Uzbekistan reducing state's participation in private sector

Uzbekistan reducing state's participation in private sector

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar. 18

By Ilkin Seyfaddini – Trend:

Uzbekistan plans to start putting up state assets for sale in July 2020, Trend reports citing the Uzbek media.

The number of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Uzbekistan currently stands at 2,965, with a nominal value of 111.4 trillion soum ($11.6 billion), and a 55 percent share of GDP. At the same time, they employ only six percent of the total number of officially employed people in the labour market.

By the end of 2019, 9 percent, or 262 SOEs, suffered losses worth 4.1 trillion soum ($429.1 million), and the end of the year with profit has low efficiency indicators.

"State unitary enterprises make up 58 percent of all SOEs. They have direct state orders and some operate without license. The supervisory boards have only three percent of independent members, no committees and no compliance service, and no mechanisms for evaluation of the supervisory boards' activities have been implemented. All this puts the private sector in unequal conditions and creates distortions in all sectors", the message said.

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has outlined the need to inventory about 3,000 state enterprises and take measures to cardinally reduce the state's participation in the private sector and spheres where competition is developing. Within the framework of these tasks eight working groups chaired by the prime minister and his deputies have been established, which have critically studied the activities of 2,965 enterprises with state participation and prepared proposals.

Private business will be offered 1,115 state shares, including 69 in oil and gas, 25 in energy, eight in chemical industry, 24 in financial organizations, 23 in project institutions, 94 in mass media, 509 in markets and trade complexes. It is planned to leave only 554 enterprises with the state, to sell or abolish everything else according to the principle "explain or sell".

An inventory of assets and liabilities will be carried out for each facility, then its reliability will be assessed and examined. After that, the shares will be put up for sale at the Republican Stock Exchange "Tashkent", and the shares and real estate will be put up for public tender bidding by decision of the tender commission.

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Follow author on Twitter: @seyfaddini

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