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29 July 2020

Cutting the shadow economy and corruption discussed at video session

On July 27, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a videoconference meeting to address the works to reduce the shadow economy.

The session served to deliberate on the work carried out in this direction and determine new tasks. The President instructed to devise, with the engagement of experts from international organizations, a strategy to lessen the shadow economy.

The head of state insisted in the meantime that caution is observed in countering the shadow economy, so as not to harm economic activity, and noted the significance of working on this front together with business and the wider public.

The challenge is to keep consistency with tax reforms and introduce a system that would leave out shadow activities.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev instructed to develop the scheme “Conscientious Taxpayer” and test it by the end of year in the city of Tashkent.

Particular attention was paid to clearing corruption in public procurement and investment projects. In order to ensure transparency in these areas, to bolster competition and public control, the Ministry of Finance was ordered to launch an information portal of public procurement.

In accordance with the decision at the meeting, from now on, each project will undergo anti-corruption expertise. The task has been set to apply this procedure from 2021 to all projects using centralized funds.

Customs and tax systems were also discussed in the video session.

The head of our state indicated the need to get rid of the human factor in the customs system, strengthen customs control over cases of smuggling, and artificially lowering the customs value of goods.

The State Customs Committee and the State Tax Committee were instructed to create a unified database on the imports, customs clearance, and sale of imported goods. The task was set to introduce the information system “Customs Audit” from 1 January 2021.

The President pointed out that in order to trim down the shadow economy, one should help people work legally, to get them interested in this.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev underscored the importance of simplifying tax administration for small businesses, of easing the permit and licensing procedures for entrepreneurial activity.

The President stated the low level of analysis of the shadow economy by industries and spheres. In this regard, it was indicated that it is necessary to maintain statistics of the shadow economy in each area with the engagement of international experts.

The main force in fighting corruption and the shadow economy is business and the general public. Therefore, it is important to form an intolerant attitude towards these negative phenomena in society, to cover their consequences in mass media and through social networks.

“Combating the shadow economy hardly implies punishing entrepreneurs, hindering their activities. This is especially important in conditions of pandemic. It is essential to take severe measures against routine corruption, consolidate public control at the local level,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev stated.