partners and the international community to pay a serious attention to the Afghan case both through multilateral international organizations and within our bilateral talks with others countries and international organizations.
We fully support the efforts of the Government of friendly Afghanistan and the international community towards commencing the peace process in this country, stabilizing political and military situation and ensuring its socio- economic development, and reiterate that it is impossible to resolve the Afghan issue through military solution only.
War and armed conflicts are a tragedy, murder of innocent people, poverty, bad luck, economic failure, and breakdown of rule of law and governance.
We will never forget the horror of the civil war of 90s of the last century, which was imposed to our people by the enemies of the Tajik nation and we believe that our citizens will never be deluded by our nation’s ill-wishers, who have not given up yet.
We always stand for the peace across the globe and advocate for the peaceful resolution of conflict situations only through negotiations and reconciliation disregard of the region or country they take place.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Protection of national interests based on the principles of equality and friendly relations with all countries of the world, the foundation for which we laid upon attaining our state independence, will remain the core objective of the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Tajikistan, which is under implementation now, is the logical continuation of our efforts in this area and provides an opportunity to upgrade our international relations qualitatively within the new global realities.
The unstable situation in the contemporary world in the conditions of toughening geopolitical and geo-economic competition and increasing global threats doubles the importance of expansion of international relations.
Therefore, we will continue our comprehensive cooperation with the far and near abroad countries, international and regional organizations, and strive to run in in an effective manner.
In this regard, we attach an utmost importance to the strengthening of friendly ties and development of multifaceted cooperation in the Central Asian region.
Our efforts in development and strengthening of relations with the countries of Central Asia based on friendship and mutual trust, good neighborliness and fruitful cooperation, are aimed at accomplishment of goals and objectives, as well as overcoming common issues.
It is gratifying that, after His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyaev was elected as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, positive trend on development of multilateral regional cooperation commenced, and this trend acquired a new level from the perspective of content and practicality.
I am delighted to reiterate that that in 2018 we have witnessed life-changing events in our bilateral relations with the friendly neighboring Uzbekistan and we addressed all the sensitive issues, which occurred between our countries during the last more than 20 years, and upgraded our relationship to a strategic partnership level.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government authorities have to undertake targeted efforts to expand the creative and long-term relations of Tajikistan with the countries of the region and its other traditional partners.
Strengthening and expansion of relations in the framework of international and regional organizations and international financial institutions is of a particular importance in the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan.
As I mentioned earlier, our fourth global initiative on water issues – the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028)” was launched this year, which will create a favorable and broader framework at all levels to achieve water related SDGs.
A few days back, on December 20th 2018, the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a draft Resolution proposed by Tajikistan under the title “Midterm Comprehensive Review of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018 – 2028 which was co-authored by 190 UN Member States.
This Resolution will regulate a process of mid-term review of the decade and provides for conduct of two important global events:
The first, to hold from 22 to 24 March, 2023 the UN Conference on the Mid-Term Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018 – 2028;
The second, to convene in March 2021 the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Promotion of Water-Related Goals and Targets.
Thereby, at our initiative, a topic of water resources is consolidated in the UN agenda and high-level event on water is going to be called for by the UN Secretary General for the first time after more than forty years since the First UN Conference on Water.
In this regard, we need to regularly follow up the implementation of the new Decade as the initiator of water issues at the global level.
Political situation in the world is very unstable and aggravated and is of a serious concern of the world community.
As I stated in my speeches on many occasions, the attempts to re-share the world, rapid militarization, ambitions for power, clash of economic and trade interests, cybercrimes are increasingly intensifying and drawing the world in to the new phase of cold war, and nowadays many politicians and experts even alarm about the threats of the world war III.
This situation undermines the effect of the fight against the current threats and challenges that requires mutual understanding and joint efforts by all countries of the world, and rather leads to support of terrorist and extremist groups by individual vest interests and to use of these horrible forces against individual regions and states.
The Republic of Tajikistan, by acknowledging the key and coordinating role of the United Nations and its relevant agencies, takes this organization’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and anti-terrorism conventions, resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly as the foundation for joint fight against terrorism and extremism, and stands ready to further strengthen cooperation in this domain.
To this end, Tajikistan will expand its efforts and will remain the natural ally of all countries of the world and international and regional organizations in ensuring effective counteraction to the contemporary threats and challenges as it did before.
Distinguished Members of Senate and Lower Chamber of the Parliament,
I have outlined my thoughts on the socio-economic achievements of our country during the recent years, the shortcomings and issues in our state and the life of our society, as well as in the activities of some public administration institutions and defined the new tasks to overcome these shortcomings.
I would like to emphasize that we can achieve our objectives only through dedicated efforts, sense of responsibility before our people and our Motherland and creative initiatives.
I believe that our noble, proud, patriotic, strong and industrious people will manage to overcome any issue and accomplish good deeds, improve, beautify and develop our beloved Tajikistan, and create favorable conditions for decent life of every resident of our Motherland.
In 2021 we will mark the grand celebration of the 30th anniversary of the state independence of our beloved Tajikistan.
We are determined to accomplish many improvement and development activities to decently celebrate this sacred bank holiday.
In this very important period for our country it is the duty of each of us – starting from the Head of State, members of the Government and the Parliament down to heads of all governmental agencies, governors of province, town and district, and public servants to always bear in mind one thing. According to our Constitution people are the source of executive government, i.e. the government belongs to public. Therefore everybody of us – heads of all public authorities and all of the public servants need to serve our people in a dedicated manner. Thus, we need to make more efforts, to serve our beloved people truly, sincerely and conscientiously, accomplish our creative plans in a timely manner and with high quality.
We need to be initiators, channel all our efforts, knowledge, experience and administrative skills to guide the noble people of Tajikistan and every conscientious resident towards development activities.
We need to appreciate our independence, freedom and sovereignty, sovereign and beloved Motherland, love it truthfully, be dedicated to our independent state, channel all our efforts towards its prosperity, strengthening and enhancing the reputation of Tajikistan at the international level.
This is the message I would like to address you – distinguished and noble people of Tajikistan, members of the supreme legislator body of the country, members of the Government and public servants!
I wish you, esteemed members of Parliament, distinguished participants and the noble people of Tajikistan, well-being and success!
Thank you very much!