Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Fakhri Vakilov – Trend:
The major findings of the Uzbekistan’s National Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment show that the country has a reliable state budget that is well executed, World Bank representative told Trend in an interview.
However, there is also a need to improve the performance of the personal financial management (PFM) system in selected areas, the representative added. These findings will help the Government build a more effective system for managing public finances, increase the transparency of the state budget and raise attractiveness of the country for international donors and foreign lenders.
As Trend earlier reported, in March 2019, the World Bank and the European Union carried out the assessment of the Uzbekistan’s National Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability.
The Government of Uzbekistan conducted the first PEFA assessment in 2012. Hence, there was a need to assess progress made since that time and identify existing challenges for the country’s PFM system.
The PEFA assessment reviewed the following pillars of PFM performance: budget reliability; transparency of public finances; management of assets and liabilities; policy-based fiscal strategy and budgeting; predictability and control in budget execution; accounting and reporting; and external scrutiny and audit.
Talking about the loan of $200 million allocated in March to Uzbekistan for the development of rural entrepreneurship, World Bank spokesperson noted that the project will support the delivery of technical and financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) across three regions of Uzbekistan’s Ferghana Valley namely Andijan, Ferghana and Namangan.
“It will target rural entrepreneurs in high potential sectors such as agriculture, food processing, handicraft, rural services, tourism, and small manufacturing,” the representative added.
The expected development results include an increase in business activity, higher rates of employment (particularly among youth and women), an increase in access to financial and advisory services for MSMEs, as well as improved supply chain linkages in targeted sectors and greater market access to urban areas across Ferghana Valley, economic clusters in other parts of Uzbekistan and Central Asia.
In conclusion, the bank’s representative commented on Uzbekistan’s participation in a regional program called the Digital CASA (Central Asia - South Asia).
According to the spokesperson, The World Bank is currently working with the Uzbek authorities to prepare for the launch of the Digital CASA – Uzbekistan Project. The total project cost is $300 million, including funding in the amount of $100 million to be provided by the World Bank.
The Digital CASA is designed to create a single digital hub to integrate Central Asian and South Asian states into a regional and global digital economy. Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan joined the Digital CASA in 2018.
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