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2015 year - Year of Care for the Senior Generation


Dear compatriots!

I have a tremendous privilege at these thrilling festive moments to express my deep respect to you all and extend congratulations from the bottom of the heart on the New Year. I take a great pleasure to convey my earnest wishes of sound health and happiness to you, peace and prosperity, wellbeing and affluence to your homes. 

Seeing off the outgoing year, we involuntarily pay tribute to everything we have experienced – bright events and achievements, joys and concerns, along with ordeals and hardship. And I believe we have every reason to assert that the year 2014 will stay in our memory as a fruitful and unforgettable one. 

It has been indicated brilliantly by our confident strides towards the grand end we have sought, namely, to join the ranks of advanced democratic nations of the world and secure for that matter the realization and enhancement of democratic reforms have embarked on and the promotion of civil society. 

Without any doubt, the departing year will leave a meaningful mark in our history, primarily from the viewpoint of steadfast growth rates of our economy and the qualitative renewal of all walks of our life. 

We see all this in the remarkable transformation taking place in the country, in the changing appearance of our cities and villages, new enterprises outfitted with cutting-edge technologies, the persistent growth in the effectiveness and productivity of agriculture, the steady rise in the standards and quality of life of the population, in Uzbekistan’s increasing international standing and the well-deserved place it has been gaining in the world community. 

The staggering successes our country has been making on its way to furthering the set goal can be judged on definite indicators in our advancement and first and foremost on sustainable growth rates of gross domestic product. Notwithstanding the repercussions of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis, when stagnation and recession are becoming common for many countries around the planet, Uzbekistan has been displaying consistent economic enlargement at no lower than 8 percent within the last ten years. And we have every reason to expect that similar growth rates will keep well into the year 2015. 

Dear friends! 

The current confident and persistent advancement of our country toward democratic renovation and liberalization, the political and economic stability, the high rates of economic growth and modernization recognized across the globe – it is all a result of everyday relentless labor, courage and firmness of every person living in our munificent land, irrespective of their ethnic origin, language and faith. This all is an outcome of the atmosphere of mutual respect, kindness and tolerance, interethnic and civic harmony reigning in Uzbekistan. It is an effect of our consolidated aspiration to preserve and cement the peace and calmness in our common home called Uzbekistan. 

Today, amid the diversity of conflicts and challenges around the world, in the near and far abroad, in the course of intensifying political and economic confrontation, the increasing manifestation of terrorism and extremism, the continuing uncertainty and instability in world markets, the life requires that we be constantly vigilant and considerate, be prepared to bar any attempts posing a threat to our security, to our confident advancement ahead. 

We all need to deeply realize one important truth that the world is not in standby. The more so if one takes into account that we are living in the 21st century, the age of globalization, intellectual labor and the internet, we should not confine ourselves to the accomplishments and successes, not get absorbed in complacency and euphoria and always set out to achieve new heights. We ought to have a plain imagination of our future, including all the troubles and hardship we might face. 

In these circumstances it should be clear that only those societies and nations capable of enduring harsh requirements and the ruthless competition intensifying in the global markets, can live in line with speedily changing times and achieve their goals. 

Aware of these circumstances and defining priority objectives for 2015 and the ensuing years, we set out to keep with implementing the Concept of Intensification of Democratic Reforms and Formation of Civil Society in the Country, initiated by us and which became a strategy for our prospective development, by relying on the experience we have garnered and that of advanced democratic nations. 

While speaking about this, I deem it necessary to draw attention to issues acquiring today a fundamental significance. 

First of all, what we mean is the priority sphere of our heterogeneous economy, that is, the elimination of all impediments and constraints, provision for total freedom for the development of private entrepreneurship and promotion of private property. 

Another key challenge, given the intensifying economic and political situation in the world, is to consistently enhance structural transformation in the national economy, secure uninterrupted technical and technological renewal and production modernization, extensive introduction of state-of-the-art information and communication systems. 

Inseparable from these issues is the need for critical evaluation of the level of government presence in our economy and its reduction down to strategically and economically reasonable extent. 

I am convinced that only by carrying through these critical dimensions of reforms to their logical destination can we create conditions to completely get rid of the remaining vestiges and stereotypes of the old administrative-command distributive system. 

Dear compatriots! 

I would particularly like to point out that in the new year 2015, nearly 60 percent of the national budget will be assigned for the advancement of the social sector. Put it another way, our attention will be focused on the further development of healthcare, education and upbringing, science, culture and arts, sports – in a word, the human dimension will receive an advanced development. 

Salaries, retired pays, student stipends and social allowances are expected to rise by at least 22 percent, while the real incomes of the population are anticipated to grow by 10 percent. 

For small businesses and farming enterprises, the rate of integrated social payment is going to be reduced in the new year from 25 to 15 percent. Thus, they are going to keep more than 440 billion soums. Starting from 1 January 2015, the income of individuals in the size of one minimal monthly wage will not be subject to taxation. It is necessary to stress here that this novelty that concerns all the employed population is going to have a positive effect on primarily the citizens with lowest incomes. 

Owing to these measures, the working people will receive additionally at least 120 billion soums in total. And the list of similar privileges to be granted in the coming year is extensive. 

We need to note also that the inflation rate is anticipated at 5.5-6.5 percent. 

Special consideration is going to be paid in the forthcoming year to the improvement of living conditions of our people, to the further perfection of their living standards and the cardinal refinement of the quality of public-utility services. 

Another 12 thousand families from rural areas are going to throw housewarming parties in 2015 in their new homes that are not inferior to those in urban centers, in the modern houses erected on standard design. 

Dear friends! 

As you all know, we have announced the forthcoming year in our country as the Year of Care for the Senior Generation. 

I believe we all understand well that it is built on such noble goals as securing the welfare of representatives of the older generation, making their lives even more meaningful, receiving the blessing of people dear to us and who raised and brought us up, thanks to who our homes are full of mutual understanding, comfort and affluence. 

By stepping into the year 2015 with profound realization of our irredeemable duty before our fathers and mothers, the distinguished veterans, I am convinced that in the coming year we thus will continue with our kind traditions and will fill our comprehensive care and consideration for them with concrete substance. 

The recent elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis and local Kengashes have confirmed once again that such unique qualities of our people constitute a bonding foundation of our society. 

I have a great pleasure to extend my words of gratefulness for all our voters for the high political and civic activeness demonstrated during the elections. Al this is another tangible evidence of the rising law culture of our citizens, understanding and realization of the fact that the outcomes of the electoral campaign as well as our standing in the international arena are contingent by and large on their active participation. 

Dear compatriots! 

At these inimitable moments, we all sincerely ask the Almighty for our gracious hopes and aspirations to come true, for wellbeing and abundance in our homes. 

May the coming new year bring benevolence and affluence, felicity and luck to every family! 

May our bright dreams and wishes come true! 

May peace and harmony reign in our land, may the sky above our Motherland be clear! 

Happy New Year, dear friends! 

Islam Karimov, 
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan 
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Sun 25 / 01 / 2015