The Central Council of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan hosted a video dialogue.
The event, organized on “Criteria for determining the level of poverty of the population: problems and solutions”, was attended by senior officials of the central and regional councils of the party, members of the party faction in the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament, party groups in local kengashes, as well as representatives of the ministries of health, economy and industry, employment and labor relations, experts.
At the event, it was noted that based on the Action Strategy on five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, global reforms are being carried out in Uzbekistan to develop the economy and improve the social life of people.
At the same time, there are still some unresolved pressing issues related to the social protection of the population, which are of fundamental importance for the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan.
Therefore, the party has strengthened its attention to solving pressing social issues. In particular, recently one of the main reasons for widespread debate and discussion has become the lack of specific criteria for determining the level of “low income”. As a result, there is a number of confusion in the assignment of social benefits and provision of material assistance to citizens in need.
The issue of studying international practice in this matter, strengthening the concepts of “subsistence minimum” and “consumer basket” in the legislation of the country is becoming increasingly relevant.
– It should be noted that the subsistence minimum indicators are used in implementation of social policy by the state, – said Boymurod Yusupov, Head of Department of the Central Council of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan. – In particular, to assess the standard of living of the population, the proportion of the population with incomes lower than, equal to and above the subsistence level is revealed. On this basis, specific targeted social assistance is provided to low-income groups of the population. This indicator, used to justify the minimum wage, pensions and social benefits, is a criterion for assessing the level of poverty.
In Uzbekistan, support for the population in need of social protection, in particular, social protection of low-income families, is carried out in accordance with the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan of February 15, 2013 “On the procedure for the appointment and payment of social benefits and material assistance to low-income families”. In accordance with the Regulation, the work on social protection of the population is carried out by civil society institutions in three directions. This is the granting of benefits to families with children under the age of 14, granting benefits for caring for a child until they reach the age of two, as well as material assistance to low-income families.
However, the current regulation does not specify the procedure for determining the level of poverty, as well as identifying families in need of social support, which causes many disagreements and disputes.
Elimination of this problem requires strengthening of legislation in this matter. So, for example, it is necessary to introduce norms implying convenience in determining the procedure for assigning benefits and social assistance to families that really need help and support from the state, and first of all, to low-income families who, for objective reasons, cannot provide the primary needs of the family, for single elderly people, large families with minor children, a breadwinner with a disability or partially disabled, suffering from chronic diseases, temporarily unemployed, a lonely pensioner and other extremely needy categories of the population, the destination of their pensions and material assistance benefits at the place of temporary residence.
At the event, these issues and ways to solve them were discussed in detail by deputies of parliament and local kengashes, representatives of responsible ministries and agencies. Presentations were made on determining the minimum amount of the consumer basket and the cost of living, domestic and international experience in this direction, compiling a list of food products, as well as medical standards for their daily consumption.
Activists and party deputies exchanged views and suggestions on pressing social issues in this direction.
Experts noted that the minimum food basket plays an important role in the consumer basket. They discussed important issues related to determining the minimum consumer basket.
Participants of the event also emphasized that a decent life for the population is ensured by identifying incomes based on the “subsistence minimum” and “consumer basket”. In international experience, the “subsistence minimum” is the cost value sufficient to ensure the normal functioning of the human body and maintain his health, a set of food products, as well as a minimum set of non-food goods and services necessary to meet basic social and cultural needs of a person. “Consumer basket” is a minimal set of food products, non-food goods and services necessary for maintaining human health and ensuring his vital functions.
Introduction of the “consumer basket” is the most pressing issue in improving the living standards of the population, determining the minimum wage.
Based on this, the development and raising of the minimum social standards of the population, introduction of a system for determining the minimum means necessary for life are of great importance today.
In addition, it was noted that in compiling the “consumer basket” it is important to take into account the climatic conditions and characteristics of the country, the main socio-demographic groups of the population, national traditions of consumption of non-food goods and services, and other local features.
Therefore, the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan is carefully studying proposals for compiling an exemplary list of the minimum types of food products, non-food products and services necessary for human health and vital activity.
Concrete tasks were outlined on the issues discussed at the video dialogue.
A working group consisting of specialists, scientists and experts for in-depth study of international practice regarding the compilation of the consumer basket and determination of the subsistence minimum, has been formed. After a comprehensive study of the international practice, the members of the working group will prepare proposals and conclusions, based on which a specific position of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan will be developed.
At the event, the inclusion of the task for strengthening and putting into practice the norms for the application of the subsistence minimum and the consumer basket at the legislative level in the new Pre-election program of the party, preparing draft laws “On the Subsistence Minimum” and the “On the Consumer Basket”, was also considered.
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People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan